Date — 16 January, 2012
In view of rapidly advancing globalization, it is becoming increasingly important for pilots, frequent flyers and international business people to keep track of what is happening in different time zones. The new Pilot’s Watch Worldtimer from IWC Schaffhausen masters this challenge elegantly and practically, even when crossing the International Date Line.
In the history of technology, some problems have taken a great deal of time to solve, occasionally in the most literal sense of the word. The introduction of Universal Time Coordinated (UTC) is a perfect example. It was only from the mid-18th century that local time in Greenwich, near London, became the standard for astronomical navigation. Around 100 years later, in 1884, the International Meridian Conference divided the earth into 24 time zones. These start with the prime meridian, which runs through Greenwich Observatory. Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) became the legally accepted standard time. Curiously enough, each new day begins at 12 noon because astronomers, who tend to work at night, have little inclination to change the date in the middle of their calculations. Nevertheless, most people prefer it if the new day begins at midnight. After experimenting with other time scales, agreement was finally reached in 1972 on the introduction of UTC. This is the currently prevailing world time: the time by which everything is measured in this global village of ours. And for many people, it is enormously important: for pilots and travellers who change continents and time zones in rapid succession, and for business people who communicate with colleagues all over the world. In 1998, IWC Schaffhausen unveiled its first model with two time zones designed specially for contemporary globetrotters: the Pilot’s Watch UTC. It shows world time in a window on the dial with a 24-hour display.
so that all 24 time zones, including UTC, can be seen at a glance
Time zones at a glance
The new Pilot’s Watch Worldtimer (Ref. 326201) no longer shows the time – as in the past – in a semicircular window. Instead, the designers opted for a peripheral 24-hour ring. To make it easier to distinguish between day and night, it is divided into black and white sections. The 24-hour ring can be set quickly and easily using the crown, so that all 24 time zones, including UTC, can be seen at a glance. Users can keep constant track of the time in various zones at all times: pilots take their bearings from UTC, the uniform flight-plan time, while frequent flyers rely on the time back home; and international business executives always know the time at their partners’ head offices. In addition to the 24-hour ring, the city ring bears the names of 23 places around the globe, each of which represents one time zone. This enables the user to keep track of global time at a glance. The signal red lettering “UTC” and “Date Line” also make it easier to keep abreast.
On the dial, the current local time is indicated. If the wearer passes through one or several time zones, the time can be turned back or advanced in one-hour steps to show the new local time, even when crossing the International Date Line. The date simply moves in sync with the hand luggage for frequent flyers Pilot’s Watch Worldtimer jumping hour hand. The second time shown by the 24-hour ring remains unaffected and the movement continues to run during the changeover.
White numerals and indices on the matte-black background, together with hands coated completely in luminescent material guarantee outstanding legibility. Like the arrowhead index at “12 o’clock” and the clearly structured chapter ring, they identify the Pilot’s Watch Worldtimer as a classical pilot’s watch. A new feature is the triple date display with its vertically arranged figures, an unmistakable reference to the altimeter found in an aircraft cockpit.
The diameter of the stainless-steel case, water-resistant to 6 bar, is now a regal 45 millimetres, which serves to make the dial even more legible. The Pilot’s Watch Worldtimer is secured to the wrist by a black alligator leather strap with a folding clasp.
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