This High-End Traveller’s Watch Costs a Fraction of Its Competition’s Prices

The new Classic Worldtimer Manufacture in rose gold ain’t cheap, but it’s a relative bargain compared to similar pieces from blue chip Swiss brands.

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Editor’s Note: Watches & Wonders (formerly SIHH) has moved online and Baselworld 2020 is canceled, but that hasn’t stopped watch brands large and small from debuting their new wares. Stay on top of this year’s best new watch releases here.

Plenty of people travel widely for work (although perhaps not lately), or at the very least keep track of a second time zone in order to keep tabs on friends and relatives living across the globe. One way to do this is with a GMT watch such as the famed Rolex GMT Master II, but good luck getting your hands on one of those at retail. (Or any steel Rolex sports watch, for that matter.)

An alternative is the world timer watch, which generally features a dial that displays cities around the world. In conjunction with a hand or rotating disc to align these cities with the watch’s local time, the wearer can easily discern the time anywhere on the globe with a single glance at his wrist. Of course, many such watches from the likes of blue chip Swiss brands are exorbitantly expensive, and especially so in precious metals.

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Swiss watchmaker Frederique Constant has had an impressive world timer in its collection for a decade now in the form of the Classic Worldtimer Manufacture. Featuring a movement developed in-house by FC (cal. FC-718), its features can all be adjusted via the crown, meaning there are no small pushers to disrupt the symmetry of the case. This impressive feat of engineering makes for a svelte movement and an enjoyable user experience.

A new version of the watch features the same 42mm case and movement, now done up in 18k rose gold in a limited edition of just 88 pieces — a slightly more affordable alternative perhaps to gold and platinum watches from the likes of Patek, Lange and Vacheron. Water-resistant to 30m, the new Classic Worldtimer Manufacture also features a blue dial with continents outlined in relief, a date counter decorated with a sunray guilloché pattern and luminescent hands. The watch provides the time in 24 time zones, displayed via 24 cities, with daytime hours appearing in grey and nighttime in red.

This is a limited-edition, solid gold, $15k watch ($14,995, to be precise), so you’re not getting the tremendous bang-for-buck that we typically associate with FC Manufacture series timepieces. But as something clearly aimed at collectors that truly delivers in technical and aesthetic respects, it’s tough to argue with — especially as alternative to other high-end world timers, whose price tags are often in the stratosphere.

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