This year, Swiss luxury watch maker IWC Schaffhausen presents a radical new concept to the world of watchmaking: for the first time ever, the Pilot’s Watch Timezoner Chronograph permits the user to set a new time zone using just the bezel. The hour hand, 24-hour display and the date also move automatically.
The Pilot’s Watch Timezoner Chronograph (Ref. IW395001) enables the user to set another time zone, together with the date and 24-hour hand, in a single movement. All you need to do is push the bezel down, turn it to the desired time zone and release. It’s as simple as that. The movement is conveyed synchronously to the hour hand and a smaller 24-hour hand that always shows whether it is day or night in the selected time zone. The date display is also synchronized correctly, regardless of whether the watch is advanced or turned back, and whether the 24-hour hand passes midnight. The watch movement and the advance of the minute hand, however, are not affected, which has the advantage that the watch shows the correct time even after repeated functional tests.
Press, rotate and release: setting the world time with a mechanical wristwatch could not be easier than with the city ring. And since only one time of day is shown, it is impossible to mix up the different zones. For example, if you wish to know whether you are calling your business associate in Tokyo or Mexico City during office hours or at night, you simply turn the city in question to the top of the dial and then back. The same thing applies to air travellers and pilots: no matter how often they change time zones, they can quickly show local time and then revert to home time.
For the Pilot’s Watch Timezoner Chronograph, IWC’s engineers have combined and further developed a number of technologies. The city ring itself was adopted from the Worldtimer display: on the polished black rotating bezel are the names of 24 cities, from London via New York to Tokyo and Dubai, each representing one of the international time zones. Those countries with summer time are indicated on the rotating bezel by a small “S”. The inscription “UTC” below “London” shows the current Universal Time Coordinated.
The sprung rotating bezel concept was first used for the Porsche Design Ocean 2000 in the 1980s. It ensures that the bezel rotates only when pushed down and is thus protected against inadvertent rotation. If you wish to set the watch to a new time zone, simply press down the city ring – the bezel – with thumb and index finger, turn the desired time zone to “12 o’clock” and release. It is important that pressure is exerted on two opposite sides. Only then can the lock be released smoothly and the bezel turns in both directions. When the ring is released, a spring ensures that it returns to its original position. This mechanism is an extremely effective means of ensuring that the time zone is not moved inadvertently. The detents on the rotating bezel ensure that it locks into precisely the desired position, or into the “S” necessary for showing summer time.
A system like the external/internal rotating bezel, now part of the IWC Aquatimer watch line, provided IWC’s engineers with a means of connecting the bezel with the gear train inside the watch. Rotating the city ring advances or turns back the white hour hand in one-hour steps and shows the time in the desired time zone. At the same time, the black and-red 24-hour hand on the inner 24-hour ring shows whether it is night or day. Finally, should you cross the International Date Line, the date also advances or reverts by one day, depending on the direction in which the bezel moves. Since the hour wheel is connected directly to the 24-hour hand and the date advance, all the displays can only be moved at the same time. In other words, turning the city ring immediately sets three displays in motion.
The Pilot’s Watch Timezoner Chronograph also solves the problem of summer time. It is often forgotten that not all time zones on the planet recognize summer time. There are countries that do not make the change. Some states in the southern hemisphere put their clocks back at precisely the time those in the northern half of the globe are putting their forward. If you wish to see what the time is in Rio with a conventional time zone watch, it is almost certain to be wrong. For this reason, the rotating bezel has a small “S” to indicate the names of cities that recognize summer time, such as London and New York. IWC Schaffhausen has been awarded a patent for this particular display function.
With its black city ring, dial and Santoni calfskin strap, the Pilot’s Watch Timezoner Chronograph retains the colour coding of the classic Pilot’s Watch, the white displays providing a highly legible contrast. Thanks to the new IWC manufactured 89760 calibre, this model has an innovative display that provides the user with a fast, intuitive means of displaying stopped times between 1 minute and 12 hours.
The hours and minutes recorded by the stopwatch can be read off on the totalizer at “12 o’clock” as easily as on any analogue timepiece. Stopped times up to 60 seconds are shown by the central stopwatch hand. The integrated flyback function allows wearers to return the running stopwatch hand to zero and to start another timing sequence immediately.
Engraved into the back of the stainless-steel case, which is water-resistant to 6 bar, is a depiction of a Junkers Ju 52, the aircraft which, in the 1930s, brought the world closer together. Back in those days, the aircraft was by far the most common civilian aircraft and was airborne in all continents. No wonder it has a place of honour on the Pilot’s Watch Timezoner Chronograph.
Model: Pilot’s Watch Timezoner Chronograph Ref. IW395001
Stopwatch function with hours, minutes and seconds
Hour and minute counters combined in a totalizer at “12 o’clock”
Small hacking seconds
IWC-manufactured calibre 89760 Mechanical chronograph movement
Frequency: 28,800 A/h | 4 Hz
Power reserve: 68 h
Case, dial and strap
Diameter: 45 mm
Height: 16.5 mm
Black calfskin strap by Santoni, stainless-steel folding clasp
Glass: Sapphire, convex, antireflective coating on both sides
Glass secured against displacement by drops in air pressure
Special back engraving
Water-resistant: 6 bar