By: Lee Yuen-Rapati
When you search up dual time watches on Google, you find a lot of designs with two dials, two crowns, two sets of minute and hour hands etc. Most fall into the category of being too symmetrical for their own good and end up looking rather boring. There are a few outliers however that find better ways of displaying two time zones such as the MB&F LM1 and one of my favourites, the H. Moser & Cie Endeavour Dual Time (previously known, I believe, as the Nomad). The dual time complication is great for those who travel or who have someone special living on the other side of the globe, or even someone who just wants to keep track of happy hour a couple countries away. But even if you don’t fall into any of those categories, a dual time watch can be exciting because it is almost like having two watches in one.
TWO JUMPS, A PUSHER, & A TWIST ON HISTORICAL AESTHETICS
Tracking a second time-zone can be displayed in a number of different ways. There is the aforementioned double dial layout, a rotating twelve-hour or GMT bezel is another option, a second hour hand can do the trick if you are clever in implementing it, and there are many, many more examples. I’ve chosen to display both hours as jumping discs for this watch while the central hands indicate the minutes, day and date. Instead of using two crowns to set the time, there is a pusher at 8 o’clock that can change the left hour if you are passing though timezones. I suppose all of the watch could be controlled through the crown, but it’s a guilty pleasure of mine to add in a pusher or sliding lever when I can. Because the two hour discs (or rather rings, much like a date wheel) would need to be offset so they don’t overlap, there isn’t much room on the dial for the display of other complications or a seconds subdial. This worked out in my favour though, since I generally prefer a central date pointer rather than a date window, and I got to take a page out of De Bethune’s style book with the short day pointer. I also toyed around with adding a seconds hand and a power reserve indicator, but ultimately left them out for fear of over-crowding the dial.
The styling of this watch is unabashedly vintage with heat-blued needle hands and a two tone silvered dial. The hour numerals fill their apertures and a simple minute track with applied domed indices does the trick for the minutes. The case is very minimal with clean faceted lugs, and barely any bezel. A simple crown and pusher make up the input controls and while I did toy with incorporating a second crown either on the left side like the Universal Geneve Aero Compax or in a different layout similar to a JLC Memovox, using a pusher felt more interesting. Another reason for the addition of the pusher was to combat the monotony of symmetry, some may disagree, but I think most of the best watches rely on some kind of asymmetry or interruption to add interest into their design.
Drawing this watch could have easily led me down a rabbit hole of sketching, thanks to all of the distracting options listed above, and the entire hour could have easily been spent fiddling with different hand combinations and aperture shapes. Beyond figuring out the layout, the most lengthy process was drawing the date numerals. Dividing up a circle into 31 parts is no simple task, but using a vintage Benrus Day-Date pointer watch as reference made it immensely easier. Colouring this one was thankfully a pretty straight forward affair, a nearly dried out light-grey marker made adding in the slightest of gradients a walk in the park while a set of warm grey markers was perfect for achieving that vintage two-tone colour.
Dual time watches can serve as a useful tool for those who live a life larger than their local geography, and as a poignant reminder that time exists for more than our city or province. When it’s quitting time for you, someone else is pulling their weight to get the job done half a world away.