Three KILLER Travel Watches for Your End of Summer Trips

Article By: Logan Hannen

Aug 30, 2018

What is up, watchfam?! Today, we’re going to dive into some of the most unique, versatile, and just plain cool travel watches you can get.

So let’s establish some criteria real quick – a travel watch, for our purposes, is simply a timepiece that contributes positively to the travel experience in some way. That could be in terms of raw function, with something like a GMT, or in terms of making a statement of some kind, but the point is that a travel watch should make your trip better, not more anxiety inducing as you worry about what’s going to happen to it. For our purposes, though, we’re going to eschew aesthetics and focus primarily on their function. Without further ado, here’s three killer options for travel watches.

1: Patek Philippe Aquanaut 5164a (Travel Time)

Patek Philippe Aquanaut 5164a Travel Time
Source: HODINKEE

Okay geeks, before you have a heart attack, hear me out – I picked this watch not for the average Joe going on a vacation to some remote locale, but rather for the person traveling with some kind of security and means of safely storing the watch when not in use. As for the watch itself – it features Patek caliber 324 S C F US which enables, with the push of a button, for the local hour hand to be set independent of the skeletonized home hour hand, giving the dial the ability to display the time in two different locations without having to resort to 24-hour time and a hand that only makes one rotation around the dial per 24 hour period. This makes it, if you ask me, the single most intuitive second time zone watch on the market, and thus worthy of its spot as perhaps the best functional travel watch there is.

2: NOMOS Zurich Worldtimer Ref. 807

NOMOS Zurich Worldtimer Ref. 807 Midnight Blue
Source: NOMOS

This watch is a personal grail, and for good reason – what we have here is a 40mm stainless steel case housing the in-house caliber DUW 5201, a world time movement with a method of setting that makes it as seamless as the aforementioned Patek. In short, hidden between 7 and 8 o’clock on the dial, we have the recessed home-time setting pusher (controlled by a pin provided by NOMOS). This pusher is used to set, as the name implies, the home-time, which is displayed right at 3 o’clock. This gives you the hour, while naturally the minutes remain the same. With the other 24 time zones on the dial, they’re controlled via the pusher at roughly 2 o’clock. The arrow demarcated at 12 o’clock on the dial indicates which timezone the main hands are displaying. With the signature minimalist Bauhaus NOMOS design in tow, not only is the Zurich Worldtimer a perfectly legible, practical option, but also a versatile one that’s sure to offer a ton of use both in a dinner suit and a swimsuit (though, with only 30 meters of water resistance, don’t actually take the thing near the water).

3: Citizen World Perpetual A-T

Citizen World Perpetual A-T
Source: Francis & Gaye

When it comes to travel watches, it’s almost required of you to consider a quartz option not only for durability, but also for their relative affordability. That being said, selecting just any old quartz would be kind of boring, I decided to go with one of the more interesting options on the market. It’s a Citizen Eco-Drive, but not just any Eco-Drive; no, this one is a radio controlled, atomic timekeeping perpetual calendar world timer. Yeah, that’s a mouthful, but it’s a truly feature dense watch, so let’s pick apart that list for a second. First, we have the radio controlled atomic timekeeping, which essentially means that the watch radio signals from the nearest tower that’s synchronized to the atomic clock to keep your timepiece precisely accurate at all times. Because of this, the watch is a perpetual calendar as well, meaning you’ll never have to set the date as long as it’s got juice in the battery which, given the light-powered nature of the movement, should be pretty much forever. Lastly, the world time, the ultimate travel part of the watch. Unlike other world time watches, which require manual adjustment when moving through time zones, the Citizen movement simply requires a new reading from the atomic clock, which will adjust the time accordingly as it recognizes the new time zone that you are in. While setting for this is best left being explained by the professionals at Citizen, the atomic signal receiving is done with a simple button press, making it easily the most simple to use of the lot (and that Patek had a lot going for it in that regard).

What do you think of my picks, geeks?? What are your favorite travel watches? Sound off in the comments on Facebook and, as always, keep it classy, watchfam.

MORE FROM THIS SERIES