When I started my collection, it was an all-chronograph spree that had set me forth. It was more of a three-dialled watch kinda drive than chronographs or multi-functions or retrogrades; over time, it was revealed that sub-dials don’t necessarily make a chrono. However, that’s on a different context; the next step was world-time.


Not the college-time stuff, though; like the Casio Gshock; neither a classically formal Citizen Eco Drive World Timer. I want my watch to fit the lifestyle I lead and something I can wear every day and still have it retain its value many years after the purchase date. Luckily, I got one that doesn’t keep me worrying too much; is not peppy-ly trendy, can be taken to the gym and even to that wild, poolside party. It still greets back with its entire splendor.


It’s time you know a bit on Louis Cottier if you haven’t already. He is the person who revolutionized the art of world-time telling with watches in the 1930s (the Louis Cottier website, however; is not even distantly related to the designer). Cottier’s two-crown design with a 24-city ring is currently the standard. The 24 cities are in 24 different time zones, though there are more time zones many other digital/electronic watches can read. The Cottier design is; however, good esthetically and serves more than the purpose. Unless you are James Bond, you’ll not need all of them frequently.


So getting a relatively inexpensive world-time function (this is not GMT) turned out to be a good lesson in purchase management. The degree of complication in it doesn’t matter, but the markings and the functions must be accurate. I was after something classy enough but won’t break the bank; I found the Seiko 5 Sports World Time Automatic good enough to start. Later, I also wish to go for the Citizen Promaster Skyhawk; the extra thing you get there is the Titanium.


It took me a while learning to calculate time for other locations with the outer ring; it goes like this:

Paris-time when you are in Hong Kong.

Say, it’s 2:00 PM in HK. That’s 14:00. So bring HONG KONG on the bezel to 14 (on the 24-hour marker). The number Paris shall align to on the 24-hour marker is the time you are looking for. You must also know that the time differences between the cities on the bezel are one-hour offsets.

Next day, we will talk about inner rotating rings and then, GMT.