Best of 2021 – Our Favourite Traveller’s Watches of the Year
GMT, Dual-Time or world-time watches... get ready for travelling the world.
Even though in the past 2 years (already…) we’ve not been able to use them as much as we would have loved to, traveller’s watches still are some of the most practical timepieces you can imagine. Somehow a must-have in a collection. And they can take multiple forms, from the classic GMT-style, with central 24h hand, to the dual-time watch with an additional indication (sub-dial or window) or finally the more complex world-timer. Certainly, due to the current situation, we haven’t seen that many traveller’s watches this year but still, there was more than enough for us to debate and to come up with this list of our favourite models introduced in 2021.
Editor’s note: this list reflects the preferences of MONCHROME’s editorial team and results from an internal vote. This list is, of course, non-exhaustive and remains subjective. If there are other GMT, dual-time or world-time watches launched in 2021 that made an impression on you, feel free to share your thoughts with us in the comment section.
BCHH x Andersen Genève Celestial Voyager
If this watch is equipped with a multi-time zone function, it surely is a bit of a stretch regarding the adventurous spirit of a traveller. But just look at it. It is, without a doubt, one of the most stunning world timers of the year. The result of a collaboration between collector Benjamin Chee (owner of multiple brands, including Celadon and Milléchron) and watchmaker Svend Andersen (also a specialist of this complication), it is a high-end take on the classic world timer watch with superb execution all around. Made of platinum, the twin-crown 37.7mm case houses a dial made of aventurine and the central map is cloisonné enamel. The back reveals the calibre AS 1876, a vintage movement sourced from a company named A. Schild S.A. and fitted with Andersen’s in-house WT module. It’s entirely hand-finished and fitted with a BlueGold guilloche rotor. And all can personalised, from the map to the patterns. The BCHH x Andersen Genève Celestial Voyager starts at CHF 48,800 (excl. taxes) but it’s truly justified… All the details to be discovered here.
Quick facts: 37.7mm x 10.1mm – 950 platinum case – dial with aventurine and cloisonné enamel – historical AS 1876 base calibre, with Andersen Genève world time module, automatic – 3Hz, 40h power reserve, hours, minutes, world time with twin-crown – alligator leather strap – 7 pieces in total, with customisable dials unique to each watch – from CHF 48,800 (excl. taxes)
Bvlgari Octo Roma Worldtimer
This year, Bvlgari somehow celebrated the comeback of travels, with a couple of new watches with additional time zone displays. Next to the cool and youthful Aluminium GMT, Bvlgari has presented the Octo Roma Worldtimer. Still a watch that couldn’t be more representative of the brand’s design codes, the Roma is a slightly more consensual and softer take on the octagonal shaped case, with fewer facets and of course, less thinness. The brand has done a great job integrating the worldtimer function, specifically in the black DLC and entirely monochromatic version. Sporty, modern, still legible, it’s a great companion for both business and leisure. If you want something a bit more consensual, there’s also a steel-on-steel version, with a brushed blue dial. Inside is the in-house calibre BVL257. More details in our introducing article here.
Quick facts: 41mm x 11.35mm – stainless steel or stainless steel with DLC coating – 100m water-resistant – sunray-brushed blue dial or matte black dial – BVL257 calibre, in-house, automatic – 4Hz, 42h power reserve, hours, minutes, seconds, world-time – black textured rubber strap with DLC steel pin-buckle – EUR 8,600
De Bethune DB25GMT Starry Varius
With the DB25GMT Starry Varius, De Bethune presents a very personal, high-end vision of the traveller’s watch. It combines its dual-time indication with all signature elements of the brand, from the grade 5 polished titanium case with elegant hollowed lugs to the centre night sky dial in blued and polished titanium with gold pins. The hands, also heat-blued indicate the time while an additional one brings the date. Positioned lower is the GMT indication, displayed by a sphere made of rose gold and blued titanium… but there’s more, as both the time and the day/night function are indicated by the rotating sphere (which rotates on its own axis). Under the caseback is a powerful hand-wound movement (120h power reserve) finished to the highest level… More details in our hands-on article here.
Quick facts: 42mm x 11.8mm – polished grade 5 titanium case – silver dial with inner De Bethune night sky in blued and polished titanium with gold pins – calibre DB2507, in-house, hand-wound – 4Hz, 5-day power reserve, hours, minutes, GMT, day/night indicator, jumping date – alligator leather strap – CHF 95,000
Grand Seiko Heritage Hi-Beat GMT SBGJ255
Released only a few days ago, the GMT SBGJ255 is a perfect summary of the brand’s savoir-faire and design codes. In fact, this watch is a tribute to the important 44GS, the watch that defined the design language of Grand Seiko in 1967. Zaratsu-polished case, facetted lugs with crisp angles, superbly-crafted hands with large bevels, razor-sharp edges all around and distortion-free surfaces… All of that is found here, with a watch that packs an in-house, hi-beat automatic movement with classic GMT function – and a real one, meaning that the crown adjusts the local time by one-hour increments. The High-intensity titanium case is true to the 1967 watch and is paired with a textured silver dial with new luminous markers and hands. Limited to 1,200 pieces, it will be available in January 2022. More details in our introducing article here.
Quick facts: 40mm x 14mm – High-intensity titanium case – 100m water-resistant – Silvery-white textured dial with applied markers and facetted hands – Calibre 9S86, in-house, automatic – 5Hz, 55h power reserve, hours, minutes, seconds, GMT and date – titanium bracelet – 1,200-piece – EUR 8,500
Vacheron Constantin Overseas Dual Time Everest
With this very special edition of the Overseas, Vacheron Constantin has created the perfect high-end traveller’s watch… Even the story behind the watch is cool, as it was first created for photographer, adventurer and mountaineer Cory Richard when he attempted to reach the top of the world. Hence the name, the Overseas Dual Time Everest, which now uses titanium for the case, the six-sided bezel, the pushers and pusher guards. The dial has also been transformed with a sportier grained texture and a grey-blue colour with orange accents. But it is still a VC, with a HH movement inside, the calibre 5110 DT/2 displaying the traveller’s function with a central GMT hand and a night/day indicator. The movement is finished in NAC-treated dark grey with a 22K pink gold oscillating weight is adorned with an engraving of Mount Everest. A pretty cool transformation of the brand’s luxury sports watch! Details in our hands-on article here.
Quick facts: 41mm x 12.8mm – titanium case with multiple finishes – 150m water-resistant – grained grey-blue dial – in-house calibre 5110 DT/2, automatic – 4Hz, 60h power reserve, Hallmark of Geneva, hours, minutes, seconds, date, GMT and night-day – grey Cordura fabric strap and grey rubber strap – limited to 150 pieces – EUR 30,700
No Reverso duo?
I doubt they “sourced the movement from A. Schild SA” as Schild disappeared long ago, absorbed into ETA group. This is a recycled or NOS vintage movement.
The dual time, but like most things horological you can’t buy one at the “suggested price ” !
@Colin you sure? => https://www.horlogerie-schild.ch/index_fr.html
I have a couple of watches from the 60s and 70s with schild movements, but haven’t seen any much newer. I suspect that these ones are a “resurected” company like Timor and lots of others these days. The movements on their website looks like a 2824-2 clone. I wonder why they didnt go for a tried and tested Sw200
I’d add the Hamilton Converter GMT to the mix as well – a flyer’s GMT movement coupled with a slide rule for easy currency conversion makes it incredibly helpful when traveling.