There’s a notable dearth of clean, reasonably sized, mechanical world-timing watches on the market, which is a shame because not only are they super cool, the complication is exceptionally useful. Well that’s about to change with the Girard-Perregaux WW.TC 1966 – a classic world-timer with thoughtfully reserved proportions, and the answer that many business travelers and frequent fliers have been waiting for. In fact, the complication is so useful, wearing a world timer creates a one of those rare instances in horology where the information on a watch is actually more readily available, than say, flipping to the “world time” function on one’s phone, or asking Siri “…what time is it in Sydney?”
Given that the level of mechanical complication and the quantity of dial property required to make all 24 zones legible, worldtimers are seldom tiny. Especially Girard-Perregaux’s own ongoing WW.TC (which stands for World Wide Time Control) collection, that have consistently been at or over 44mm. But this WW.TC sheds that mould, and the mold of several other large worldtimers by measuring a svelte 40mm by 12mm thick.On the wrist, those proportions are nearly great — legible, modern and assertive, but ready to deftly slide below a cuff as necessary — a nice surprise, and a comparative rarity amongst watches of this ilk. As part of GP’s 1966 collection, this Girard-Perregaux 1966 WW.TC also uses a specific set of mid-century modern design codes, such as convex sides and rounded, softer borders found more commonly on watches of the era. This 248-jewel movement hums along in a familiar 4Hz, and displays a few gorgeous, high-end finishing through the situation’s exhibition back, through which you can also notice the solid 18k rose gold rotor. At 9:00 about the instance, a second crown controls rotation of the outer city ring, allowing the wearer to set up the ‘home’ reference city for the hands on the dial to measure against.
In an age of increasingly pervasive globalization, the World Wide Time Control, or “WW.TC” collection from Girard-Perregaux is one of the brand’s hallmarks, powered by an in-house developed and manufactured 24-hour world time caliber. But the long-running series, now in its sixteenth year, has always been held back by its proportions and bold, sporty execution – neither of which really do the WW.TC any favors when it comes to the practicality of everyday business wear, or the discretion necessary for traveling. But for this SIHH 2017 release, Girard-Perregaux stripped out the chronograph function and reduced the case diameter to 40mm by 12mm thick, making it the most wearable (and affordable) WW.TC to date, and a worthy entry to GP’s vintage-inspired 1966 collection.
Every watch in the 1966 collection is essentially a celebration of classically reserved Swiss watchmaking, paying tribute to the design cues found on pocket watches, while employing all of GP’s most essential manufacture calibers (perpetual calendars, moon phases, column wheel chronographs… that sort of thing), which until now was missing the GP03300 world time caliber. Now liberated from both the date and the chronograph modules that characterized earlier versions of the WW.TC, this automatic movement keeps things simple with a rotating 24-hour disc, a small seconds subdial at 6:00, and a generous 46-hour power reserve. The resulting execution is clean, simple, and surprisingly uncrowded given its size – a rarity with a complication that generally invites as much complexity or visual clutter as possible.
Staying true to WW.TC functionality, the crown at 3:00 operates the usual functions – hour and minute hands, and the crown at 9:00 rotates the world time disc, enabling the wearer to set the reference city indicated 12:00, and thereby get an immediate reference point for 24 global time zones at once. Visible through a sapphire glass caseback, the movement itself is nicely finished, with contrasted graining, chamfering, and Côtes de Genève stripes.
The Girard-Perregaux 1966 WW.TC isn’t just more wearable than its predecessors, it’s also rumored to be considerably more affordable in a subjective sense – and while prices will be officially announced at SIHH, expect a reduction from the $16,000 starting price on the 2013 chronograph series. girard-perregaux.com