Delightful Dual-Time Watches To Dazzle The Senses
They look a bit funky, and I definitely don’t know all that much about them. But every time I see one of those dual-time watches with two dials next to or above each other, my heart skips a beat. Of course, a more conventional GMT watch is nice. They often feature a fourth hand and 24-hour scale(s) that allow another time zone or two to be tracked. But there’s something about the simplicity of two entire watch faces existing together on the same dial. Let’s take a look at some nice examples that I was able to find online.
Yes, online. Why? Well, because you don’t see these watches all that often in the wild. At a recent get-together organized by RedBar Amsterdam, I saw one made by Richards-Zeger. And it inspired me to perform a little search to see what other types of double cadran watches are out there. Cartier has made its fair share of dual-time watches, of course. But other than those, I wasn’t very familiar with what other brands have made them over the years. So it’s about time to familiarize myself a bit with this fascinating category of watches. Here’s what I could find for now, but I’m not ruling out that this search will get a follow-up.
Cartier sets the example
First of all, it was quite hard to find examples of watches with two complete time displays next to each other. That Richards-Zeger I saw was actually inspired by the Cartier Tank Cintrée. And that’s not very surprising because I think the dual-time watches from the French brand are the ones that are best known to the general public. And yes, that includes me.
When you search for “Cartier dual time” on Chrono24, you see that most of the watches are Tank Cintrées or Tonneaus. I must say, I really like the Cintrée’s curvature and the characteristic brancards. But the dual-time dial layout suits the Tonneau so well.
Because of its more extravagant shape, it already divides the dial into two separate parts. It’s such a bold design, especially on the ones that also feature a guilloché finish on the dial. There are both quartz and mechanical (hand-wound) versions of these watches. I can imagine quartz would be a lot more convenient to have on a watch with two separate movements. But I can also very well imagine what a joy it must be to wind both those movements every morning while you’re traveling the world. To give you a rough indication of prices, the quartz models are offered for around €10,000, and the mechanical ones go for about €25,000.
Dual-time watches from the funky ’70s
But when you start looking for dual-time watches with two individual faces from brands other than Cartier, it becomes quite hard to find nice examples. It looks like the flower-power ’70s were the golden age for this type of watch. That shouldn’t be of any surprise as you need to be in a certain state to actually want two clock faces on your wrist at the same time. Two very nice examples come from a brand that’s actually known for its frequent collaborations with the French jewelry maker. You guessed it: it’s Piaget. Look, for example, at that white gold dual-time ellipse pictured above. It’s kept fairly simple with two identical time displays and straightforward crowns. But I really appreciate that simplicity, and the space around the two faces is still nicely decorated with deep horizontal brushing.
The other Piaget example is a yellow gold one with more of an asymmetric TV-style case. And it looks like the horizontal brushing/engraving has now been applied to the case instead of the dial. The time displays also have contrasting colors. The funny thing is, though, that the white gold watch measures 34mm and the yellow gold one 35mm in diameter. That’s not very big for a watch with two time zones.
A little more out there
The next watch I’d like to show you is also not that large at only 36mm wide. But it certainly is a little less elegant than the two Piaget watches. It’s the Royce Dual Time with an angular stainless steel case that looks like it was directly taken off of a Rolls-Royce miniature car. I would totally rock this any day of the week. I think it looks great with both time displays each taking up their entire half of the dial. Just like the Piaget models, the Royce is powered by two hand-wound movements.
Next up is the Wittnauer Dual-Time. This is another stainless steel watch, but it has a (faded) gold-plated case and bracelet. The case is only 32.5mm wide, but it still features two small sunburst dials, one in silver and the other in gold tone. That bracelet also has a bark-like finish. This is definitely the quirkiest example of a dual-time watch to this point, but I like it. And I’m not sure quirky is the right word to describe these next two watches, but they’re definitely out of the ordinary.
Light as a feather
Both of these watches were made by Corum, and they both feature a dial made of feathers. Now that’s something I haven’t seen before. The one with the peacock feathers below looks especially nice. The 18K yellow gold C-shaped cases measure about 34mm wide, and inside are two ETA 2412 hand-wound movements.
More contemporary options?
But what about more modern dual-time watches? Aren’t there any of them with a similar layout? Well yes, but again, there isn’t a whole lot to choose from. Look, for example, at the Armin Strom Dual Time Resonance and the MB&F LM1 Silberstein. The Armin Strom has a case made completely of sapphire to ensure you can see all the mechanical wonders inside.
And the MB&F is another work of art with even a vertical power reserve indicator. But both these watches are somewhat unattainable as their prices are quite high.
According to Armin Strom’s website, the Dual Time Resonance now has a price of CHF 280,000, and the LM1 Silberstein was for sale in 2016 for roughly CHF 80,000. So aren’t there any modern dual-time watches out there for a more reasonable price?
Well, yes, but it’s clearly targeted towards women. The only dual-time watch of this style that I was able to find that’s still available for sale new in stores is the Hermès Nantucket Dual Time. It retails for US$3,300. It features a case that I actually quite like and that is very typical for Hermès. It’s just that I don’t really like the dial execution. Apart from the diamonds that I could do without, I think it could be spiced up a little.
I hope you enjoyed this overview of a few of the nicer-looking dual-time watches I was able to find. I’m sure, however, that I’m still unaware of many others. If you’re familiar with any other good ones, please let me know in the comments below, and that also goes for recent and current models. If that Hermès really is the only one out there for a relatively reasonable price, we should try to convince more brands to try their luck with this style. Then again, I’m sure there isn’t a very big market for these funky dual-time watches besides me and a few other peacocks.
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