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The Manual Wind: Taking the Complication Out of Time Change

taking complication time change omega rolex
Image used with permission by copyright holder
There is much controversy surrounding the age old practice of daylight savings time(DST).  Evidence dating back to the Romans shows civilizations were changing their daily routines to make better use of daylight.  As most believe their is no need for it any longer, few understand the tangible impact it still has today.  There are true economic advantages of this time change; as life altering as the spring forward may be.  Their is evidence of an uptick in retail sales from boutiques getting additional foot traffic in cities, increase in DYI projects showing growth in the season for independent hardware stores and Home Depots, and analysts say that close to 400 million in revenue a year can be attributed to the time change in the world of golf.  Whether it be the change in the water systems in ancient times or to allow modern day golfers to get in a few more holes in the summer, clocks will be changing.

It is unacceptable to neglect your timepiece as you would your microwave.  Dual time or GMT complications were not designed for the DST time change specifically, but for travelers making there way through timezones.  The importance of maintaing accuracy and the ease of hour changes can be seen executed with great design in a number of timepieces across the watch market.  Rolex, Omega, and Ulysse Nardin manufacture some of the nicest GMT complications in both design and movement.
Rolex and Omega are two of the most legendary and iconic brands in the watch world  and they happen to share the same dual time movement philosophy.  The movements in their respective GMT pieces, the Rolex GMT Master II and the Omega Planet Ocean GMT, allow for independent movement of the hour hand.  Pull the crown out to the date change position and with every rotation, both forward and back, the hour hand will click into position.  This movement design allows for hour hand adjustment all the while not effecting the accuracy of the second and minute hands as they continue to tick along with precision.  Two great GMT examples that are both aesthetically classic, versatile and movement conscious for the avid traveler.
Ulysse Nardin is another brand that has mastered the simple timezone change with its GMT dual time complication.   So imbedded in the Ulysse Nardin DNA, their line of dual time timepieces utilizing this movement has over the years expanded to seven different watch designs: The GMT Dual Time, Michelangelo UTC, Executive Dual Time, GMT Perpetual, El Toro PerpetualSonata, and Quadrato Perpetual.  The functionality of this push button GMT is where the beauty lies.  Incorporated in the design is a home-time window or hand indicating the hour on the GMT (general mean time).  Two pushers on the side of the case, plus and minus, will adjust the main hour hand in either direction with each impression.  This allows for the ability to read your home timezone, displayed separately, and adjust the hour hand to your current timezone in order to tell the time off the main hands.  A Ulysse Nardin dual time might be the easiest way to adjust for Daylight savings aside from your smart phone doing it for you.
Albeit watching the clock tick from 1:59am to 3:00am does not bode well for your Sunday (I know), the added stress and biological discombobulation will be worth it.  Stimulate the economy, squeeze in nine holes after work, and take a twilight walk down Madison Avenue and visit some dual time complications.  Plus, you finally got the opportunity to pull out the crown out of the timepiece on your wrist that you so frequently admire but never actually get the chance to touch.

Ian Schwam
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Contributing writer and watch enthusiast Ian Schwam dons an expert knowledge of all things watches. Having spent a decade in…
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