Carl F. Bucherer's first influx of watches into the United States came in 1945-on the wrists of American GIs returning from the Second World War with the Swiss timepieces-but it wasn't until 2004, with the establishment of Bucherer North America, that the marque was distributed here. The latest of this first official influx of Bucherer watches, the Patravi TravelTec GMT, can still keep time in Switzerland-or any three time zones-even as it arrives on our shores.
Designed for globe-trotters and international businessmen, the TravelTec GMT is an invaluable tool for any frequent flyer. It also achieves one of Bucherer's main goals, which, according to Ron Stoll, the president of Bucherer North America, is "to make useful complications for everyday life."
It works like this: The normal hour and minute hands keep one time zone in a 12-hour cycle. (The watch face also has the date and separate subdials that keep elapsed time.) An outer ring tracks a second time zone with a red hour hand in a 24-hour cycle.
The red hand also indicates the third time zone, which is kept on the inner numbered ring. While the local time and the second time zone are set by using a stem that moves the corresponding hour hands, the third time zone is set using a mono push button mechanism that turns the inner disk. Set the button to east or west (depending on which direction you are traveling) and push it until the rotating dial matches the correct time zone. If you're not sure whether the hours are ahead or behind, just look on the back of the watch where all 24 time zones are engraved.
The case of the Patravi TravelTec GMT is stainless steel for durability ($10,400 with a leather strap; it also comes in rose gold upon request, $39,500) and has a side window for viewing its movements. The face is protected by a sapphire crystal shield and is available in black or rhodium.