Every year the world seems to become smaller, as we travel more, and easier, as ever before in history. In this age of a global village, it is no surprise that there is an increasing demand for watches that show multiple time-zones. The way to achieve this can vary, from an additional hour hand as is the case with the iconic Rolex GMT-Master, to an entire three-dimensional globe which we can find on the Greubel Forsey GMT. The fact that also Van Cleef & Arpels has a watch in its collection that displays multiple time zones should not come as a surprise, as travelling is second nature to many of its clients, but the way they executed this complication is all the more remarkable.
Van Cleef & Arpels has, especially when it comes to the men’s models, a very focused collection in which less is more. That also goes for the Midnight Heure d’Ici & Heure d’Ailleurs, who’s dial only shows two windows and a retrograde minute hand. Those two windows are what makes this watch so special, as one displays the hour in the time zone its owner is currently in, while the other one shows the time at home, or at their corporate headquarters. They are both so-called “jump hours”, and when the retrograde minute hand reaches 60, the hours in both windows will advance by one hour instantly.
Van Cleef & Arpels further sets the Midnight Heure d’Ici & Heure d’Ailleurs apart from other watches, by using only about half of the dial for the time display. This leaves a lot of space to admire the luscious black stamped radiating sun-burst motive that decorates the dial.
Rose gold window frames for the jump hours, Arabic numerals 5-minute markers, and the retrograde hand offer a pleasant contrast and make the watch easy to read. They also match perfectly with the rose gold case, which is generous with a diameter of 42mm. However, the Midnight Heure d’Ici & Heure d’Ailleurs doesn’t feel that large when on the wrist. It is more a contemporary classic for global citizens who like their watches esteemed yet with a twist. That is exactly what they are getting with the Van Cleef & Arpels Midnight Heure d’Ici & Heure d’Ailleurs, which will be available in July for $28.300,-.