Breitling introduced its first Unitimer model — a self-winding world-time watch, now a sought-after collectors’ item — in the 1950s. At the 2012 Baselworld watch fair, the brand unveiled the updated version, the Transocean Chronograph Unitime, a timepiece that expresses the brand’s classical, aviation-inspired theme with technical innovations and a striking, modern design.
The watch features Caliber B05, based on Breitling’s first in-house movement, automatic chronograph Caliber B01, introduced in 2009. In addition to its chronograph functions, this movement (which has also subsequently been used in a Breitling for Bentley watch) is outfitted with a patented mechanism that allows the wearer, when changing time zones, to adjust all the indications simply by turning the crown. (Click on the photos below for larger images.)
The system uses two moving disks, one indicating 24 hours and the other bearing the names of 24 world cities representing the 24 major time zones. The time shown by the central hands corresponds with the timezone displayed at 12 o’clock. The city disk (which is available in several different languages) also has indications for daylight savings times. To change the time zone, the wearer simply pulls out the crown and turns it forward or backward in one-hour increments, which simultaneously corrects the central hour hand, the 24-hour disk, and even the date, which is indicated in a window at 4:30, in either direction. A traveler can then see at a glance what time it is in any other time zone in the world, including his home zone. The central minutes hand and seconds hand will continue to run during this operation without interruption; if the chronograph is switched on, it, too, continues running undisturbed.