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Thread: INCOMING: Baume et Mercier Capeland Worldtimer

  1. #1

    INCOMING: Baume et Mercier Capeland Worldtimer

    I have long admired the IWC Pilot Worldtimer, primarily because of how it functioned. The usual world-time or GMT function provides pushers or a stem position for adjusting the 24-hour ring, and adjusting the main hands always moved the 24-hour ring as well. Cheaper world timers do not have an adjustable 24-hour ring, and put the timezone cities on a movable bezel to allow the user to adjust the GMT offset.

    But some of the better regular GMT watches do it right. Examples include the Omega Seamaster GMT, the Rolex GMT Master II, and the IWC. Zenith, one of my favorite brands, didn't get this right, sad to say--the pushers move the 24-hour hand (or ring), which is the one thing that doesn't change as one travels. The watches that get it right provide a quickset 12-hour hand so the the 24-hour GMT hand doesn't have to be touched when traveling. The point of GMT is that it doesn't change with local time, after all.

    The 24-hour ring of a world timer should work the same way as on a proper GMT watch, it seems to me. Once set so that the times read correctly for the cities on the city ring, it should not need to be readjusted unless the watch stops. The times in those cities do not change even if one travels to a different time zone.

    The IWC got this right. It provides a settable 24-hour ring, but if one travels to a different timezone, the middle stem position quick sets the 12-hour hand in both directions, just as with the Rolex GMT Master. So, it provides the GMT integrity of a GMT Master while providing the ability to know the local time for a global team, like a world timer. It also sets the date forward and backward with the 12-hour hand, for those flying west across a midnight timezone.

    The IWC accomplishes this using their adjusted ETA 2892, plus a world-timer module of their own design and make. The watch is lovely, but it is a pilot design and it is really big at 46.5 mm. But the biggest problem for me is the price, at $9600 retail and still well over $6000 on the gray market.

    So, I haven't even mentioned the subject watch yet. The B&M Capeland Worldtimer came up on my searches for reviews of world-time watches, and an early review on Hodinkee suggested it used a movement from "a Richemont sister brand". Hey, Richemont owns IWC. So, I downloaded the B&M user manual, and confirmed that it works just like the IWC. Further research revealed that it indeed uses the IWC module, but on a high-finish Sellita SW-300 base movement instead of the IWC-tweaked 2892.

    The B&M is also a bit smaller, at 44mm, though it is still a big watch. Its styling is far more traditional and less technical, with blued Breguet hands on a cream dial, but I suspect it will wear better with suits (as long as I wear shirts with generous cuffs). The sapphire crystal that stands proud of the bezel is a nice recollection of an earlier time, and I'm a sucker for blued hands. The blue strap?...well, it's a standard size.

    I haven't read much about this, and most reviewers missed the similarity with the IWC operation (which they bragged about in their review of the IWC), so most folks probably think it works like cheaper GMT watches that use an ETA 2893.

    But with our favorite gray-market shop in New York discounting this watch very deeply, it was just too good to pass up.

    (Pictures borrowed from Hodinkee article.)

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    Rick "now the wait begins" Denney
    More than 500 characters worth of watches.

  2. #2
    Member wschofield3's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Boston, MA
    A beauty, Rick! Congratulations! I've often admired B&M watches and this one and the Flyback Chrono have always piqued my interest. Looking forward to the pics!

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  4. #3
    Very nice! Thanks for the write up on the workings of the various world timer movements, too.

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  6. #4
    Ich bin ein Ebeler! WWII70's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Boston ex-pat Brit
    Congrats! Nice pickup and clear explanation of how you came to this choice.

    But I am shocked that you didn't gt the Ebel Voyager worldtimer!

    Last edited by WWII70; Apr 12, 2015 at 12:39 PM.
    Ebels (lots), IWC, Omega, FC, Eterna, Tag, Invicta, Movado
    If you are interested in the details

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  8. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by WWII70 View Post
    Congrats but I am shocked that you didn't gt the Ebel Voyager worldtimer!

    I looked at them at various times, but struggled to find one at a reasonable price (and that didn't have a gold bezel). But this is also the cheapest type, where the 24-hour ring is fixed to the 12-hour hand, and one must rotate the bezel to set the GMT offset. It's okay for knowing the local time for members of the global team, but it requires setting the local hand and the resetting the GMT offset during travel.

    That was also my problem with the BTR GMT, though it is undoubtedly easy and quick to use and oh-so-tempting. The B&M and IWC both are self-referencing. If I fly to Dubai, or Tokyo, or Auckland, the 24-hour ring tells me what the 12-hour hand should be pointed to. I can set the watch to a new timezone in about five seconds without upsetting the world time reading and without even hacking the movement. And GMT is always at the top.

    (And, while the way you and I have been buying Ebels makes them a fantastic value, the price on the B&M was in a similar range. And it's a little like buying an Ebel Chronosport and getting a Zenith El Primero movement--the appeal to the B&M is partly that it is like a conservative sedan for Dad that has a hopped-up V8 muscle-car engine that would appeal to Junior.)

    Rick "not confusing this functionalitty with dual-timezone functionality like the Classic Hexagon or JLC Master Hometime" Denney
    Last edited by Rdenney; Apr 12, 2015 at 04:03 AM.
    More than 500 characters worth of watches.

  9. #6
    Classy watch! And with a useful complication...what's not to like? Congrats, Rick!

    Eterna | Tudor | Seiko | Casio | G-Shock | Orient | Swatch | Mondaine | Zodiac (pre-Fossil) | Rolex | Wenger | Pulsar Time Computer | Omega | Timex | Bucherer | Citizen | Bulova | Glycine

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  11. #7
    El bot. geoffbot's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    West Sussex, UK
    Looks good, Rick! Your thorough explanation of the different executions of gmt, worldtime and true worldtime still has me scratching my thick head though; I'll have to watch some videos again to remind myself (I did this last year...)

    Is this how it works?
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  13. #8
    Adjusted in 6 positions tempocalypse's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Congrats! Very nice.

    Did you look at the Frederique Constant world timer? I dont know if its functionality meets your requirements but its certainly interesting and in house. However the looks are ruined for me with a large circular date dial that intersects the world time ring.

    The B&M on the other hand has a lot going for it in terms of legibility.
    Watch centric instagram: @tempocalypse

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  15. #9
    That's a really beautiful watch. I've never been sure why, but GMT is probably my favourite complication, so it's interesting to see different implementations.

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  17. #10
    Congrats! And thank you for the write up. I learn something new, and if I ever start looking for a world timer, I know what to look out for (functionally), and not just based on looks.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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