I’ve checked out a number of models, angles, and versions both new and existing of one of Girard-Perregaux’s most diverse collection of watches – and I have some nice images of a few of the best. The ww.tc is a collection with a name I don’t understand, but a usefulness that is more than apparent. I never really “got” the watch until I was able to personally check the collection out. I can say one thing for sure, if you ever get a Girard-Perregaux ww.tc watch, you will find it very hard to go back to a timepiece that just tells you the time.
Actually, I do know what “ww.tc” stands for (even though it is a silly set of characters for such a cool watch. It stands for “World Wide Time Control.” This sounds like a device that a vintage era James Bond villain would have come up with, but the idea is sound. The idea is to be able and tell the time of any of the major world time zones right on the dial. This is done with a special type of rotating 24 hour disc and the labeling of the major reference cities around the periphery of the dial. System can also be used to tell which direction the sun is moving, and whether it is day or night time in cities. I say “major timezones” because we have something like 40 or more of them on Earth, but knowing 24 of them is what most people need.
There are probably over a dozen models of the ww.tc available right now. There are chronograph versions, small seconds version, perpetual calendars, power reserve models, and ones with fanciful timezone reference cities such as the ww.tc 24 Hour Shopping version for the ladies. I focused on the chronograph versions as they have a particularly chic look. Plus the newest version in ceramic is really awesome. That is the Girard Perregaux ww.tc Shadow. It is basically the same as the standard Financial version but in an all ceramic case and it has a Flyback style chronograph. All the men’s ww.tc watches are 43mm wide. The ceramic case of the ww.tc Shadow is incredible. Usually ceramic cases are made in modern or different looking styles, but Girard Perregaux took the standard shape of the watch in did it in ceramic. They could have done PVD steel, or a DLC coating, but they opted for the more complex ceramic. It is done in a brushed finish (not shiny), so it doesn’t look like something from Chanel. The ceramic is light, hard, and very tough to scratch.
You can also see that Girard Perregaux can get a significantly different look from the watch by changing the case material, hands, and the hour markers. Not to mention of course the dial colors and the trim. The same look can go from really classy in all he ww.tc Financial watches to sporty in the ww.tc Chronograph, and the Shadow. Then there are the ww.tc Small Second versions and other similar non chrono models. These have a more chic and simple look, but retain the clever world time functions. Case materials can be found in steel, titanium, ceramic, white gold, pink gold, and maybe more.
I have to admit that when I first learned about the ww.tc watches a while back, I had no idea how to read them. They just sort of looked cool, but confusing. Once you figure out how they work, they become really obvious how to use. As a hint, the crown on the left of the case rotates the outer ring that has all the city names on it. Now that I understand what the watch does, I would probably choose it as my travel watch of choice.
Movement wise you are getting some nice in-house manufacture action by Girard Perregaux. The movement model will vary given that there a few complication varieties in the watch. Each is an automatic and has about 46 hours of power reserve. The case are water resistant to 65 feet, which is OK given their purposes. The dials have lots of lume (more or less though depending on the models), and of course the dial has a sapphire crystal. I also like the unique positioning of the date window between 1 and 2 o’clock. It just makes it that much different. Here is another under-appreciate watch in the world of haute horology – at least in the US. Girard Perregaux makes some fantastic stuff. Much of it doesn’t have a “wow’ factor that some other new models have, but what I can say is that Girard Perregaux makes a lot of fine watches that can grow on you like a good, trust friend. Prices for the ww.tc watches usually ranges from about $13,000 – $25,000, depending on the model.