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When a brand is first established, it often takes years for a clear identity to reveal itself. It’s a matter of releasing new models that build upon each other and create cohesiveness within the catalog. But right from the beginning, ZTAGE has made its brand identity clear: bold, modern design and uncompromising quality. It’s easier said than done, but with several model lines and a handful of limited editions, it’s clear that ZTAGE has established itself at the forefront of Swiss watchmaking, with watches designed with a shared DNA and manufactured to the highest standards. The brand’s latest additions expand its Hybrid Original Worldtimer series with vibrant violet and olive dials that offer dazzling chromatic displays.

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ZTAGE was founded in 2017 by Franco Wong and Cyrus Wong, who that same year had started a watch retail and repair outlet after over 40 years of combined experience in the watch industry. The pair’s experience and expertise with some of the most highly regarded Swiss brands, along with that of industry veteran and ZTAGE Chief Technical Officer K.K. Chan, is evident in the brand’s watches. Upon receiving the watches, the hardwood watch box with its polished push-button opened immediately, making it clear that ZTAGE is no horological dalliance — it’s a serious watchmaking brand. Any remaining doubt is put to rest upon opening the watch box, when the watch’s exquisite finishing and stunning dials will instantly captivate a new owner.

The Ztage Hybrid Original Worldtimer immediately impresses on the wrist. At 43mm-wide and 13.2mm-tall, the stainless steel case allows the watch’s luxurious finishing to shine in full. While the Worldtimer takes foundational cues from icons of watchmaking past, it is truly unique, with a bold, architectural form that brings those past icons into the present. ZTAGE has used a blend of wide, brushed surfaces — like the angled lugs and the prominent bolted bezel — as well as polished accents along almost every edge. The superlative finishing and cutting-edge design give the watch an incomparable flair as it dazzles in at every angle. 


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The case is comprised of nine different primary components, hand-finished in 30 steps, including the bezel, which features a raised design inspired by a regal crown, creating separation by lifting it off the case. The case’s flanks are especially intriguing, having been carved out to create a striking profile and give the case an even more dynamic aesthetic. At 3 o’clock, a pronounced screw-down crown features a novel luminescent bead and helps to afford 50m of water resistance. It is perfectly proportioned to the case and ideally sized for easy use — you’ll have no trouble quickly adjusting the time when you arrive at your destination.

The watch is completed with a fitted stainless steel bracelet that seamlessly transitions from the case for an uninterrupted presence on the wrist. The bracelet repeats the case’s incredible finishing: the tapering H-links and smaller center links are brushed, and each edge has been beveled and polished. Sizing is easy with single screws, while a push-button butterfly clasp maintains a low profile and visual continuity around the wrist. With a lug-to-lug of just 50mm, the angled lugs and seamlessness of the bracelet make the wearing experience even more enjoyable. 

Under a flat, AR-coated sapphire crystal, the radiant dials put on a show. These two new models add violet and olive options to the existing blue Hybrid Original Worldtimer model; while green and blue have become de rigueur over the past 5 years, purple is still a rarely seen color option, as it’s a more challenging color to execute well. ZTAGE has managed this difficult task with a vibrant hue that complements the other models.

The dial strikes a balance of function and beauty. An iridescent city ring surrounds the main dial, giving off a luxurious luster while remaining utterly legible. Concentric to the city ring is the rotating bicolor 24-hour wheel, adjustable via the crown, which allows for the rapid reading of the time in 24 cities, all around the world — the essence of the worldtimer, captured perfectly. 

The central dial is as much art as it is a simple time display and uses Swiss Super-LumiNova to outstanding artistic effect. Surrounded by a slim grey minute track, a fully lumed projection of the northern hemisphere is traced with latitude and longitude lines. The captivating map is rendered in relief, with the lumed landmasses sitting just beneath the color-matched oceans. Smartly, ZTAGE has utilized skeleton hands with lumed ends to minimize obstruction. The remainder of the dial is balanced with lumed applied hour markers and a tasteful 6 o’clock date. Perhaps just as ingenious as the dial itself is the brand placement: ZTAGE is subtly printed on the underside of the crystal, prioritizing the experience of the watch, not the brand.

On the reverse of the case, a complete map of the Earth is offered in polished high-relief. Under the caseback, ZTAGE has equipped the Hybrid Original Worldtimer with the ZTAGE-branded Caliber 1100, based on the Swiss Soprod C125 automatic GMT movement. Not content to simply use an off-the-shelf movement as is, ZTAGE has modified its inner workings to allow for the GMT display via a wheel. The movement is regulated at 5 positions to ensure exceptional timekeeping of -/+6 seconds per day and undergoes 240 hours of testing after full assembly. The Soprod C125 features hacking and 21 jewels, with a power reserve of 42 hours at 28,800 vph. 

Creating a cohesive brand and adhering to that can be challenging in the face of a fickle market, but ZTAGE has remained true to its mission and aesthetic. The new ZTAGE Hybrid Original Worldtimer models bring an exciting splash of color to an already exciting watch brand. ZTAGE has already demonstrated its ability to craft impressive timepieces with unique designs, and now it’s showing it can have a bit of fun without compromising elsewhere.  The new Worldtimers are a testament to that, and to the brand’s staying power. The ZTAGE Hybrid Original Worldtimers are both priced at $3,680 USD and are both limited to 300 pieces per year. Pre-orders will run from May 19, 2023, to May 21, 2023. For more information, please visit the brand’s website.

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