Something about a retro map of the globe on the face of a watch that is cool. TX certain was “retro inspired” in the design of the 530 Series World Time Airport Lounge watch. The latter part of the name referring to the fact that back when air travel was still a somewhat glamorous event, airport lounges often had stylized maps of the world – often with indications of what time it was all over the globe. When the “world became smaller” and travel more accessible to pajama pants wearing travelers, flying started to suck. You pretty much need to be on a private jet or fly business class these days to travel with any sense of dignity.
As a memory of this times long past, TX has designed (and keeps to updated and enhance) the World Time Airport Lounge watch. In addition to the dial with its retro-flair, the watch has a highly curved sapphire crystal over the dial that is meant to remind you of vintage watches that has domed acrylic crystals. Good thing that TX went with a sapphire crystal. The case is 42mm wide and wears a bit large – which is good. I think the size is proper as it is a modern watch in dimensions. The steel case clearly wants to resemble some more expensive watch cases. TX gave it brushed finishing in the middle with polished beveled edges on the lugs and a polished bezel. The chronograph pushers are polished as well and have an interesting black insert ring that looks nice. The watch crown has that deeply engraved TX logo that I always appreciate. With 100 meters of water resistance, along with some interesting details, the quality of the case is OK for the price of the watch.
In addition to the alligator printed leather strap with steel deployment clasp, the watch is available with a steel bracelet. The leather strap offers a bit more of that “authentic vintage’ feel. The dial tones are white and metallic grays. Almost monochromatic save for the red tip of the world time hand. Note the tapered date window that is taken directly from vintage Timex watches. TX even tapers the font of the date on the disc to match the shape of the case – a welcome detail.
Compared to many TX watches, the World Time Airport Lounge has a clean looking dial – really. Aside from the stylized map, the subdials on the dial are not too distracting. It has a retrograde GMT hand for the other second time zone, and a summer/winter indicator. Four hands from the center tell the hours, minutes, seconds, and second time zone reference city indicator. The land masses of the dial map are mirror polished. They don’t distract much from reading the watch, but the fact that the watch hands are the same color sometimes makes them harder to spot in the dial at a quick glance. Time is actually easier to read when looking at the dial from an angle. I appreciate the Arabic hour numeral around the dial, but wish the watch had more/better lume. For darkness viewing you only have lume tips on the hands that really aren’t sufficient.
The second time zone function is really easy to use. The pushers above and below the crown moves the red “T” tipped hand east or west to reference cities. This changes the time in the retrograde GMT subdial to reflect the right hour, and you use the main minute hand on the dial for the minutes. The retrograde hand and dial are actually easy to see don’t blend in with the dial. The problem is that the hours are spaced too closely together. This means that you need to spend a second inspecting the exact hour that the GMT hand is pointing to. Though changing time zones is really easy, and you can quickly see the times around the world. The watch also features a W/S indicators that tells you whether it is summer or winter in the specified timezone. This can help you judge whether daylight saving times applies. You can manually adjust the W/S indicator via a small pusher inset in the case.
The watch movement is a special German designed proprietary quartz movement for TX. Another nice feature it has is the ability to adjust the date in both directions. So while you have a quartz movement, TX can at least claim it is an in-house quartz movement that no one else can use. Each TX movement is like this, and I must admit they get very creative in their movement designs. While most TX watches are wild and modern looking, the 530 series World Time Airport Lounge feels more classy and American in theme. Not too expensive, it s a fun watch that fits a variety of lifestyles and ages. The world map in the background with its globe style design is always interesting look at and attracts the eyes of onlookers frequently. This specific model is reference T3C474, but other versions are available with black dials and in rose gold tones. Actually, the black dial models also have the steel hands, so legibility on those is likely better (but you don’t get the cool mirrored map). Price retails for $495.
Thanks to TX for the review unit. Opinions are 100% independent.