September 22, 2014
by Ariel Adams
For years, I have been in search of the perfect travel watch. It would actually be nice to have just one timepiece to travel with, but that never seems to be the case. The search for the most useful travel watches has resulted in some interesting finds, and while nothing is perfect, I like to discuss those options available for people who travel to different time zones. Today, I will be reviewing the Vogard Business Officer Timezoner, which is part of its Timezoner complication collection.
For reasons I won’t go into, the watch model is not called the “Timezoner” (even though it is often referred to as that) but rather “Timezoner” is the name of the complication. This particular version on the while rubber strap isn’t part of the companies official catalog, but is essentially a version of the Vogard Business Officer collection on a different strap. So what is the Timezoner complication all about?
Mike Vogard (who started Vogad, of course) had an interesting idea to create a travel watch that allows the wearer to change the timezones by turning only the bezel. The system, which is a few years old now, is still quite cool and makes for a very pleasing, albeit simple, travel timepiece. To adjust the timezone, you must first fold down the latch-style section on the side of the case which unlocks the bezel, allowing it to turn.
Once the latch/lever is open, you can turn the bezel in both directions, which advances the hour hand forward when turned clockwise, or turns the hour hand backwards when turned counterclockwise. The bezel is designed to click in one hour segments. Assuming you properly set the time at your current location, you use the reference cities on the bezel to know what timezone you are moving to. Alternatively, if you just know that where you are going is “five hours ahead” of where you started, you just need to turn the bezel five times.
Like I said, the system is elegant and simple, and very easy to understand and operate. The way Vogard mixes up the various models that feature the Timezoner complication is by playing with the dial as well as the bezel. There are a range of themed versions of the watch, with bezels that have standard reference cities, the names of major golf courses, shopping destinations, etc… Vogard even places a small “s” next to those cities that observe daylight saving times.
After the Timezone complication watches, Vogard went further with the more complicated Chronozoner and Datezoner. These increase the functionality of the basic system. Those other two models both have chronograph complications, and the Datezoner is able to move the date forward and backwards as well. Larger than the classic Timezoner models, the Chronozoner and Datezoner arguably have the masculine elegance of a model like the Vogard Business Officer Timezoner.
Vogard watches with the Timezoner complication have 43mm wide cases with bezels that are a touch wider at 44mm. This Vogard Business Officer Timezoner model has a steel case which has been PVD-coated black. There are also polished and brushed steel models, as well as Timezoner watches in 18k gold.
What I’ve always really liked about Vogard’s watches with the Timezoner complication, such as the Vogard Business Officer Timezoner, is the dial design and legibility. There are various looks depending on the model family, but overall, this one showcases the best of the brand’s distinctive yet conservative look. Vogard starts with well-rendered hands done in a bold sword style.
You’ll notice that Vogard opted for a satinized versus brushed or polished finishing for the hands. Polished hands are usually the default for brands, and probably the worst choice 90% of the time. Why? Polished hands reflect light which causes blur and distortion. This is especially true because most hands are stamped and thus slightly rounded. When such hands are polished they are a legibility nightmare. Brushed hands are better, but it is difficult to get the finishing right in order to make them appear of a high quality.