What Is A Dual-Time Watch?

Curren Men's Dual Time Watch (Dial 4.9cm) - CUR 132 – Curren Watches

The dual watches display two different times at the same time. Most commonly, you’ll see a sundial somewhere on its dial indicating the second time, which can be hours and minutes or strictly hours on a 12-hour scale. Most of the time, these will be paired with a subtle day/night indication as well, allowing you to tell what time of day the second time zone you’re currently monitoring is. If you travel frequently or work with people from all over the world, a watch that displays multiple time zones at once will come in handy.

A Dual Time watch is very easy to use. It displays two different time zones at the same time. Consider it a miniature clock on the larger dial. It typically includes an AM-PM display as well as time on a 12-hour scale, allowing you to determine whether it is day or night in the second time zone you are reading. For each hour difference, you’d want to rotate the bezel.

The insert with 12-hour markers on a rotating bezel can also be used to create a second-time zone. When most people travel, a Dual Time watch is a must-have accessory, with the main dial displaying the destination’s local time and the sub-dial displaying their home time zone.

A dual-time watch differs from a traditional hours and minutes watch in two ways.

To begin, the second-hour hand must read 24 hours. Two additional wheels are added to the motion works to accomplish this. A second-minute wheel is mounted coaxially and drives a 24-hour wheel at a 1:8 ratio. Combining the cannon pinion to minute wheel ratio of 1:3 and the minute wheel to 24-hour wheel ratio of 1:8 yields a ratio of 1:24, which works perfectly for the 24-hour hand. The primary hour hand on a dual-time watch must be independently adjustable in hour increments, which is the second difference. The hour hand is attached to a post on the hour wheel. This post has a star wheel with 12 teeth on its outer edge. These teeth interact with a detent spring on the hour wheel, allowing it to be adjusted in 12 one-hour increments.

Best Dual Watces

Patek Philippe Nautilus Travel Time Chronograph (Patek Philippe Nautilus Travel Time Chronograph)

Watch of the Week: Patek Philippe Nautilus Travel Time Chronograph

Despite using a central hand to indicate the second time zone, the Patek Philippe Nautilus Travel Time Chronograph is classified as a dual timepiece. Its central hand has a 12-hour scale and day/night indicators for both local and home times.

Dual Time Ulysse Nardin

Ulysse Nardin - Blast Dual Time 42mm - 243-20-3/43

The Ulysse Nardin Dual Time is a striking combination of practical dual-time functionality and elevated style for those looking for something a little more elegant and a little less sporty. The second time zone is displayed in a small window at 9 o’clock on a white dial, and there is a date window at 2 o’clock.

DTZ Faberge Visionnaire

Faberge Visionnaire DTZ from Fabergé - Chronopassion

The Faberge Visionnaire DTZ, easily the most unique entrant in the category, and one we immediately fell in love with when it launched in 2016, takes a unique and functional approach to the dual time complication. At the center of the dial is a 24-hour digital display of local time, which is adjustable via a quickset pusher at 10 o’clock.


  • Displays two time zones at the same time.
  • It has a subdial that shows the second time on a 12-hour scale.
  • Frequently includes a subtle day/night indication
  • If you’re a frequent traveller and timekeeper, the robust capabilities of a GMT may suit you well. However, if you travel for business or pleasure on a regular basis and only need a quick glance at a different time zone, a dual time watch is likely to be preferable and more user-friendly.

Hopefully, this article was helpful in answering some of your clock-related questions. If you have any clock-related questions, feel free to use the comment section below. And if you want to know why clocks don’t appear in dreams, we have a great article on just that so do give it a click if you are interested “Why don’t clocks appear in dreams? Clocks and dreams!“. Here is also a link about the history of clocks if you want to give that a look “History of timekeeping devices

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