Time travel

If you've ever read any novels by Jules Verne, you will know (and lament) how the art of travel has been lost somewhat. People don't travel by ocean liner anymore, or spend weeks crossing continents on trains. And as for the quaint idea of circumnavigating the globe in 80 days, well, nowadays you can condense that into a rather brutal three or four days. Still, we don't all have to succumb to the convenience of modern transportation. Some of us prefer a more languid style - or at least want to appear like we do - and the right watch will set one on the right path.

The more intrepid traveller - that is, the one likely to carry a compass in one pocket and a Swiss Army knife in the other - will likely take a fancy to the Ball Trainmaster Worldtime Chronograph. Priced at an eminently reasonable HK$28,380, the watch is a flurry of dials and indicators, perfect for those constantly on the move. It has two main complications - a chronograph and world time - but it's the little touches that make it a travelling must-have.

The watch is water-resistant to 50 metres and even has certified shock resistance, so it can take some punishment. Another feature is that it can be easily read in the dark, with the hour markers and the three hands all made of microtubes filled with luminescent gas. The stainless-steel case is a robust 42mm, providing more than enough space for the world time functions, which can feature 24 time zones. The Ball Trainmaster Worldtime Chronograph comes with a black crocodile leather strap, and is available with either a black or white dial.

Famous for catering to gentlemen with a sense of emprise, luxury goods company Davidoff (which has a cologne titled Davidoff Adventure) has poured some of this spirit into the simple but very elegant Davidoff Velero GMT. The 43mm red-gold case nicely complements the black dial, which has a globe motif, and black alligator leather strap. However, a closer look reveals the complexity within, with the Velero GMT boasting both city and 24 time-zone indicators at the nine o'clock position, meaning the watch can simultaneously - but unobtrusively - indicate different times. Other features include a 42-hour power reserve, a date window at the three o'clock position, and hands and hour indices coated in Super-Luminova. The Davidoff Velero GMT was launched at the latest BaselWorld, so is yet to be priced for the Hong Kong market.

For any elite traveller used to private jets and plush accommodations, a first-class watch would be welcome company - and the limited-edition Bulgari Papillon Voyageur is just the ticket. Designed by renowned master watchmaker Daniel Roth, the timepiece is as technically brilliant as it is stunning. It indicates three time zones: the local hour (jumping hour) indicated by the window at the 12 o'clock position, along with two other time zones which are displayed using an ingenious mechanism that is difficult to explain, but is guaranteed to attract admiring glances.

The 18-carat pink-gold case comes in a double ellipse shape, making it a rather hefty 46mm at certain points. Additionally, the Papillon Voyageur is water-resistant to 30 metres, has a 45-hour power reserve and comes with a lovely brown alligator strap. A supreme choice for the well-heeled, Bulgari has limited production to just 99 pieces, each priced at HK$400,000.

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