The combination of universal time and the alarm clock function is extremely rare on the market. However, it is extremely useful. And it wasn’t until the renewal of Edouard Koehn that it came to light again.
For watch enthusiasts, universal time is an iconic complication. This function, which allows you to read the time of the entire planet at a glance and at any time, was invented by the Geneva watchmaker Louis Cottier (1894-1966). His ingenious system was developed and perfected by Patek Philippe on the famous “world time” watches, whose models from the 1940s and 1950s in particular fetched astronomical prices at auctions.
Whether it’s waking up a sleeper, reminding him/her of an appointment time, or letting the diver know it’s time to start their trip, the alarm clock is undoubtedly the key, one of the most useful features a wristwatch can offer. It is also one of the oldest watchmaking complications, if not the oldest, if we refer to the first mechanisms of the Middle Ages in charge of awakening the monks at the time of prayer. Very popular in the 1950s and 1960s, the mechanical alarm clock lost its aura before coming back to the fore with vigor. In recent years, in fact, we have seen a proliferation of mechanical watches that give pride of place to this sonic complication, even among the most exclusive brands with extremely expensive models.
In the light of the above, it will be understood that the combination of the “universal time” function and the alarm clock should make all enthusiasts and connoisseurs of watchmaking dream. In reality, this double offering had hardly been offered in the catalog of big-name brands for several years. In the end, it was the independent Swiss watch brand Edouard Koehn who brought this double complication back to light by recently launching the “World Heritage” model in a limited edition of 88 pieces. It offers a universal hour per central disc over 24 hours and an alarm clock. The 42mm titanium case with a sapphire crystal back houses an automatic mechanical movement. It has two barrels, one for the time functions and the other for the wake-up function. Another highlight: This World Heritage model is proposed at USD 7, 500, a much more attractive level than what has been proposed so far by the competition.
History has shown us that sometimes it is not necessary to be ‘Oscar winners’ to be successful and be recognized by the public.
And the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie?
While the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève (GPHG) is about to reveal its list of 2021 awards, it is naturally surprising that this World Heritage Edouard Koehn model is not one of the 84 watches shortlisted by members of the GPHG Academy. Certainly, a mistake. But for this Edouard Koehn model as for certain films absent from the Oscars, history has shown us that sometimes it is not necessary to be “Oscar winners” to be successful and be recognized by the public.