World Time desktop Clock | "Heure Universelle" | 8 Day

Fully Serviced

Regular price

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World Time desktop Clock | "Heure Universelle" | 8 Day

Fully Serviced

Regular price

Recently fully serviced, this IMHOF “Heure Universelle” World Time Clock is a charming relic of the past, capturing the excitement of a period when the world felt like it was getting increasingly smaller, following the advent of the jet age. With its icy blue and silver map of the globe, this Heure Universelle allows one to catch a glimpse of the time in two dozen different time zones, from Hong Kong to New York. 

The World Time Complication

By its very nature, the world time or heure universelle complication is one imbued in the romance of travel and adventure in varied, exciting locations. Invented in the 1930s by the Geneva watchmaker Louis Cottier, a world time displays real time in key cities across the planet’s twenty-four time zones. Cottier’s ingenious mechanism - used by Vacheron Constantin and Patek Philippe amongst others - laid the foundation for world time watches ever since. In 1959, Patek Philippe obtained a patent for Cottier's device, with the manufacture having since become synonymous with the complication. 

This Heure Universelle clock, produced by Arthur IMHOF SA in La Chaux-de-Fonds, builds on the established tradition of world time pieces. Founded in 1924, Arthur IMHOF SA was known for the manufacture of elegant desk and table clocks during the mid-20th century. An advertisement from an Italian magazine from the ‘50s, describes the brand as a maker of “pendulettes d’art” - which roughly translates to "artistic table clocks". 

A Distinctive Approach

For their interpretation of the World Time Clock, IMHOF chose to focus the movement and visual representation on the South Pole, whereas most other systems tend to focus on the North Pole. Holding both Swiss and American patents for this approach, this simple modification allows for instantaneous reading of the time, without the need for a special mechanism or correction. 

The mechanics

The dial consists of a rotating central disc on which the four continents and their respective twenty-four time zones are represented. This central disc turns and makes a full rotation every twelve hours. A second mobile dial indicates the respective time of each region, making one rotation every twenty-four hours, letting one know whether it is day or night in a specific location. Requiring careful manipulation, the central disc with the twenty-four time zones can only be set when the hands and outer ring as set at twelve o’clock. The 15 jewel movement features an eight-day power reserve. 

A Contemporary Design

This IMHOF “Heure Universelle” World Time Clock features a distinctively contemporary design, with a silver-toned case, dial and hands. The ocean of the map is rendered in an icy blue shade, which subtly complements the general aesthetic of the piece. The brushed outer ring features applied indexes and numerals, with an “IMHOF” and “SWISS” signature discretely placed at 6 o’clock.

This IMHOF “Heure Universelle” Clock wonderfully captures the sense of adventure and intrigue of the world time complication, to be enjoyed and glanced at occasionally, while placed on a desk or a book shelf.

Brand: Arthur IMHOF SA
Model: World Time "Heuer Universelle" Clock
Functions: worldtime clock with 24 time zones with daytime/nighttime indicator, hours, minutes
Features: world map on the dial, 8-day power reserve
Case: chrome plated, 15cm in diameter (4.6mm thick at one end and 2.2cm thick at the other)
Crystal: plexiglass
Year: c. 1960s

This  IMHOF “Heure Universelle” Clock has been recently serviced, and remains in very good working condition. The outer-case shows signs of wear consistent with age and there is a slight mark on the dial, above the twelve o'clock marker.

It should be noted that the mechanism should be delicately handled, as the central disc with the twenty-four time zones can only be set when the hands and outer ring as set at twelve o’clock. Mishandling it can cause damage to the mechanism. It comes with a one-year mechanical warranty from A Collected Man.

We offer worldwide delivery on all of our objects. 

If ordering before 1 PM, your collectable will be sent the same working day. The courier will depend on the value of the object, with all items will delivered by DHL Express.

You may cancel your order without giving any reason, within 14 days from the day the object has been delivered to you. Any reclaimable import duties will however remain your responsibility.

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