Drawing on the romance of travel and adventure, this IMHOF ‘Heure Universelle’ World Time clock perfectly captures the excitement of the jet set age. It’s a contemporary mid-century desk clock with a map of the globe and the ability to read world time at the glance of an eye, in a smaller and much rarer “travel clock” size, than the somewhat larger desk variants.
GMT and the Golden Age of Travel
The first ever scheduled commercial flight took place in 1914, between the towns of St Petersburg and Tampa, in Florida.
This “airboat line” was a long way from what many people consider the Golden Age of air travel in the 1950s and 1960s. The significant growth of passenger planes at this time led to commercial flying becoming a staple of certain people’s lives, with the ability to get from New York to Los Angeles in less than a day.
Those that found themselves regularly crossing these time zones, more often than anyone else, were the pilots; this newly created class of men, who could be spotted from the other side of a terminal, thanks to their well-pressed uniforms and luggage in tow. To assist them with this, a new type of watch needed to come into existence. Enter the GMT. The most recognisable of these watches is the Rolex GMT-Master, with the first model – the 6542 – coming onto the market in 1955. While watches had been issued to pilots and servicemen of the armed forces for decades by this point, issuing tool watches to a group of civilians was a fairly new concept. However, partnered with Pan American Airways, Rolex provided all of their pilots with their now iconic, Pepsi bezel watch. Read more here.