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Hands-on – Delma Cayman Worldtimer Automatic

hands-on-–-delma-cayman-worldtimer-automatic

Although Delma isn’t the most familiar brand, it’s one we’ve covered several times on MONOCHROME because of its excellent quality/price ratio. The recent vintage-inspired Continental Chronographs are solid examples, offering well-executed and diverse models for under EUR 3,000. This latest Cayman Worldtimer Automatic follows the simpler Cayman Automatic diver line with an added GMT hand and world cities on the external rotating bezel. Not a true world timer from the likes of Vacheron Constantin or Patek Philippe (with internal rotating 24-hour ring), but it gets the job done for a fraction of the price.

BACKGROUND

Delma isn’t a relatively new microbrand or the like (if you’re unfamiliar with the brand), but an almost century-old, independent Swiss watchmaker that’s family owned. It’s known for sporty dive watches and chronographs with dress and ladies’ models as well. The new Cayman Worldtimer is a GMT watch with 24 world cities engraved on a rotating bezel, requiring a quick manual adjustment to align the time zones with the current local time. Pricey world timers from some of the most prestigious brands feature 37 time zones via major cities (some with half or quarter-hour differences) and automatically rotating internal disks, but 24 time zone models are more common – the globe has 24 time zones by the hour. World time was established in 1884, but Swiss watchmaker Louis Cottier created the first movement to show all 24 time zones on a single dial. For a more comprehensive look, see our Technical Perspective on Travel Watches.  

CASE & DESIGN

The Delma Cayman Worldtimer employs the same case as the more entry-level Cayman Automatic diver with a diameter of 42mm and height of 13.6mm. The case is brushed save for the case back and polished bevels on the lugs. The signed, screw-down crown is slightly oversized for easy use and allows for an impressive water resistance of 500 meters. Despite this depth rating, there’s still a mineral glass exhibition case back. The domed sapphire crystal is surrounded by a bidirectional rotating bezel with an aluminium insert. In lieu of a diver’s scale, 24 cities are engraved in two rows and represent the world’s time zones. The bezel comes in either black or blue, depending on dial colour, and rotation is smooth and precise. By setting the local city at 12 o’clock, the remaining cities are timed via the internal 24-hour scale. Strap options include black or blue calfskin leather with white stitching and steel pin buckle, or a stainless steel Milanese bracelet with folding clasp. 

DIAL & HANDS

In addition to the world cities, the Cayman Worldtimer has a dedicated GMT hand for easy tracking of a second time zone – it also doubles as a day/night indicator. It has a traditional triangular red tip with Super-LumiNova, while the silver hour, minute and seconds hands also have lume inserts. Round applied indices with lume mark the hours with prominent rectangular indices at 6, 9 and 12 o’clock. A bevelled date window sits at 3 o’clock. An internal 24-hour scale spans the outer perimeter with black and blue halves (between 6 and 18) for quick day/night reference. Dial colours include Abyss Black with black bezel, Deep Blue with blue bezel and Lustrous Silver with black bezel, and all have a sunray-brushed finish. 

MOVEMENT

There’s a Ronda quartz version of the Worldtimer, but our focus is on the ETA 2893 automatic (GMT variant of the ETA 2982). It has 21 jewels, beats at 28,800vph (4Hz) with a 50-hour power reserve. Functions include central hours, minutes, hacking seconds, GMT and date. Seen from the exhibition caseback, it’s decorated with perlage and Côtes de Genève on the rotor with Delma’s logo engraved. 

FINAL THOUGHTS

Delma has a mature, nicely designed GMT version of the Cayman Automatic diver that doesn’t sacrifice water-resistance as it strays a bit from the traditional diver aesthetic. Although not a true world timer, it certainly gets the job done in practice and remains an accessible piece without the more complicated movement. All three colour options are subdued and sporty and coupled with the strap options, there’s a healthy variety for many tastes. 

The Cayman Worldtimer Automatic retails for EUR 2,050 with the leather strap or EUR 2,150 for the Milanese bracelet. For more information and to make a purchase, visit Delma’s website. 

Technical specifications – Delma Cayman Worldtimer Automatic

Case:
42mm diameter x 13.6mm height – stainless steel (polished and brushed) – domed sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating – mineral glass exhibition caseback – bidirectional rotating bezel with aluminium insert and 24 reference cities – screw-down crown – 500m water-resistance

Dial:
Abyss Black, Deep Blue or Lustrous Silver with sunray-brushed finish – silver hour, minute and seconds hands with Super-LumiNova inserts – GMT hand with red tip and lume insert – applied indices with lume – inner flange with 24-hour scale – date at 3 o’clock

Movement:
ETA 2893 GMT calibre – automatic – 21 jewels – 28,800vph (4Hz) – 50-hour power reserve – central hours, minutes, hacking seconds, GMT and date – decorated with perlage and Côtes de Genève on rotor

Strap:
black or blue calfskin leather with white stitching and pin buckle


or stainless steel Milanese bracelet with folding clasp

Price:
EUR 2,050 (leather strap)


EUR 2,150 (Milanese bracelet)

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