No, I am not saying the UI is broken. For one, I don't use Gnome, so I don't have the option to get to the date/time configuration application through an icon on my desktop panel. It's possible that Gnome is using an application that you launch from your panel clock icon that I don't have/see.
Is the date/time configuration application the same when launched from panel icon and from cli "# system-config-date", or two different apps?
You can access the date/time configuration application from the main applications menu, no need to launch it via the command line. One should be prompted for root privileges in that case. I launch system-config-date from cli as root since I am not prompted to enter roots password when launched from the menu and thus it won't run.
I will also point out, that in the system-config-date application, there are two tabs. The Timezone tab, where you select timezone and whether to use local or UTC time, and the Date and Time tab, where you either select your NTP client settings if you are syncing your time via the internet, or, set the date/time manfully if you are not using network time syncing.