What makes a GMT watch tick? These are 6 of the best in the world right now

When travelling the world this summer you'll need the right watch to keep track of all those timezones

The modern gentleman will, for business or pleasure, likely spend a fair share of his time jet-setting around the globe. But, while these travels can be exciting, there are also many difficulties that come with globe-trotting. From jet lag to mislaying your luggage, all are annoying, but nothing so compares to the pain of losing track of the date or time.

Enter the GMT watch, a wrist-strapped saviour every traveller should invest in to ensure that when- or wherever they travel, they always stay on time — be that for meetings, dinner or simply sunning yourself on the beach.

"Enter the GMT watch, a wrist-strapped saviour every traveller should invest in..."

With two time-zones, this style is perfect for keeping on top of time, and GMT watches also always come with something more than your usual seconds, minutes and hours hands. An extra hand will display a second timezone, that rotates around the dial every 24 hours and is read off the bezel — itself marked with 24-hour markings.

This bezel is also often two-toned, to ensure that you can clearly read if its night or day in your desired timezone. Still confused? Check out this infographic below:

What makes a GMT watch tick? These are 6 of the best in the world right now

Now you’re familiar with what makes a GMT, take a look at some of the best examples out there. These are our favourite 6 to take on your summer travels…

Tudor Black Bay GMT

This classic example of a GMT was released at Baselworld just this year, with the brand adding a classic complication to the already storied Black Bay range.

It brings classic styling features from both Tudor — the snowflake GMT hand — and their sister company Rolex — the Pepsi bezel.

Very unfussy in design, this GMT has nothing cluttering the dial and no precious metals to assault your bank account too ferociously. It simply tells you what you want, when you what it to. Exactly what a GMT should do.

Grand Seiko Blue Ceramic Hi-beat GMT

Not all watches are crafted from stainless steel and gold. Ceramic is growing in popularity thanks to its strength and scratch-proofness. The perfect material if you want to put your watch on and forget about it while on the move.

Not only have Grand Seiko used this fantastic zirconia ceramic, but they’ve rendered it in a beautiful shade of blue. Giving a rich feel to the deep blue coloured bezel and dial that will continue to look immaculate for years to come, this is one to seriously consider.

What makes a GMT watch tick? These are 6 of the best in the world right now

Grand Seiko Blue Ceramic Hi-beat GMT


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Bell & Ross BR-V2-93 24H

The classic aviation brand, Bell & Ross, have been obsessed with travel since their inception, making flight instruments. With their latest GMT, the brand has melded contemporary design elements with their historic aviation past. A slim 41mm case makes this comfortable enough to wear everyday, yet is still large enough to be read in the low light of a first class transatlantic cabin.

We are big fans of the subtle colour shift from black to grey on the rotating bezel — this watch doesn’t shout that it’s a GMT, rather whispering the fact for those in the know.

Panerai Luminor Due GMT 45mm

Not all GMT watches adhere to the strict rules laid out above. For example, this Panerai doesn’t have a rotating bezel, nor does its GMT hand do a complete rotation every 24 hours. Rather, it completes this in a considerably speedier 12 hours.

But what this watch lacks in conventionality, it makes up for with ruggedness and reliableness. And Panerai’s expertise in the submersible world is evident in the model’s near indestructible crown lock and impressive 300m water resistance.

You’ve also got a power reserve indicator on the dial to help you know how many hours of movement you have left out of a possible 72. Handy.

What makes a GMT watch tick? These are 6 of the best in the world right now

Panerai Luminor 1950 3 days GMT Power Reserve


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Rolex GMT Master II

This is the quintessential GMT watch. When someone says GMT, this is the watch that should spring to mind. And for good reason.

Originally designed as a tool watch for pilots to use, the Master II was duly adopted by Pan-Am pilots as they hopped between timezones. In recent years it has been a status symbol to distinguish those who flew business on a regular basis and those who peer through the curtain longingly from economy.

Now, they’ve made the GMT Master II in Oystersteel, and the jubilee bracelet has seen it nod nostalgically to its tool watch roots.

Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean 600m

There are watches that catch your eye, and then there are those that demand your attention like a charging supercar or beautiful woman. This is one of those supercar, beautiful woman watches.

Thanks to its striking blue case and dial with orange highlights, there is no missing the time with this timepiece. And it’s the inner bezel here that has those crucial 24-hour markers — off which the bright orange GMT hand is read.

The watch also comes with some serious credentials, with 600m water resistance. This means you can take the watch anywhere from 35,000ft in the air to deep sea diving on the great barrier reef. It’s not your everyday watch, but when you’re travelling the world, when do you ever have an ordinary day?

What makes a GMT watch tick? These are 6 of the best in the world right now

Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean 600m Big Blue

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Check out another of our favourite watch collections this week, the new Panerai Submersible range…

Further Reading