Traveling Timepieces: 10 GMT/Dual Time Zone Watches

Guides | 04.23.2012

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So you’re off to your sister’s wedding in Sydney, huh? Cool, sounds like fun. Got your suit, some spiffy shoes, great. But what watch are you taking? Hey remember, we’re going to be several hours behind you here in the states. How are you going to make sure you don’t drunk dial us from the reception and have it be crazy early in the morning? You, my friend, need a watch that tracks two time zones, so you’ll always be sure.

Rather than doing the time zone shuffle with your watch when you travel, resetting the time when you reach your destination, traveling with a dual time zone (or GMT) watch can help sometimes prevent the need for manually adjusting the time. There are a number of options for watches that will display (at least) two timezones that are great for traveling, or great just because we love our watches and complications. Let’s review a few options.

Casio G-Shock GD-100MS-1
($85 – $100)

The obvious place to start is with a digital quartz given the complications that can be made available at a relatively low price. This example, the Casio G-Shock GD-100MS-1 boasts time in 31 locations around the globs among it’s features. Plus you are getting G-Shock ruggedness and 200M water resistance to go along with all the other functions packed into this watch. And, it’s just cool.

Bulova Marine Star GMT 96B125
($125-162)

Another quartz option but this time analog. The Bulova is a sharp looking watch with a titanium case and bracelet, so it will be light even with its 44mm case size. 100M water resistance makes it vacation friendly, as long as you’re not doing any deep diving.

Citizen Nighthawk ($237)

The Nighthawk is a pilot style GMT watch that incorporates a slide rule dial ring and a diver’s WR rating (200M). The GMT is read in the center-left area of the watch via a dual-ended GMT hand with different color tips for each 12 hour segment. Despite the somewhat busy dial the large sword hands make it highly legible.  It’s a 42mm quartz watch that will never need a battery thanks to its ECO-Drive engine inside.

Orient Excursionist GMT ($375, look for those 30% off coupons to drop to $262.50)

For the explorer in you the Excursionist provides a great option in a sporty case with an in-house made Orient automatic movement. In this instance the 24 hour hand is tracked to the main hour hand and is not adjustable; setting a second time zone is done by the rotating bezel. What could be easier to set than just rotating a bezel? And, the turn is stiff enough that it won’t slip and set you off by a few hours.

Steinhart Aviation GMT Automatic ($490, watch that exchange rate)

For those that like ‘em big and bold this Steinhart is a great choice. Housed inside the 44mm case is an ETA 2893-2 movement which drives the GMT and 24mm lugs will appeal to those strap junkies out there. It is very much a flight inspired piece which means no swimming with this one, but it will knock their socks off in the club or on the pool deck. One of several great GMT choices from this well liked young brand.

Hamilton Khaki Navy GMT ($550 – $750, depending on style)

Here’s a great option for those who are going to spend time in the water. The Navy Diver GMT has the second time zone via a small window in the dial and also has a ring of cities to help you keep track of where you are. The watch is available in a few different looks to provide options for any wrist. The Hamiltion is a solid, well build choice from a trusted brand.

Christopher Ward C60 Trident GMT ($755 strap, $825 bracelet)

If you are looking for something inspired by the iconic Rolex GMT Master design, but is not a direct copy, the Christopher Ward is a great choice. This GMT comes in a variety of bezel color options, contains an ETA 2893-2 automatic movement with an independently adjustable GMT hand and rotating bezel; the best of both worlds. It is a stylish piece that is sure to catch the eye of many a fellow traveler.

Sinn 356 UTC ($1,500+ pre-owned, $2,790 new)

The Sinn 356 UTC is a great traveling watch with a bit of a different feature set than those above. First, it is also a chronograph with an ETA 7750 beating away inside. Secondly, the second time zone is tracked with a yellow hour hand that rotates as normal: one revolution around the dial in twelve hours. For those not used to reading time in the 24 hour format, the Sinn is a great choice. Additionally, when you are at home, the UTC hand can be hidden under the main hour hand, transforuming the watch into a stylish pilot chronograph.

Glycine Airman Base 22
($1,600 – $1,900)

If military time is your thing this is your watch. The Airman is considered among of the classics in the multi-timezone tracking as the watch can track up to three time zones at once. Great for pilots or heave jet setters who are popping in and out of time zones as they go. Unlike the other watches featured here both the “local” time and GMT times are tracked in 24 hours, making it a bit unique by comparison.

Oris Artelier Worldtimer
($1,700 pre-owned – $2,100 new)

When it comes to ease of adjustment it is hard to beat the Oris Artelier Worldtimer. The additional time zone is displayed in a dial within the main dial complete with its own hour and minute hand. Time is adjusted back or forward using the pushers at 8 and 4 o’clock; piece of cake. It’s a dressier styled watch with limited water resistance and that great Oris red rotor beneath the display case back. Look for one gently used to save yourself a few bucks.

There you have a few options to wet your appetite and get you going. GMT watches can be very useful, very fun and very addicting. If you have a favorite GMT we did not cover here, pop it into the comments and share.

  • http://divewatchesnow.info Charles S. Deming

    My watch is about a hour behind..