Short for “Greenwich Mean Time“, GMT is probably the most useful mechanical watch complication ever created, capable of keeping time in two different time zones simultaneously.
That’s usually accomplished by having a fourth hand added which acts as a secondary hour hand, which makes a rotation every 24 hours, used to read time at home on the 24 hour scale, often being able to tell if it’s daytime or nighttime, a very practical function when traveling.
Before you go looking for a GMT watch, you should know that there are two types of GMT watches. There’s the “true GMT“, also known as a traveler’s GMT, and the so called “office GMT”.
With the true GMT, the main handset is adjusted independently of the GMT hand, in one hour increments, which makes adjusting local time very easy without disturbing the GMT hand showing time at home.
The office GMT on the other hand works differently, allowing easy adjustment of the GMT hand without disturbing the main handset. But that means that adjusting the local time, or main handset, means resetting the entire watch, which is inconvenient.
True GMT complications are more difficult to make, which also makes them the more expensive of the bunch.
Nevertheless, we’re more inclined towards true GMT watches, so let’s take a closer look at some of the best GMT wristwatches you can buy right now.
20. Bell & Ross BR V2-93 GMT
The Bell & Ross BR V2-93 GMT is a superb traveler’s watch. It strays away from the usual square shaped design that Bell & Ross are well known for, but keeping their recognizable simplicity with a high contrast dial, a monochromatic 24 hour bezel, and an orange tipped GMT hand.
The secondary hand is blacked out for the most part, blending in the black background of the dial, with only the orange tip seemingly moving, which makes for a very interesting effect.
The $3,250 watch comes in a 41mm stainless steel case, with stainless steel bracelet, and it looks extremely handsome.
19. Oris Aquis GMT Date
Oris is ever impressive with its collections, and the Aquis GMT Date is among their best. What’s interesting is that it’s a dive watch at its core, with a 300m depth rating and legible dial, and it also has a GMT function.
This is something rare, but it’s a welcome addition on the market. The watch comes in a 43.5mm stainless steel case, paired with a stainless steel bracelet with superb satin brushed center links.
Probably the best thing about this watch is its affordable price. You would probably expect more than the $2,800 it costs.
18. Longines Spirit Zulu Time
The Longines Spirit Zulu Time is another stunner with a good price, at just a little under $3k. Longines might not be the brand most people would look to for such a timepiece, but the truth is that the brand has long favored the GMT complication.
The Spirit Zulu Time is one of our favorites, featuring several colors, a high contrast dial with gold accents that give it an old world vibe, and a 42mm case that should fit well on most wrists.
17. Bulgari Aluminium GMT
The Bulgari Aluminium GMT is another popular take on the pepsi bezel watch, but one that comes in an aluminum case instead of the ubiquitous stainless steel. The 40mm case is lighter and more comfortable on the wrist, and comes with a rubber bezel that has the brand’s name engraved on it instead of the typical 24 hour scale.
The two toned 24 hour scale is found instead on the outer ring of the dial, giving the watch a fresh look when compared with your typical pepsi bezel piece. The rubber bezel continues nicely with a rubber strap, completing the look of the watch.
The price of the Aluminium GMT rises to just a little under $4k.
16. IWC Pilot’s Watch UTC Spitfire
IWC is the luxury watch brand of choice for many enthusiasts when it comes to pilot watches. But that doesn’t mean they don’t have anything else to offer. Actually, they do, and their UTC Spitfire is a wonderful blend of the pilot style and GMT watch.
But instead of going for the traditional approach, they made it a lot more interesting, opting for a rotating inner disk with a 24 hour track, displayed at the 12 o’clock position.
The IWC Pilot’s Watch UTC Spitfire also comes with a separate date complication at 3 o’clock, and a surprisingly small case, made from bronze, with only 39mm in diameter. Also to be expected is the increase in price, selling for around $5,300.
15. Tudor Black Bay GMT
The Tudor Black Bay GMT is the quintessential pepsi watch for those who don’t have the full budget for the Rolex GMT Master II. It only costs around $4,175, almost three times cheaper than the alternative.
What you get for the money is that vintage charm of the pepsi watch, a quite small case, measuring only 41mm, the high contrast dial with the brand’s highly appreciated snowflake handset, plus a COSC certified chronometer movement, the Caliber MT5652.
14. Breitling Avenger II GMT
Breitling is one of those highly appreciated watchmakers that never compromise on quality and craftsmanship, and their Avenger II GMT shows that.
It’s a very masculine timepiece, with an aviation themed dial, a nice and robust bezel with aviation inspired fonts for the 24 hour scale, and a non slip textured crown that’s very tactile.
Inside, there’s a Breitling 32 automatic movement with a water resistance of 300m. The price of this timepiece rises to around $4,300.
13. Panerai Luminor Due GMT Power Reserve
Panerai might not be an obvious choice for a GMT watch, but they do have some offerings. Their Luminor Due GTM Power Reserve is a particularly interesting one, besides the extra GMT hand, an AM/PM indicator at 9 o’clock, and a power reserve indicator between 4 and 5 o’clock.
The dial is impressive, especially in its brushed sunburst blue variation, but the case is rather large at 45mm, and it also requires quite a hefty budget, at over $12k.
12. Jacob & Co. EpiC SF24
The Jacob & Co. EpiC SF24 is a rather peculiar and extravagant sight. Besides the uncommon dial design, the GMT function comes in the form of a split-flap complication at the top of the dial, which requires the push of a button on its side to display a different timezone and its associated city.
This isn’t your every day type of watch, and that’s clear from the use of rose gold and the price tag which rises to an incredible $112,000.
11. Greubel Forsey GMT Sport
If you think the above is expensive, take a look at this Greubel Forsey GMT Sport, which is probably the most expensive GMT timepiece in the world, priced at no less than $300,000, and that seems to be on the used market. The price for a new one is on demand.
The watch is like anything you’ve seen so far, offering the wearer a very interesting time telling experience, with several beautiful complications to marvel at, including an AM/PM indicator, power reserve, a Tourbillon, and a fully rendered globe with a 24 hour ring around it. Sure, reading time won’t be so easy, but who cares when you’ve got so much beauty to admire on its dial.
The watch is made up of 435 parts, encased in a titanium case that measures 45mm in diameter. It’s a big timepiece, but it’s well worth it if you’ve got what it takes.
10. Bremont H-4 Hercules Steel
Going back to more “earthly” price tags, if $11,900 can be called that, we’ve got the Bremont H-4 Hercules Steel, an aviator style piece that brings homage to the largest airplane ever built, the H-4 Hercules Spruce Goose, also known as the Flying Boat.
This watch comes with a vintage aesthetic, a decently sized 43mm stainless steel case, and a lovely 24 hour ring in a color scheme that strays far away from the too common pepsi GMT watch. The dial comes in a matte black color with nickel syringe hands, while the 24 hour outer ring is a combination of black and subtle light tan, a much more elegant style than what we’re used to.
It’s one of the most elegant GMT watches out there, and wait until you see the other two variants, in platinum or rose gold.
9. Blancpain Villeret GMT Date
The Blancpain Villeret GMT Date is a stunner in the most classic way possible. It’s the quintessence of elegance in the watch world. The warm colored dial features Roman numerals on its outer ring, gracefully hugging a smaller 24 hour inner ring with Arab numerals.
The main handset comes with openworked leaf shaped hands, while the GMT hand is thin with a red arrow shaped tip, indicating the time in the second timezone.
There’s also a handy and subtly done date window at 3 o’clock, matching the overall elegance of this superb dress timepiece. The watch comes in a very comfortable 40mm case size, with only the price making some people uncomfortable, rising to over $14,000.
8. Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean 600M GMT “Deep Black”
If you love all black timepieces, the Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean 600M GMT “Deep Black” is a gorgeous choice among all the GMT watches. The timepiece presents itself in a black zirconium oxide monobloc 43.5mm case with an all black ceramic dial and a huge 600m water resistance rating.
The dial comes with an outer ring for its 24 hour scale and a GMT hand with an arrow shaped tip in red, showing time in the second timezone.
7. Ulysse Nardin GMT Perpetual
The Ulysse Nardin GMT Perpetual comes with a timeless dial arrangement in an 18k white gold case, paired with a black leather strap. The dial has plenty on display, yet it remains elegant.
There’s a date display with perpetual calendar, and a subtle exterior 24 hour ring, that indicates time in the second timezone through an arrow shaped hand with silver tip and arm that blends in with the background of the dial. The watch is available for $10,500.
6. Patek Philippe Calatrava Travel Time
Leaning on the more expensive side with a price tag of $55,590, the Patek Philippe Calatrava Travel Time comes in a 42mm case and a design that brings homage to those timeless pilot watches of the 1930s.
What makes this watch so expensive is the mechanism for its dual time function, which allows the wearer to move the hour hand in either direction via two pushers on the left side of the case white at the same time uncoupling it from the gear train without losing its timekeeping accuracy during the change.
5. Chopard L.U.C GMT One Black Edition
The Chopard L.U.C GMT One Black Edition is another gorgeous addition to the best of the best GMT timepieces. It’s a premium timepiece, and an extremely elegant one, featuring a ceramized titanium case, 42mm in size.
The dial comes in a galvanic gray, with both the 12 hour and 24 hour rings, with daytime and nighttime sectors in a monochromatic color scheme that adds to the overall elegance of the piece.
Instead of a middle placed crown, there’s two, at 2 and 4 o’clock, one for the local time and date adjustment, and the other for the second timezone. This delightful timepiece comes in at a price of $11,500.
4. Hublot Big Bang Unico GMT
Another less obvious brand choice when looking for a more practical timepiece such as a GMT watch is Hublot. Priced at over $24,000, their Big Bang Unico GMT brings the impressive visual detail of the Big Bang collection but adds the utility of a GMT pointer and a day/night inner ring for easy AM/PM reading.
It also opts for an interesting 12 hour bezel that shows only the odd hours, working in conjunction with the 12 hour ring of the dial which shows the even ones.
3. Vacheron Constantin Overseas Dual Time
The Vacheron Constantin Overseas Dual Time combines the sportiness that has always characterized the Overseas collection with a unique take on the dual time functionality.
This timepiece brings an interesting AM/PM indicator at 9 o’clock, a round date indicator at 6 o’clock, a fourth arrow tipped hand, and despite the lack of a 24 hour ring, it satisfies through the stunning blue dial.
Also, since we’re talking about an iconic Vacheron Constantin here, its price is high, this watch setting you back a little over $27k.
2. H. Moser & Cie Heritage Dual Time
Staying around the $20k price tag, we’ve got the H. Moser & Cie Heritage Dual Time, a stunning timepiece with that iconic Fume dial that made every watch enthusiast go crazy about it when it first appeared.
The 42mm watch features a gray GMT hand which shows time in a second time zone, but can hide behind the main hour hand when not in use, adhering to the beautiful simplicity of this timepiece. The subtle date complication at 6 o’clock is in tune with the rest of the dial as well.
This watch seems to offer plenty of technical details but it somehow manages to keep everything so clean and minimalistic.
1. Rolex GMT-Master II “Pepsi”
This list wouldn’t have been complete without the watch that started it all, the Rolex GMT-Master II “Pepsi”. Though there are some other timepieces on this list that look better than this, we can’t deny that this is probably the most recognizable GMT watch around.
You’ve got the obvious 24 hour red/blue pepsi dial, and all the typical Rolex traits you’d expect.
When it comes to GMT watches, you can either go the traditional way with the original Rolex GMT-Master or something like the Tudor Black Bay GMT that follows the same lines, or choose from a great variety of interesting takes on the iconic complication.
There are some very unique approaches on how to display a second timezone, but make sure to check the price as well, because some may be too expensive even for those with the largest budgets.
- 20. Bell & Ross BR V2-93 GMT
- 19. Oris Aquis GMT Date
- 18. Longines Spirit Zulu Time
- 17. Bulgari Aluminium GMT
- 16. IWC Pilot’s Watch UTC Spitfire
- 15. Tudor Black Bay GMT
- 14. Breitling Avenger II GMT
- 13. Panerai Luminor Due GMT Power Reserve
- 12. Jacob & Co. EpiC SF24
- 11. Greubel Forsey GMT Sport
- 10. Bremont H-4 Hercules Steel
- 9. Blancpain Villeret GMT Date
- 8. Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean 600M GMT “Deep Black”
- 7. Ulysse Nardin GMT Perpetual
- 6. Patek Philippe Calatrava Travel Time
- 5. Chopard L.U.C GMT One Black Edition
- 4. Hublot Big Bang Unico GMT
- 3. Vacheron Constantin Overseas Dual Time
- 2. H. Moser & Cie Heritage Dual Time
- 1. Rolex GMT-Master II “Pepsi”