GMT watches make life easier intended for jetsetters. GMT, which stands for Greenwich Mean Time, was initially a stylish pilot tool born at the dawn from the jet age—first made by Glycine and soon thereafter, Rolex . The complication allows the wearer to a second time zone using a hands that ticks around a 24-hour scale. It was quickly co-opted by mid-century passengers, and has since become an essential timepiece for posh globetrotters .
GMT watches give fliers and travelers the ability to track where they’ve been, destinations on the horizon, and offer a tether home. Though few are, or should be, traveling right now, hopping on a plane will (hopefully) become a less harebrained endeavor in the year to come. For those feeling the pangs of wanderlust, adding the travel watch to your collection could be a good way to prepare for, say, puddle jumping from New York to London.
Of course you don’t have to visit a weekly flight to take advantage of a GMT. There are other reasons to nab one, according to Damian Otwinowski, vice president of Watches associated with Switzerland USA . “Some individuals buy it for the value of expense, the rarity, and the look more than the function itself, ” Otwinowski says.
The Between World Time and GMT Watches
World watches are a different animal, says Otwinowski, and customers who choose one may utilize its functionality.
The world time complication as we know it was the brainchild of Swiss watchmaker Louis Cottier , who developed a movement in the 1930s that could track the time in 24 of the world’s time specific zones as they related to a local time—first designed for pocket watches, then for wrist-worn timepieces. Today, most world period complications are still rooted in Cottier’s simple, elegant solution.
“It’s a purpose-driven purchase, ” Otwinowski says. “My first view was a world time because I had been traveling like crazy, and I needed the particular function. Had it been a GMT, I’d constantly have to change it, but the world time ticks by itself. Wherever I am, I don’t have to adjust it that much because of the ability from the complication. ”
For most consumers, GMTs are easier to read and more available as nearly every major brand makes one, and they come at numerous price points. Not every horological gamer regularly makes a world time, therefore there aren’t as many options. Ultimately, choosing one or the other comes down to person sensibilities, and there are a number of considerations to make since a wristwatch is not only a tool but also an extension of personal design.
Right now time might feel like a flat circle, but it retains ticking into a future where we are able to safely roam again. Here are 6 watches to wear for the pining traveler.
1 ) Rolex GMT Master II
While it wasn’t the first, the Rolex GMT Master II is definitely the archetypal GMT timepiece. Originally made as the GMT Master at the behest of Pan-Am pilots in 1955, numerous imitators have tried to pay homage to the piece, but demand for the classic Rolex remains from the charts. Over the years, the venerable Swiss maker has upgraded the GMT; its automatic movement now features a 70-hour power reserve, an independent hr hand, and a sublime 24-hour Cerachrom bezel. It’s easy to use, whether you are clocking your own travel or just making a Zoom meeting with colleagues in the London office.
[$9, 700; rolex. possuindo ]
2 . Omega Aqua Terra 150 Worldtimer
Want to use the world on your wrist? The spectacular relief of the globe in the center of Omega’s Aqua Terra Worldimer is created using a laserlight to vaporize a titanium disk. A 24-hour ring hugs the particular perimeter, allowing the wearer to track time in reference cities around the globe. The 43mm case houses automatic motion and a 60-hour power reserve, while a silicon hairspring defends the watch from magnetic fields as much as 15, 000 gauss, which is far more than you’re ever likely to come across. The watch is also water resistant to 150 meters—so it’s perfect for moves that take you to a beach or just a hotel pool.
[$8, 900; watchesofswitzerland. com ]
3. IWC Pilot’s Watch Worldtimer Chronograph
The complication in IWC’s Worldtimer is as ingenious as it is intuitive. Push down and turn the bezel to change the time zone you’re within and the local time; the 24-hour reference hand moves automatically—as will the date if you cross the particular international date line. Inside the sturdy 46mm package, you get a 68-hour power reserve and flyback chronograph. The watch is also constructed to survive speedy depressurization, though we sincerely hope you’ll never need that feature.
[$11, 900; iwc. com ]
4. Hublot Big Bang Unico GMT
Hublot creates some of the most fun, contemporary watch designs around. The Big Bang Unico GMT is no exception. A 45mm satin-finished titanium case ensconces an automatic movement with a 72-hour power reserve, all of which is water-resistant to 100 meters. The skeleton dial lets the wearer gaze on the caliber from above, and a blue-and-white wheel indicates day to night time for the GMT reference time in situation jet lag gets the better of you.
[$20, 900; hublot. com ]
5. Patek Philippe Complications View (5930G)
If you manage to land one of these, we’d guess you are someone who enjoys flying private. The particular Patek Philippe Complications 5930G features each world time and flyback chronograph functions. The elegant 39mm white-colored gold case protects an automatic movement and a dial hand adorned using a circular guilloché pattern. The azure face is a shade so deeply and textured, you could find yourself lost in it—but wherever you are, you will know the time.
[$79, 248; watchesofswitzerland. com ]
6. Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Concept Soaring Tourbillon
This ultramodern watch subtly echoes the original Gérald Genta Royal Oak , a 1970s masterpiece. The partially skeletonized dial prominently displays the GMT complication on a disk with 3 o’clock. There’s an overhead position indicator at 6 o’clock, and the flying tourbillon—which helps counteract the effects of gravity on the hand-wound movement—is visible at 9 o’clock. The particular 44mm case is made of sandblasted titanium and water resistant to 100 metres. While it may look like this view can see the future, it sadly only tells time.
[Price available on request; audemarspiguet. com ]
The post The Most Sought-After GMT Watches for the Pining Traveler made an appearance first on Men’ s Journal .