Why the GMT Watch Works for the WFH Era

The GMT is one of the most popular complications in the watch world, and for good reason: it serves a practical purpose and looks great doing it. The basic definition of a GMT is a watch that uses a fourth hand and 24-hour bezel to display a second time zone. (This is not to be confused with a dual time watch, which typically displays the second time in a subdial, or a world timer, which has all of the world’s timezones printed or engraved on the bezel—we’ll get to those another day.)

The GMT was invented in the golden age of air travel, so pilots could see the time in their departure city and their destination simultaneously, and is beloved by frequent fliers for being an easy way to keep track of the time at home while they’re on the road. These days, however, with all of us trying to stay connected to our friends and colleagues around the globe, the GMT turns out to be just as useful. Got family in Australia you want to get on FaceTime? Or suppliers in Asia you want to connect with on Zoom? One look at your GMT will confirm whether you’re catching them before lunchtime or waking them up at 3am. Plus, did we mention GMTs look great? Here are 10 of our favourites.

TAG Heuer Aquaracer GMT

The newest addition to the Aquaracer family comes in the form of this GMT with a handsome blue sunray dial. Its fresh look, plus a stainless steel case with 300m water resistance, a Calibre 7 movement with a 46 hour power reserve and a date display make it a versatile everyday wearer.

$3,800, tagheuer.com

Rolex GMT-Master II

The GMT-Master was created for Pan-Am Airlines pilots in the 1960s, and remains one of the most popular models in the Rolex lineup. While the original was made of steel, this one glams things up a few notches with an 18 ct white gold case and a dial made from a slice of polished

$47,250, rolex.com

Tudor Black Bay GMT

Nicknamed the “diet Pepsi” for its resemblance to the “Pepsi bezel” Rolex GMT-Master II and its lower price, this is a classic, no-nonsense GMT that ticks all the right boxes. As with many such watches, the bi-colour bezel is designed to indicate day and night, and the GMT hand is red to help it stand out at a glance against the black dial. The bezel also rotates in both directions to allow you to monitor a third time zone.

$4,630 (on steel bracelet), tudorwatch.com

Grand Seiko Spring Drive Chronograph SBGC221

From its ceramic and titanium case to its highly accurate spring drive movement, this chronograph-equipped GMT is a perfect example of what Grand Seiko does best. At 46mm across, this is a watch that makes a statement on your wrist, but its size also makes it easier to admire the exceptional attention to detail throughout.

$18,500, grand-seiko.com

Hamilton Jazzmaster Traveler GMT

Many GMTs are very much designed in the “tool watch” vein of the 1960s (when these watches were essential cockpit instruments for pilots). This one, however, smooths the hard edges and re-imagines the GMT as a sophisticated dress watch. With its dual crowns, subtle silver dial and exotic ostrich leather strap, this makes a stylish statement in any timezone.

$1,445, hamiltonwatch.com

Vacheron Constantin Overseas Dual Time

You’d be challenged to find a dressier GMT than this one, with its 18k pink gold case and mississippiensis alligator strap. In addition to the bold, red-tipped arrow hand displaying the second time zone, this one ups the ante with a handy AM/PM indicator on the dial.

$48,200, vacheron-constantin.com

Chopard L.U.C GMT One

A beautiful everyday-wearing watch with a serious movement inside. Chopard’s take on the GMT combines a steel case with a bold, black, white and orange colour scheme and a subtle date window at 6 o’clock. As with all of Chopard’s L.U.C watches, this one features a movement that’s entirely designed, produced and assembled at the brand’s own workshops and is COSC-certified.

$13,500, chopard.com

Mido Multifort Dual Time

The architectural, geometric design of this Mido, including its black-on-black colour scheme, lends itself well to the addition of a triangular orange GMT hand. With simple hour markers, a subtle 24-hour time ring and a date window on the dial, this is a watch that does more with less.

$1,295, midowatches.com

Victorinox Fieldforce GMT

This sturdy GMT from the makers of the Swiss Army knife is a recent edition to their lineup, and comes on your choice of contrast-stitched leather strap, steel bracelet, or (our pick) this safety orange rubber strap. A PVD gunmetal treatment on the case adds to its rough-and-ready look, and a Swiss quartz movement ensures it’s always accurate.

$475, victorinox.com

Alpina Seastrong Diver 300 GMT

This Alpina does double duty, combining the aesthetics and functionality of a dive watch (the 300 is for 300m of water-resistance) with the added appeal of a GMT. Why would you need to know a second timezone 1,000 feet below the waves? It never hurts to be prepared.

$795, alpinawatches.com