What is A GMT Watch?

What is a GMT watch?

Each type of watch serves a distinct purpose, which contributes to their individual timekeeping capabilities. Among the many available designs, GMT watches stand out with a highly coveted feature that has captivated watch enthusiasts for years, and its popularity is unlikely to fade any time soon.

If you’re interested in finding out what a GMT watch is and exploring everything there is to know about GMT watches, be sure to check out our comprehensive guide from the experts at CALIBRE.

What is a GMT Watch and What are They Used for?

Rolex GMT Master II

A GMT watch is a timepiece that features a display for two distinct time zones. It is a highly practical accessory for individuals who travel frequently or have loved ones residing in different time zones. 

While GMT watches often have a similar appearance to a diving watch, the additional feature of the bezel serving as the second time zone sets them apart. Alternatively, certain GMT watches feature an alternative design, in which a second hand on the dial represents the second 24-hour time zone, providing the ability to view two time zones simultaneously. Due to their distinctive design and functionality, GMT watches are increasingly sought after by collectors.

What Does GMT Stand for?

Big Ben telling GMT time

The acronym GMT stands for Greenwich Mean Time, which refers to the average solar time at the Royal Observatory in Greenwich, London. This point served as a reference for all other time zones until the introduction of atomic clocks in the 1950s. The reason these watches are referred to as GMT watches is due to their ability to display the time based on Greenwich Mean Time.

How to use a GMT Watch

To operate a GMT watch, you will first need to set the primary hour hand to the local time. Following this, set the 24-hour hand to the present GMT time. The 24-hour hand rotates once every 24 hours, enabling you to keep track of time in multiple time zones. If you need to adjust the watch back to local time, move the main hour hand back to its original position. In the case of a GMT watch where the second time zone is represented on the bezel, you can simply adjust the second time zone by rotating the bezel, much like with a diver’s watch.

Why Would you Need the GMT Watch Function?

People who purchase watches seek GMT pieces for various reasons. The aviation, naval, and military communities use GMT to calculate longitude and time zones, making it especially important to them. Additionally, travelers find them very useful to keep track of both their home time and local time. 

GMT watches are not only favored for their practical purpose, but also for their iconic design, which appeals to enthusiasts. The Rolex GMT-Master II, known for its striking 50/50 colorway on the bezel, is one of the most popular models of GMT watch available and has set the standard for GMT watches ever since its release.

Our Favourite GMT Watches At CALIBRE

As the GMT is such an iconic piece, we decided to choose our favourite GMT watches available on the market currently. Let’s take a look below:

Rolex GMT Master II

The Rolex GMT Master II is a popular model of GMT watch that was originally designed for pilots and is renowned for its ability to display multiple time zones at once. The watch features a 24-hour hand that allows the wearer to track time in a second time zone, as well as a rotating bezel that can be used to track a third time zone. The GMT Master II is made with high-quality materials and is known for its durability and accuracy. The watch has a sleek and sophisticated design, with various models available in a range of materials and colorways to suit different styles and preferences. The Rolex GMT Master II is considered one of the most iconic and sought-after GMT watches in the world.

Tudor Blackbay GMT

The Tudor Blackbay GMT is a modern take on the classic Tudor diving watch. It features a 41mm steel case with a aluminum bezel, and is powered by a self-winding mechanical movement. The dial has luminescent hour markers and hands, as well as a red GMT hand to track a second time zone. The watch also has a date function, and is water-resistant up to 200m. The Blackbay GMT is designed for adventure and is perfect for those who love to travel and explore the world.

Ball Roadmaster Marine GMT

The Ball Roadmaster Marine GMT is a high-end watch that features a range of impressive functions. Its GMT feature allows the wearer to track a second time zone, while its anti-shock system and water resistance of up to 200 meters make it a great choice for those with an active lifestyle. The watch also features micro gas tubes for visibility in low-light conditions, and a rotating bezel for timing various activities. The Ball Roadmaster Marine GMT is known for its sturdy and durable design, making it a reliable choice for anyone in need of a tough and functional timepiece.

Conclusion: What is a GMT Watch?

A GMT watch is a timepiece that allows the wearer to keep track of two different time zones at once. This feature is particularly useful for travelers and professionals who need to coordinate with others across different parts of the world. GMT watches have been around for decades and continue to be popular among watch enthusiasts due to their unique design and functionality.

Whether you are a collector or simply someone who travels frequently, a GMT watch can be an excellent addition to your watch collection. It’s important to consider the factors that affect a GMT watch’s value when choosing the right one for you. Factors such as the brand, model, and condition can all have an impact on a GMT watch’s resale value.

Overall, a GMT watch is a valuable tool that can help keep you on track and on time, no matter where you are in the world. With proper care and maintenance, a GMT watch can be a long-lasting and reliable timepiece that will serve you well for years to come.

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