Guides Watches

The Best Accessible GMT Watches that are the Ultimate Travel Companions

Baltic Aquascaphe GMT

We recently delved into the history of the second time zone and GMT so it would be remiss of us to not showcase a few excellent examples of the quintessential traveller’s complication, the GMT. After diving deep into its heritage as a complication, it’s only fair we highlight a few you can get on your wrist today. Of course, you could go on a wait list for a GMT-Master II Pepsi Cola, but you don’t need to – God knows there’s enough waiting at the airport. In fact, ubiquitous as the second time zone is, there are plenty of accessible GMT watches out there that will leave you plenty of travel money to play with.

Timex Waterbury Traditional GMT

Timex Waterbury Traditional GMT

While it might be quartz powered (for under £200, what do you expect?) that’s not necessarily a bad thing for someone that can’t afford the time to wind their watch between flights. Despite the battery power, the Waterbury Traditional GMT lives up to its middle name as one of the more classically styled pieces in the Timex (originally the Waterbury Watch Company) stable, right down to the vintage logo. It’s definitely the economy class of traveller’s watches, but every watch journey begins with a single stepping stone and if you don’t have a GMT in your arsenal, this might be the perfect way of trying it out.

Case/dial: 39mm diameter stainless steel case, black dial
Water resistance: 100m (10 bar)
Movement: Quartz
Strap: Rubber
Price: £185

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Iota New York GMT

Iota New York GMT

As clean and crisp as an accessible watch is likely to get, Iota’s British minimalism (the watches are designed in Greenwich) is a breath of fresh air in a world of diver GMTs. Inspired by New York – no prizes for guessing that little nugget of information – the upper half of the dial is finished with subtle diagonal lines, while the bottom half is completely white. Paired with typographic numerals it’s a less-is-more approach that’ll see you from Heathrow to JFK with a faux-gold look that suits business class and a price tag that’s nothing if not economy.

Case/dial: 40mm diameter stainless steel case, white dial
Water resistance: 50m (5 bar)
Movement: Ronda quartz
Strap: Leather
Price: £265

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Oceaneva Deep Marine Explorer 1250M Pro Diver GMT

Oceaneva Deep Marine Explorer 1250M Pro Diver GMT

This one is a little ridiculous. On paper, it’s the perfect dive-centric GMT. You have an ultra-lightweight titanium case, a hardwearing ceramic bezel in a nautical combination of blue and white, and a more-than-solid 1,250m of water resistance. It more than lives up to the ‘Pro’ in its name. It even has an ever-reliable automatic number from Seiko. Why’s it ridiculous? The price tag. All of this will set you back a little under £280. You can barely get a quartz diver for that, let alone one with a specs sheet like this. It’s the kind of watch that makes you wonder just why that Submariner you have your eye on costs nearly 40 times more – and only shows one time zone at that.

Case/dial: 42mm diameter titanium case, white dial
Water resistance: 1,250m (125 bar)
Movement: Seiko calibre NH34, automatic, 41h power reserve, 21,600 vph (3 Hz) frequency
Strap: Titanium bracelet
Price: £282

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Boldr Safari GMT Banff

Boldr Safari GMT Banff

Boldr are continuing their good work on both the front of incredibly accessible, a bang-for-your-buck watchmaker, and supporting a worthwhile cause with the Safari GMT Banff. The name refers to the famous Canadian National Park, renowned for its beautiful blue lakes and mountains – hence the colouring. Turquoise hues aside, there’s a lot to love about the Safari GMT, from its impeccably machined, sharply-angled cased and grippy crown to the pilot-adjacent minimalism of the two-scale dial. All of that is powered by the microbrand staple that is the Seiko NH34, keeping things in Boldr’s almost worryingly accessible wheelhouse.

Case/dial: 40mm diameter stainless steel case, blue dial
Water resistance: 200m (20 bar)
Movement: Seiko calibre NH34, automatic, 41h power reserve, 21,600 vph (3 Hz) frequency
Strap: Stainless steel bracelet
Price: £380

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Spinnaker Croft 3912 GMT Limited Edition

Spinnaker Croft 3912 GMT Limited Edition

A collaboration with Korean-language watch-specialist YouTube channel SHW, the latest limited edition from Spinnaker pairs classic skindiver construction with a flash more style than the typical tool watch. The monochromatic case and bezel lean into the utilitarian look while the new selection of dials do the opposite. The yellow is a particular highlight. At 39mm across, it’s also much more wearable than some of the other Spinnaker divers out there, which have a habit of tending towards the titanic. Sure, it may still be freezing out, but this might just be a solid summer watch in the making. Winter sun, anyone?

Case/dial: 39mm diameter stainless steel case, yellow dial
Water resistance: 150m (15 bar)
Movement: Seiko calibre NH34, automatic, 41h power reserve, 21,600 vph (3 Hz) frequency
Strap: Stainless steel bracelet with additional yellow rubber strap
Price: £433

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Out Of Order Cosmopolitan Automatic GMT

Out Of Order Cosmopolitan Automatic GMT

While it has a funky colourway similar to the phenomenally successful Studio Underd0g Watermel0n, this distinctively Italian take on the GMT diver is named after a cocktail. The Cosmopolitan is part of a wider drinks-oriented collection of Shaker GMTs, but its mix of pink and green stands out from even that colourful crowd. It’s not just the colour that might catch you off guard though; in keeping with the wider brand, the Cosmopolitan GMT has been put through its paces as a beater by being beaten. The wear on the case isn’t a fault; it’s completely intentional. Whether that appeals to you is a personal choice; falling in love with the colour is objectively the right thing to do.

Case/dial: 40mm diameter stainless steel case, pink dial
Water resistance: 300m (30 bar)
Movement: Seiko calibre NH34, automatic, 41h power reserve, 21,600 vph (3 Hz) frequency
Strap: Leather
Price: £433

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Venezianico Nereide GMT Cielo

Venezianico Nereide GMT Cielo

As fans of certain Maserati models might know, Cielo translates to ‘sky’, which is fitting given the light blue colouring of the incredible looking Nereide GMT Cielo. The Venetian brand have combined what might be the perfect summer colours and solid entry-level diving specs (you might even see it as a contender to what Zodiac have been doing recently) with a subtle GMT hand, all set on a surprisingly well-made bracelet with alternating brushed and polished links. It’s fun, colourful and, importantly, accessible enough to give this below-the-radar brand a try.

Case/dial: 39mm diameter stainless steel case, turquoise dial
Water resistance: 200m (20 bar)
Movement: Seiko calibre NH34, automatic, 41h power reserve, 21,600 vph (3 Hz) frequency
Strap: Canvas strap with quick release pins
Price: €512.50 (approx. £440)

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Elliot Brown Beachmaster Blackout Quartz

Elliot Brown Beachmaster Blackout Quartz

If there’s one group of people that all but require quartz, it’s various Special Forces, and this stealth take of the Beachmaster – aptly named the Blackout – has them covered. That’s especially true given the GMT function has been given a novel new angle in the form of a mission timer inner bezel. Set the inner scale so that it’s displaying when your mission is – H – and the GMT hand will count down to mission start, before counting up the other side of the scale to the rendezvous time. Great for missions and work meetings in equal measure, though the overtly militaristic look of the Beachmaster’s more suited for one of those than the other.

Case/dial: 40mm diameter stainless steel case with DLC coating, black dial
Water resistance: 300m (30 bar)
Movement: Ronda 515.24H quartz movement
Strap: Rubber
Price: £695

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Baltic Aquascaphe GMT

Baltic Aquascaphe GMT

Accessibility and Baltic go hand-in-hand as much as neo-vintage flair and, well, Baltic. The microbrand-done-good made a name for themselves with the original Aquascaphe and the entry-level diver’s still a big part of their collection – including this GMT-equipped number with an oceanic blue and green bezel. Said bezel is notably thin, making for a much more elegant take on the tool watch. That said, at 100m water resistance, it lands somewhere between a desk diver and a tool watch, but thanks to its vintage good looks, it’s one you’ll want to wear on both occasions.

Case/dial: 39mm diameter stainless steel case, black dial
Water resistance: 100m (10 bar)
Movement: Soprod calibre C125, automatic, 25 jewels, 28,800 vph (4 Hz) frequency, 42h power reserve
Strap: Rubber
Price: €920 (approx. £790)

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Alpina Alpiner Quartz GMT

Alpina Alpiner Quartz GMT

Sure, a quartz at this level needs some serious justification, especially given some of the watches we’ve already covered. But the AL-247 is a cut above your usual battery-powered piece of tech. And what you lose in mechanical prestige, you get in a superbly handsome, well-built combination of dark blue and black – a combination I’m consistently told I shouldn’t wear but looks great on a watch. It also veers more towards a pilot’s piece than the more common GMT diver, making for a sleeker, more everyday wearable watch, with looks belying its not insignificant 42mm case.

Case/dial: 42mm diameter stainless steel case, blue dial
Water resistance: 100m (10 bar)
Movement: AL-247 Quartz movement
Strap: Black leather
Price: £944

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Duckworth Prestex Rivington GMT

Duckworth Prestex Rivington GMT

While we have slightly mixed opinions about their Centenary anniversary watch (which you can find in the reviews), we’ve nothing but praise for the chunky, cushion cased Rivington. It takes everything that made the superb Veritime a brand-defining watch (including the now signature bright orange) and ups the ante with a cross-hatched waffle fume dial with a standout GMT hand and matching second hand in light blue. It has a lot going on, including 200m of water resistance and plenty of blue lume in low light conditions. It ticks every box for a fun, distinctively British watch.

Case/dial: 42mm diameter stainless steel case, white dial
Water resistance: 200m (20 bar)
Movement: Miyota calibre 9075, automatic, 24 jewels, 28,800 vph (4 Hz) frequency, 42h power reserve
Strap: Stainless steel bracelet
Price: £895

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Christopher Ward C63 Sealander GMT

Christopher Ward C63 Sealander GMT

Since it launched as the ‘everyman’s’ version of the Rolex Explorer, the Sealander has done well for Christopher Ward. Not Bel Canto well of course, but solid. It’s not hard to see why. Between the fittingly Explorer II-esque fixed stainless steel 24-hour bezel and the gorgeous dragonfly blue/teal dial, it’s every bit the handsome, everyday watch that we’ve come to expect from Christopher Ward. Set on the brand’s new Consort bracelet and the newest generation Sellita movement, it’s a watch to suit every occasion – even cross-timezone occasions thanks to the orange GMT hand.

Case/dial: 39mm diameter stainless steel case, turquoise dial
Water resistance: 150m (15 bar)
Movement: Sellita calibre SW330-2, automatic, 25 jewels, 28,800 vph (4 Hz) frequency, 56h power reserve
Strap: Stainless steel bracelet
Price: £1,060

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Citizen Series 8 GMT

Citizen Series 8 GMT

Ever fancied a Rolex GMT-Master II that’s been hitting the gym a bit too hard? Let us present to you the Citizen Series 8, part classic GMT, part integrated bracelet sports watch, part chunky boy. On paper 41mm isn’t too big, but its depth and faceted look give the Series 8 a lot more wrist presence than its specs suggest. Finished with a skyline-inspired dial and backed by solid Japanese watchmaking, it’s a big-booted step in the right direction for Citizen and a great option if the Tsuyosa was just a little diminutive for you.

Case/dial: 41mm diameter stainless steel case, blue dial
Water resistance: 100m (10 bar)
Movement: Citizen calibre 9054, automatic, 24 jewels, 28,800 vph (4 Hz) frequency, 50h power reserve
Strap: Stainless steel bracelet
Price: £1,195

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Charlie Paris Concordia GMT

Charlie Paris Concordia GMT

An explorer’s watch designed for treks to extreme environments, the original Concordia joined explorer Matthieu Tordeur on his 2018 jaunt across Antarctica. In order to keep the practical dive watch necessities – 300m water resistance and a unidirectional bezel – Charlie Paris made the inspired decision to move the usual dual-coloured bezel compressor-style under the glass. Who needs to compromise? It also happens to look incredibly cool with its mix of chocolate brown and sandy colouring. It not only balances tool watch practicality and everyday usefulness, but does so towing that fine line between modern functionality and vintage class.

Case/dial: 40mm diameter stainless steel case, brown dial
Water resistance: 300m (30 bar)
Movement: Soprod calibre C125, automatic, 25 jewels, 28,800 vph (4 Hz) frequency, 40h power reserve
Strap: Stainless steel bracelet
Price: £1,233, limited to 50 pieces

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Farer Meredith GMT

Farer Meredith GMT

While Farer’s latest GMT is aesthetically pared-back for the colour theory-obsessed British watch designer – at least, comparatively – that’s because the Meredith GMT has a secret: what looks like a layered combination of brushed salmon and blue indexes is actually a stunner in low-light. Rather than being painted with lume however, they’re the opposite, as the indexes are fully made from luminescent material but painted with an opaque blue on top. This results in numerals that are self-backlit, providing a touch of neon racer across an otherwise classical GMT, with both the outer numerals and an inner lumed 24-hour scale. It’s smart and classically handsome, but with a twist – pretty much Farer’s modus operandi by now.

Case/dial: 39.5mm diameter stainless steel case, copper dial
Water resistance: 100m (10 bar)
Movement: Sellita calibre SW330-2, automatic, 25 jewels, 28,800 vph (4 Hz) frequency, 56h power reserve
Strap: Navy leather
Price: £1,265

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Seiko Prospex Navigator Timer GMT

Seiko Prospex Navigator Timer GMT

Another release from Seiko’s enviable archives, the Navigator Timer dates back to 1968 as the first mechanical GMT watch with a rotating bezel. Sure, this is a distinctly modern take on the original design, but it does have plenty of that late 1960s charm, heading into integrated sports territory with its striking, flat-linked bracelet and lozenge shape. Modern touches on the other hand include the super hard coating on the steel and the three-day power reserve. And given that Seiko have equipped more than their fair share of watches on this list, you can bet on a reliable movement to boot. At least this one won’t get lost in the avalanche of retro divers they’ve been producing recently.

Case/dial: 38.5mm diameter stainless steel case, white dial
Water resistance: 100m (10 bar)
Movement: Seiko calibre 6R54, automatic, 24 jewels, 21,600 vph (3 Hz) frequency, 72h power reserve
Strap: Stainless steel bracelet
Price: £1,500

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About the author

Sam Kessler

Legend has it that Sam’s first word was ‘escapement’ and, while he might have started that legend himself, he’s been in the watch world long enough that it makes little difference. As the editor of Oracle Time, he’s our leading man for all things horological – even if he does love yellow dials to a worrying degree. Owns a Pogue; doesn’t own an Oyster Perpetual. Yet.