Editors Pick Guides Watches

Best GMT Watches You Can Buy Right Now

Best GMT Watches to Buy Right Now

GMT; three little words that mean a lot in the watch world. The solar time at the Royal Observatory in scenic, maritime Greenwich has defined the time across the globe since 1884, sitting pretty at 0 degrees longitude. Those three letters have also come to define one of the most common and most useful complications around: the second time zone.

Since the Glycine Airman of the 1953 and the Rolex GMT Master of 1954, the GMT has become the consummate traveller’s watch, able to effortlessly display both local and home time, whether you’re keeping track of other markets or just don’t want to phone home while everyone’s asleep. It’s no surprise then that there are hundreds of GMTs around to suit every style, wrist size and budget.

So, whether you’re after an accessible travel companion or a left-handed version of an iconic timekeeper, we have you covered.

Under £1,000

Baltic Aquascaphe GMT

Baltic Aquascaphe GMT

Baltic have been killing it recently, and not just because of their coup in entering the Only Watch Auction. The Aquascaphe GMT is one of the coolest retro-slanted dual time zone watches around, especially in the blue and green bezel option. It has the same toolwatch style as their divers, but eminently suited to globe-trotters with half an eye on budget. Equipped with an impeccable beads of rice bracelet and a nicely engraved caseback, there’s a lot to love about Baltic’s high-flier.

Case/dial: 39mm x 12mm thickness, stainless steel case, black ‘glossy’ dial with C1 Luminova, bi-directional sapphire bezel with 24 click and 24h scale, screw down crown
Water resistance: 100m (10 bar)
Movement: Soprod Calibre C125, Swiss automatic, 42h power reserve, 28,800 vph (4 Hz) frequency
Strap: Tropic rubber in blue or black or beads of rice bracelet
Price: €920 EUR (approx. £780) rubber for strap and €1,000 EUR (approx. £830) for bracelet

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 Mido Ocean Star GMT

Mido Ocean Star GMT

Always punching above their price tag, Mido’s latest addition to the rugged Ocean Star collection of diving watches adds a GMT function with the minimum of fanfare. The 24-hour hand can be read off the inner bezel, but the watch retains all the utilitarian style of the standard Ocean Star and its impressive movement. If you happen to be crossing time zones underwater, this is the watch for you – and while the blue version with a strap is the one to go for, you could, if you wanted, opt for a more retro vibe with the still affordable bi-colour version.

Ref: M026.629.17.051.00
Case/dial:
44mm diameter x 13.3mm thickness, stainless steel case, black dial, ceramic bezel
Water resistance: 200m (20 bar)
Movement: Mido Calibre 80 (base ETA C07.661), automatic, 80h power reserve, 21,600 vph (3 Hz) frequency, 25 jewels
Strap: Blue fabric with pin buckle
Price: £960

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Christopher Ward Sealander GMT

Christopher Ward Sealander GMT

If the Sealander was a facsimile for the Explorer then this bad boy with its fixed 24-hour bezel is most definitely the Explorer II. In typical Christopher Ward style, there’s a lot to love for not a lot of cash: a lovely 39mm steel case, a utilitarian dial with plenty of bright lume for low light timekeeping while you’re navigating a cave system, and a flash of orange from the GMT hand. It ticks all the boxes. While there’s a lot to be said about the green version, the white is particularly good-looking – especially if you really want to ham up the Explorer II likeness.

Ref: C63-39AGM3-S00W0-B0
Case/dial: 39mm x 11.85mm height, stainless steel case, polished lacquer white dial
Water resistance: 150m (15 bar)
Movement: Sellita Calibre SW330-2, automatic, 56h power reserve, 28,800 vph (4 Hz) frequency, 25 jewels
Strap: Stainless steel bracelet
Price: £970 

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£1,000 – £2,000

Farer Lander IV

Farer Lander IV

The Lander IV is a quintessential Farer watch, a classic design with a colourful and decidedly British twist. It’s just what Farer do best. The Lander IV has a glorious sea green dial, vibrant and bright with a slight air of ostentation, similar in that regard to British Racing green. The detailing is also excellent with a layered appearance to the display. That green tone contrasts with the red GMT hand that partners up with a subtle peripheral 24-hour scale to show the second time zone. Plus, at £1,190 it’s one of the most accessible at this price range.

Case/dial: 39.5mm x 10.8mm thickness, stainless steel case, sea green sunray triple step dial with ghost white with Super-LumiNova numerals
Water resistance: 100m (10 bar)
Movement: Swiss SELLITA  Cal. SW330-2 ‘Top Grade’ movement, automatic, 56h power reserve, 28,800 vph (4 Hz) frequency, 25 jewels
Strap: St Venere leather with stainless steel buckle
Price: £1,190

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Christopher Ward C65 Aquitaine

Christopher Ward C65 Aquitaine

Of all Christopher Ward’s watches – and there are a lot of them these days – the C65 is a standout (check out our review here). It takes the rugged design of the C60 and applies a layer of retro charm over the top, a winning combo if ever there was one. In order to convert the design into a GMT version, it’s been given a new bezel, which is heavily inspired by the Blancpain Fifty Fathoms with a sapphire construction as opposed to the usual aluminium insert. Not only does it look great, it’s also practical as sapphire is one of the most scratch resistant materials watchmakers work with.

Ref: C65-41AGM2-S0BE0-B0
Case/dial: 41mm x 12.7mm height, stainless steel case, matte finish white dial, blue bezel
Water resistance: 200m (20 bar)
Movement: Sellita calibre SW330-2, automatic, 56h power reserve, 28,800 vph (4 Hz) frequency, 25 jewels
Strap: Stainless steel bracelet
Price: £1,265

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Seiko Presage Sharp Edged GMT Zero Halliburton

Seiko Presage Sharp-Edged GMT Zero Halliburton

Seiko’s Presage Sharp-Edged GMT first debuted in 2021, followed in 2022 by a limited edition in collaboration with Zero Halliburton. Zero Halliburton are a premium luggage brand known for their rugged cases, which on paper is the perfect partnership. In practice, it works incredibly well too. With the double ribbed pattern of the luggage implemented alongside the classic hemp pattern of the Sharp-Edged series. It also presents the GMT in a sleek, blacked out case for the first time.

Ref: SPB271J1
Case/dial: 42.2mm diameter x 49.2mm length x 13.65mm height, stainless steel case, black dial, black and blue bezel
Water resistance: 100m (10 bar)
Movement: Seiko calibre 6R64, automatic and manual winding, 45h power reserve, 28,800 vph (4 Hz) frequency, 29 jewels
Strap: Stainless steel bracelet with three-fold clasp with push button release
Price: £1,380, limited to 400 pieces

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Brellum Wyvern GMT Chronometer

Brellum Wyvern GMT Chronometer

Adding a GMT function to Brellum’s downright lovely Wyvern was always going to work wonders. The sporty, 42mm case, the nuanced dial (with googly eyes at six o’clock) and solid wrist presence all add up to a great, accessible watch. Add on top of that a second time zone and you have a welcome travel partner. While the blue with yellow highlights is probably the most popular of the three colourways, the smart money’s on the silver, as understated as that many indexes can be and gorgeous because of it.

Ref: W.GMT.131
Case/dial:
42.3mm x 45.00mm (lug-to-lug) diameter x 10.9mm thickness, stainless steel case, black dial
Water resistance: 100m (10 bar)
Movement: Calibre BRELLUM BR-893-GMT, automatic chronometer, COSC-certified (base Eta), 42h power reserve, 28,800 vph (4 Hz) frequency, 21 jewels
Strap: Integrated rubber strap (HNBR) with steel pin/buckle with Brellum logo
Price: £1,520, delivered with leather travel case box and COSC Certificate

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£2,000 – £8,000

Longines Spirit Zulu Time

Longines Spirit Zulu Time

With stripped back aviation aesthetics, the Longines Spirit was one of our favourite watches of 2021 period. However, it did feel lacking in terms of functionality, a minor issue totally mitigated by the 2022 Zulu Time edition. “Zulu Time” an old military term for GMT. Stylistically it has a lot in common with its predecessors with an array of colours including black, blue and green along with vintage gilt style hour, minute, seconds and GMT hands.

Ref: L3.812.4.63.2
Case/dial: 42mm diameter x 13.9mm thickness, stainless steel case, anthracite dial, ceramic green bezel, gold polished hands with Swiss Super-LumiNova®, screw-in crown
Water resistance: 100m (10 bar)
Movement: Calibre L844.4, automatic, Chronometer certified by COSC, 72 hour power reserve, 25,200 vph (3.5 Hz) frequency
Strap: Beige leather strap or stainless steel bracelet with double safety folding clasp and push-piece opening mechanism
Price: £2,400 (leather strap) and £2,480 (bracelet) 

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Ming 22.01 GMT

Ming 22.01 GMT

Ming is about as hot a commodity as a microbrand can get; you’re as likely to be able to get a 2022 steel Rolex as any of their pieces – and their new GMT continues the trend of watches that everyone wants but very few will get to own. A spectacular, lumed, multi-level dial is the focal point, with a much smaller, subtler, 24-hour ring further in. It’s available in two versions – Kyoto and Gilt, with the latter being a cool, modern take on classic black and gold dials. There are only 300 of each, which, while admittedly a large batch by Ming standards, won’t go far. If you want one, get your 50% deposit down quickly.

Case/dial: 38mm diameter x 10.7mm thickness, grade 5 titanium case with sapphire caseback, composite, three-part dial with grained finish in cyan-gold and matching GMT hands, hands coated with Super-LumiNova X1, mixed brushed and polished finished concave bezel
Water resistance: 100m (10 bar)
Movement: Calibre 330.M2 (based on the Sellita SW330-2), automatic, 42h power reserve, 28,800 vph (4Hz) frequency, 25 jewels
Strap: Barenia leather by Jean Rousseau Paris
Price: CHF 3,250 (approx. £2,600)

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Montblanc 1858 GMT Automatic Date

Montblanc 1858 GMT Automatic Date

Sure, normally the GMT function of a watch uses a 24-hour hand. But who says it has to? Montblanc’s handsome, sporty take on the second time zone complication instead uses a peripheral indicator, with a red square that moves around the circumference of the dial. It’s a clean, nifty approach and one that works very well with the pared back (other than the customisable hemisphere caseback) look of the watch as a whole. It’s available in black or blue and this is one of the few times I’d opt for the black. It just shows off that tiny flash of red all the better.

Ref: 129766 (black dial, black rubber strap), 129615 (black dial, stainless steel bracelet), 129617 (blue dial, blue rubber strap), 129616 (blue dial, stainless steel bracelet)
Case/dial:
42mm diameter x 11mm height, stainless steel case, sunray black or blue dial
Water resistance: 100m (10 bar)
Movement: Calibre MB 24.33, automatic, 42h power reserve, 28,800 vph (4 Hz) frequency, 25 jewels
Strap: Interchangeable rubber strap or stainless steel bracelet
Price: TBC

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Tag Heuer Autavia COSC GMT

Tag Heuer Autavia COSC GMT

The Tag Heuer Autavia pilot’s watch is celebrating its 60th anniversary, for which Tag Heuer have launched the first ever GMT model. It exemplifies the best qualities of a pilot’s watch from the simple and legible dial to the oversize crown. The vibrant, sun brushed blue dial meshes perfectly with the two-tone, ceramic, rotating bezel. Plus, the orange GMT hand provides just the right amount of spot colour to draw the eye.

Ref: WBE511A.BA0650
Case/dial:
42mm diameter, stainless steel case, blue dial, bidirectional bezel
Water resistance: 100m (10 bar)
Movement: Calibre 7 COSC GMT, automatic, COSC certified, 50h power reserve, 28,800 vph (4Hz) frequency, 25 jewels, “Côtes de Genève” oscillating mass, engraved “TAG Heuer — Calibre 7 — Swiss Made”.
Strap: Interchangeable stainless steel bracelet with quick-release button
Price: £3,500

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Bell & Ross BR 05 GMT

Bell & Ross BR 05 GMT

Bell & Ross’ BR 05 collection is their answer to iconic Gerald Genta sports luxe designs. The curved square case references the porthole shape of the Nautilus while the decorative screws are signature Royal Oak. However, it still maintains the unique style of B&R through its technical instrument style design. The red GMT hand heightens that impression as it looks like an instrument you might find in a plane, complementing the watch’s travel companion role.

Ref: BR05G-BL-ST/SRB (rubber strap), BR05G-BL-ST/SST (steel bracelet) 
Case/dial:
41mm diameter x 11.1mm thickness, rounded square stainless steel case with integrated lugs, rounded square bezel with signature mounting screws, black sunray dial, two-tone black and silver outer ring with 24-hour scale, applied numerals and indices coated with Super LumiNova
Water resistance: 100m (10 bar)
Movement: Calibre BR-CAL.325 (Sellita SW-330 base), automatic, 42h power reserve, 28,800 vph (4 Hz) frequency, 25 jewels
Strap: Black rubber with folding clasp or satin-finished and polished integrated steel bracelet with triple folding clasp
Price: £4,700

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Tudor Black Bay GMT S&G

Tudor Black Bay GMT S&G

While the Black Bay Pro may have stolen the limelight at Watches & Wonders, the new bi-colour version of the GMT version was arguably the best-looking in Tudor’s line-up. The mix of a root beer (black and brown) bezel and retro golden highlights across the bezel, dial and bracelet made for a sepia-drenched splash of retro beauty. With 200m water resistance it’s also a GMT you could, if you so wanted, wear diving, backed up by a serious movement. It’s a bit pricier on the bracelet, but it’s definitely worth the extra cash to really lean into that bi-colour cool.

Ref: M79833MN-0001 (steel and gold bracelet), M79833MN-0003 (brown leather strap), M79833MN-0004 (fabric strap)
Case/dial:
41mm diameter, stainless steel case with polished and satin finish, gold, blue and red bezel, black dial
Water resistance: 200m (20 bar)
Movement: In-house calibre MT5652, automatic, COSC certified, 26 jewels, automatic, 70h power reserve, 28,800 vph (4 Hz) frequency, 26 jewels
Strap: Black fabric with beige band, brown leather strap or stainless steel and yellow gold bracelet
Price: £3,320 (fabric and leather strap) and £4,290 (steel and gold bracelet)

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Grand Seiko Evolution 9 GMT

Grand Seiko Evolution 9 GMT

Grand Seiko’s relatively young Evolution 9 collection boasts some fantastic watches such as the White Birch, where the textured dial is the real hero of the piece. However, Grand Seiko have also explored the collection’s sporty temperament with new chronograph, diver and GMT models. The GMT model in particular is a standout with its glacial dial. In addition to introducing the GMT function to the collection, it also has the first rotating bezel. Where will Evolution 9 head next?

Ref: SBGE283 (black dial), SBGE285 (grey dial)
Case/dial:
41mm diameter x 13.9mm thickness, high-intensity titanium case, grey or black dial
Water resistance: 100m (10 bar)
Movement: In-house calibre 9R66 (Grand Seiko 9R65 base), automatic with manual winding, spring drive, 72h power reserve, 28,800 vph (4 Hz) frequency, 30 jewels, 4,800 A/m magnetic resistance
Strap: Titanium bracelet with three-fold clasp with push button release
Price: £7,290

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Breitling Super AVI B04 Chronograph GMT 46 Curtiss Warhawk

Breitling Super AVI B04 Chronograph GMT 46 Curtiss Warhawk

The core collection version of Breitling’s good-looking AVI Ref. 765 re-issue, this chunkier, more rugged take on the aviation timepiece, complete with a solid chronograph with a particularly funky three o’clock subdial. Of the collection, the military green is the stand-out, designed in honour of the famous Curtiss Warhawk pursuit fighter. It’s a little less retro than the inspirations might suggest (the plane was flying in the 1930s) but with its minimal 12-hour bezel and tool watch vibes, there’s a lot to love in this modern take on the formula – even if it’s a bit large for some wrists.

Case/dial: 46mm diameter x 15.9mm thickness, stainless steel case, military green dial with Arabic numerals 
Water resistance: 100m (10 bar)
Movement: Calibre Breitling B04 (Manufacture), automatic, COSC-certified, 70h power reserve, 28,800 vph (4 Hz) frequency, 47 jewels
Strap: Brown calfskin leather with stainless steel folding clasp
Price: £7,900 

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Over £8,000

Rolex Oyster Perpetual GMT Master II 'Destro'

Rolex Oyster Perpetual GMT-Master II ‘Destro’

Any steel sports Rolex is going to create a buzz, but the new left-handed version of the GMT-Master II built a next-level furor. Not only does it come with a black and green 24-hour bezel, but the movement has been rotated – and the date disc adjusted – so that the crown is on the left-hand side. It’s an odd choice, especially as there aren’t any other lefties in the collection, but it makes for an interesting addition, and one that collectors are going to go insane trying to get hold of. Like all of Rolex’s new releases it also comes with their latest generation calibre, so no matter the reason for buying it, it’s a solid watch.

Case/dial: 40mm diameter, Oystersteel case, black dial, bidirectional 24-hour graduated bezel in green and black, Cerachrom insert in ceramic, moulded numerals and graduations
Water resistance: 100m (10 bar)
Movement: In-house calibre 3285, automatic with perpetual rotor and paramagnetic blue Parachrom hairspring, high-performance Paraflex shock absorbers, 70h power reserve, 28,800 vph (4Hz) frequency, 31 jewels
Strap: Oystersteel three-piece bracelet with folding Oysterlock safety clasp
Price: £8,800

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Bulgari Octo Finissimo Chronograph GMT

Bulgari Octo Finissimo Chronograph GMT

The world’s thinnest movement at 3.3mm tall, Bulgari’s less-than-humble take on the GMT is a tour de force of watchmaking – this time, in steel. Honestly, that’s all that’s really new about this chronograph-equipped second time zone watch, but the monochrome look of the ultra-thin angular case is impeccably cool. Combining brushed and polished finishes and a downright incredible bracelet, it’s a welcome, more pared-back addition to the Finissimo canon. It is however one of the priciest GMTs out there. Because of course it is.

Ref: 103068
Case/dial:
42mm diameter x 10.7mm thickness, sandblasted titanium case with transparent caseback
Water resistance: 30m (3 bar)
Movement: Bulgari calibre BVL 318, automatic with peripheral rotor, 55h power reserve, 28,800 vph (4 Hz) frequency, 37 jewels
Strap: Titanium bracelet
Price: £15,400

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Parmigiani Tonda PF GMT

Parmigiani Tonda PF GMT

Rattrapante For the first time ever, a GMT meets a rattrapante function. Sure, it’s not the couple everyone was shipping, but the results are nonetheless exceptional. Complicated to build but intuitive to use, two hour hands sit perfectly on top of one another. At the press of a button, you can jump one hand forward an hour, while the other stays where it is, revealing the GMT under the surface. Press another button, and wherever that second time zone hand is, it will jump back directly on top of the local time hand. It’s quite simply magnificent. Parmigiani excelled with the Tonda PF; this puts it into a whole new level.

Ref: PFC905-1020001-100182
Case/dial:
40mm diameter x 10.7mm thickness, stainless steel case with sapphire caseback, Grain d’Orge guilloché in Milano Blue dial with hand-applied 18ct gold rhodium-plated appliques
Water resistance: 60m (6 bar)
Movement: Calibre PF051, automatic, 48h power reserve, 21,600 vph (3 Hz) frequency, 207 parts, 31 jewels
Strap: Stainless steel bracelet
Price: CHF 26,000 (approx. £21,100)

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Patek Philippe Annual Calendar Travel Time

Patek Philippe Annual Calendar Travel Time

In addition to the nicknames for GMT functions that we’ve already seen, such as Zulu Time, Patek Philippe have their own term for it which is Travel Time. Functionally it operates by having a secondary hour hand for tracking time in a second time zone. The advantage of this compared to a traditional GMT hand is that when you aren’t using a second time zone, you can tuck the subsidiary hour hand beneath the primary one to hide it. It makes for a less cluttered dial, which is important considering the Annual Calendar Travel Time also sports a wealth of additional functions.

Ref: 5326G-001
Case/dial:
41mm diameter x 11.7mm thickness, 18k white gold case with sapphire caseback, textured, charcoal grey dial with black-gradient rim, gold applied numerals with beige luminescent coating
Water resistance: 30m (3 bar)
Movement: Calibre 31‑260 PS QA LU FUS 24H, in-house, automatic with platinum micro-rotor, 38 – 48h power reserve, 28,800 vph (4 Hz) frequency, 409 parts
Strap: Hand-stitched, beige calfskin with nubuck finish, with an additional black hand-stitched calfskin strap embossed with fabric pattern with 18k white gold fold-over clasp
Price: £59,200

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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.

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