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Top 7 Best GMT Watches for the Perfect Timezone Transition

Chris, Chief Editor

Updated Feb 18, 2024

Human experts evaluate all our content

Is your mind still stuck in London after landing in Tokyo?

Meet the best GMT watches, your jet-setting savior! Forget fumbling with phone conversions or mental time zone math. These timekeeping titans display two zones at once, keeping you sharp and synced – from boardroom meetings to beachside sunsets.

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02/18/2024 03:28 pm GMT

Whether you’re a businessman or a timezone-hopping entrepreneur, our guide cuts through the fluff to unveil the best GMT watches, dissect their key features, and help you choose the perfect one for your adventures.

Get ready to conquer time zones in style with effortless timekeeping!

Best GMT Watches

What to consider

With years of experience navigating the intersections of men’s lifestyle, business, and luxury, founder and creative director Chris Starkhagen guides high-value men and those aspiring to elevate their status. Adhering to stringent editorial guidelines, we ensure our recommendations uphold the highest standards of quality and relevance, and our commitment is to authenticity and delivering content that resonates with what you’re searching for. Discover our ethos and the vision driving us forward on our about page.

We’ve meticulously sifted through the landscape of the best watches, focusing on those that stand out for their quality, functionality, and alignment with what our audience wants to know. Our selection process combines comprehensive watch knowledge, real luxury watch experience, and prioritizing watch brands we personally use or feel confident recommending.

We also get insights from industry experts and customer feedback that form the cornerstone of our reviews. This approach ensures that our recommendations are informed, credible, and beneficial to you.

SEIKO SSK005 Sports
$475.00 $299.00

The Seiko SSK005 GMT is an overall fantastic GMT watch loved by thousands of men, and the orange dial sets it apart from others on our list.

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02/18/2024 03:28 pm GMT

What We Like

  • Robust stainless steel construction
  • Inspired by the iconic SEIKO SKX series
  • High consumer ratings suggest reliability

What We Don’t Like

  • Non-screw down crown may affect water resistance
  • Some users find the GMT hand unnecessary

The design of the Seiko SSK005 GMT takes cues from the beloved SEIKO SKX series, with a focus on both durability and aesthetic. The sturdy stainless steel bracelet and case safeguard the watch’s internal components, while the orange GMT hand allows tracking of an additional time zone on the fly.

Intensity finds expression in the 42.5mm case diameter, pairing a bold visual with practical, daily wearability. The tri-fold push button release clasp with lock provides a secure fitment, helping to prevent accidental openings.

Reflecting on the GMT function, this Seiko model navigates through multiple time zones with ease, catering to the needs of travelers and professionals alike. A fusion of Japanese engineering and timepiece tradition, the watch is more than an instrument; it’s a testament to Seiko’s commitment to affordable quality.

Fossil GMT Stainless Steel
$180.00 $132.99

This Fossil GMT watch is as stylish as it's functional for tracking multiple time zones, complete with a silicone band for carefree water activities at the beach!

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02/18/2024 02:57 pm GMT

What We Like

  • Dual-time capability adds a layer of functionality for travelers
  • Water resistance is suitable for swimming or snorkeling
  • Interchangeable band system for versatility

What We Don’t Like

  • At 46mm, the case size may be too large for some wrists
  • Silicone band may not appeal to all, despite its comfort

GMT watches hold a special place in our collection, as they carry a history of precision timekeeping for travelers. Fossil’s Blue Men’s Dive-Inspired Sports Watch merges this function with a sporty aesthetic.

The brand’s commitment to accessible fashion and quality is evident. A GMT watch like this serves well for those who engage with different time zones, whether for business or pleasure. It offers practicality with its clear, easy-to-read GMT hand without compromising on style.

Beyond its functionality, we understand the importance of comfort and durability. The silicone band on this model is resilient and adaptable to various conditions. Buyers who prioritize a watch that can transition from office to outdoor adventures will find this feature beneficial.

All things considered, Fossil has developed a serious travel watch and companion that is much more than a mere timepiece—it is a fusion of utility and elegance. The rotating 24-hour bezel and the GMT hand are focal points, allowing for swift time tracking across time zones. The visually striking black sunray dial, accented by the travel watch’s rugged construction, impresses at first glance.

SEIKO SSK017J1 GMT Automatic
$475.00 $340.00

If you're in the market for a quality GMT watch without the premium price tag, the SEIKO SSK017J1 should be on your mind

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02/18/2024 02:58 pm GMT

What We Like

  • High user satisfaction with a 4.9 out of 5-star rating on Amazon
  • Features a striking yellow dial, a unique option for watch enthusiasts
  • Part of Seiko’s reputable lineage in watchmaking with high reliability

What We Don’t Like

  • Yellow dial might not be your cup of tea

Seiko’s dedication to offering dependable timepieces shines through in the SSK017J1. It offers GMT functionality, allowing wearers to track an additional time zone. This feature makes it an ideal companion for travelers or those with international connections.

The watch’s distinctive yellow and blue dial also sets it apart in aesthetics, likely to appeal to those who prefer their accessories to make a statement. A mechanical movement powers it, adhering to the classic approach of mechanical watch part manufacturing, and the stainless steel construction promises durability.

It’s our understanding that selecting the right GMT watch involves considering both functionality and style. The SSK017J1 from Seiko provides a pleasing balance, making it a compelling choice among its peers. With user reviews affirming its performance and design, we see it as an option that delivers in its category.

Invicta Pro Diver GMT Polyurethane

The Invicta is big and unique and stands out with its striking visuals and bold design. "Go big or go home" as they say.

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02/18/2024 03:00 pm GMT

What We Like

  • Swiss quartz movement for precise timekeeping
  • Water-resistant up to 100 meters
  • Luminous hands and hour markers provide visibility in low light conditions

What We Don’t Like

  • Bulky design
  • Black polyurethane band (mix of plastic and rubber) may not appeal to those preferring traditional watch straps

In our search for the best GMT dive watches, we find the Invicta Men’s 6991 Pro Diver Collection GMT Black Dial Black Polyurethane Watch stands out. True to its collection’s name, this timepiece impresses with a durable and robust design. The gold-tone stainless steel case paired with a black sunray dial exudes elegance, while the GMT function allows for tracking multiple time zones—imperative for travelers.

Dive watches like this are equipped to handle water activities short of professional diving. Including a unidirectional bezel is a testament to its functionality, and the Swiss-made GMT quartz movement is a mark of reliability. Water resistance of up to 330 feet makes the automatic caliber of this dive watch a dependable choice for the adventurous wearer during water sports and recreational swimming.

Given its commanding presence, the Invicta Pro Diver GMT is not just a timekeeping instrument but also a statement piece. The stylish display, complete with date display, subdial, and GMT capabilities, offers practicality without compromising on aesthetics. For those who prioritize precision alongside a striking visual appeal, our Pro Diver GMT is a compelling choice.

SEIKO SFK003 Prospex Solar Sumo GMT
$775.00 $569.00

A reliable GMT watch with solar-powered functionality, perfect for diving, and a beautiful green dial.

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02/18/2024 03:05 pm GMT

What We Like

  • Solar-powered movement reduces the need for battery changes.
  • High water resistance makes it suitable for diving.
  • Striking green dial with a bright GMT hand enhances legibility and aesthetic appeal.

What We Don’t Like

  • The substantial 45mm case diameter might be too large for some wrists.
  • A niche green dial color may not appeal to all tastes.

The SEIKO SFK003 emerges as an intriguing option in our exploration of GMT watches. Its solar-power movement liberates wearers from regular maintenance concerns, while the robust stainless steel construction promises durability.

The watch’s specialized features cater to adventurers and globe-trotters. The unidirectional blue bezel also aligns with dive watch norms, contributing to its functionality. Meanwhile, the vibrant orange GMT hand clearly prefers a second-time zone.

We appreciate the thoroughness that SEIKO brings to the table with this model. The sapphire crystal offers scratch resistance for a life on the move. Wearers benefit from the convenience of a date display neatly positioned alongside the time-telling essentials.

Casio Classic Stainless Steel
$42.95 $29.95

This Casio model should be on your radar! People absolutely love the value they get for the price with a solid build quality.

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02/18/2024 03:07 pm GMT

What We Like

  • Solid water resistance at 330 feet
  • Features like world time and alarms
  • Durable resin and stainless steel build

What We Don’t Like

  • Aesthetic may not appeal to every style
  • Lacks the prestige of luxury brands

With a reputation for toughness and reliability, the Casio Men’s AE1200WH-1A offers practical functions for everyday use.

Its water resistance of up to 330 feet makes it suitable for swimming and snorkeling, though not diving.

The world time feature accommodates various time zones, a boon for travelers or professionals dealing with international peers.

The watch unites a classic digital display with handy functions such as alarms and a stopwatch.

These features, paired with the Japanese Quartz movement, ensure accurate timekeeping.

The watch’s construction, with a stainless steel bracelet and resin case, promises durability and longevity.

Regarding style, this model has a distinct look that draws inspiration from vintage digital watches.

It may not rival the elegance of luxury GMT watches, but its design has earned a following for its nostalgic appeal.

The Casio Men’s AE1200WH-1A is a robust choice for those who desire a practical and reliable timepiece without the high-end price tag.

SEIKO SRPK20 Sport GMT Automatic
$395.00 $296.25

We consider the Seiko overall a top brand in this price segment and the GMT Classic doesn't disappoint for those in pursuit of a little class.

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02/18/2024 03:10 pm GMT

What We Like

  • Exquisite blue dial catches the eye
  • Gold tone band adds a luxurious touch
  • Robust 100m water resistance for daily wear

What We Don’t Like

  • Automatic movement requires movement or winding to keep time
  • A tiny bit heavier than other watches on our list, but that also implies quality

Investing in the Seiko GMT Classic means owning a watch with a noticeable blue and black dial on—ideal for those who appreciate aesthetic appeal.

Its gold-tone band stands out, perfect for formal occasions. This timepiece also offers practical water resistance up to 100 meters.

Some may find the 8-ounce weight substantial, which is an important consideration for wrist comfort.

Although the automatic movement showcases traditional mechanical engineering, it does require regular motion or manual winding—a point to note for potential users.

Our experience leads us to respect Seiko for its dedication to producing reliable, stylish timepieces.

The Seiko GMT Classic represents this ethos with its durable stainless steel construction and deployment clasp for secure fastening.

Its round analog display and second hand function provide a classic look and feel.

Given its specialized features, including the GMT function, the Seiko GMT Classic targets enthusiasts seeking dual time zone watches.

This model lacks an overwhelming number of reviews but has so far scored a perfect rating, reflecting a positive initial reception.

It offers functionality, style, and the trustworthiness of a respected watch brand.

When considering the convenience of setting a second or third-time zone, automatic GMT watches exhibit an unparalleled allure.

These timepieces offer intricate craftsmanship, allowing you to observe the movement’s mechanics through often-present sapphire crystal casebacks.

Notably, automatic watches are prized for their engineering, with brands such as Rolex and Grand Seiko providing models that stand as testaments to horological excellence.

The Rolex GMT-Master II and the Grand Seiko GMT embody this ethos, showcasing aesthetic appeal and innovative technology.

A substantial power reserve and the smooth sweep of the hour hand add to these watches’ high-end feel.

Conversely, quartz GMT watches grant precision and reliability with minimal maintenance.

Seiko, with its accessible price points, creates quartz GMT watches that ensure travelers can track multiple time zones without the need for regular winding.

The Grand Seiko Quartz GMT models champion accuracy, featuring the added convenience of a battery-powered movement.

They are typically lighter, making them a practical choice for everyday wear.

When selecting between automatic and quartz, consider lifestyle and personal preferences for horological mechanisms.

If you find joy in the artistry of a self-winding watch and don’t mind the requisite upkeep, an automatic GMT might be your ideal travel watch companion.

For those who prioritize dependable timekeeping without the need for winding, quartz movements are a stellar choice for house movement.

We must examine factors such as case size, material, water resistance, and movement type, to ensure we invest in a GMT watch that aligns with our needs.

Whether wandering across time zones or requiring a reliable reference for Zulu time, the decision between automatic and quartz movements hinges on what we value most in our wristwear.

A GMT watch features a 24-hour hand and often a rotating bezel, enabling users to track two or more time zones.

First, align one-hour increments of the GMT hand with Greenwich Mean Time or another time zone by pulling the crown to set the hour.

Use a reference point such as UTC (Coordinated Universal Time) to set the 24-hour hand accurately.

Next, set the local time. This is typically done by adjusting the local hour hand in isolation from the GMT hour hand.

The crown’s position for local time settings can differ among GMT watches, so consult the manual for specific instructions for your watch’s brand, be it Rolex, Grand Seiko, or others.

Some models, like the Rolex GMT-Master II, allow the hour hand to be set independently of the minute. GMT traditional hour hands and hand and hour hands go together, which is convenient for frequent travelers.

For tracking a second time zone, align the date display of the bezel marking with the GMT hand to indicate the time difference from local time.

Consider whether the GMT hand on your watch moves in a true GMT fashion or if it’s a caller GMT.

True GMT lets you adjust the latter to lug the second time zone without stopping the main timekeeping, which is ideal for someone managing multiple time zones. Watches like the Rolex Explorer II or the Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean offer this feature.

Look for affordable GMT watches from brands like Seiko or Hamilton for economical options.

They provide vital GMT functionality with high-quality automatic movements, all under a more accessible price point.

When choosing a GMT watch, consider the case size, material, and water resistance to ensure it meets your needs, be it for professional use or travel.

Watches crafted with stainless steel cases, such as the Tudor Black Bay GMT, are robust and suit various occasions.

GMT watches have evolved significantly since their inception.

Initially designed for pilots and frequent travelers, these watches include an additional hour hand that completes one rotation in 24 hours, allowing the wearer to track a second-time zone.

In 1954, Rolex introduced the GMT Master, featuring a fourth hand, a rotating bezel, and a dual time function, enabling the wearer’s dual time zone watch to monitor two time zones. This watch set the standard for future GMT models.

Over time, brands like Patek Philippe and Vacheron Constantin have advanced the GMT function.

They provide dual time capacities and emphasize luxurious craftsmanship with features such as sapphire crystals and power reserve indicators.

Grand Seiko, known for its meticulous detailing and high-quality movement, offers the Grand Seiko GMT, which boasts a stainless steel case and Zaratsu polishing.

Today, affordable options like the Hamilton Khaki Aviation and Seiko Sports GMT present GMT functionality to a wider audience.

They maintain reliability with automatic movements and steel cases, while brands like Tudor and Nomos Glashütte cater to those seeking the middle ground with models like the Black Bay GMT and Glashütte Original.

These watches provide incredible value with superb accuracy and design within accessible price ranges.

GMT watches allow us to keep track of local time across different zones, a necessity in our globalized world.

From robust stainless steel cases that can withstand the rigors of travel to elegant movements that capture our love for precision and dual time complication, the evolution of GMT watches reflects our need to stay connected across time and place.

The advancement in GMT watches continues as manufacturers invest in materials and movement innovations to enhance the traveler’s experience.

Purchasing a true GMT watch with a dual-time feature that fits a tight budget is a feasible task for discerning watch enthusiasts.

We recommend watches like the Seiko 5 Sports GMT and perhaps the Timex Allied Three GMT. They provide a quality GMT function and are included in our best watches under a $500 guide.

These watches allow you to track an additional time zone through a GMT hand that can be set independently of the local time.

Both offer a way to keep track of time across different time zones without sacrificing quality.

For affordable GMT watches, features like stainless steel cases, sapphire crystals, and water resistance ensure durability, while designs range from functional with a clean dial to more rugged with a rotating bezel.

Exploring microbrand watches also opens doors to unique GMT models, such as the Baltic Aquascaphe GMT, which comes in under $1,000.

With a smaller case size of 39mm and vintage-inspired looks, this model gives enthusiasts a sense of exclusivity and elegant design, complemented by a robust automatic movement.

These recommendations demonstrate that a true GMT watch need not be elusive or financially taxing, allowing for travel readiness and time zone management in an affordable package.

Chris Starkhagen MSc.

Entrepreneur and Founder of chrisstarkhagen.com

Chris writes for men about what to know and how to be a high-value man and networking with high-net-worth individuals. Chris guides readers on men’s business, men’s home office, men’s performance, men’s accessories, and the best products for men to craft a timeless style. Whether you’re already a high net-worth man seeking your next luxury watch or a young G who wants a lifestyle upgrade, Chris connects men with the resources needed to elevate life as a man.