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The Best GMT Watches of 2022: A Buying Guide

best gmt watches
It can be frustrating trying to reset your watch as you hop in and out of a plane. If you forget, you could even end up missing some important appointments, which would be less than ideal!  GMT watches are the perfect solution for cross-continental travel. So, whether you are a constant traveler, a travel blogger, or a member of the cabin crew, a GMT watch is a must-buy.  This guide lists the best GMT watches you can find and everything that will help you make a great purchase!

What Is a GMT Watch?

A GMT watch is a watch with a 24 hour scale that displays two different time zones simultaneously.  Some refer to it as a dual time zone watch, but these two can, in some contexts, mean different things. GMTs can differ from one brand to another and one model to another, but the underlying idea remains the same.

Top 5 GMT Watches of 2022

Let’s get down to business with this list of the top 5 GMT watches!

1. Pagani Design Watches for Men

The Pagani Design Watch is a luxury automatic mechanical watch designed for men. It’s a 1682 model made from stainless steel, and it shares a lot of semblance with the Rolex Explorer II. The pointer and scale are luminous, giving you a crisp night display.  The watch also has an artificial sapphire mirror that makes it scratch resistant. In addition, it has a screw-down crown and a great lume.  The watch is a 42mm watch, which is a good fit for a man’s wrist, and you can have it with either a black or white dial and an orange GMT hand. Not to mention, it has a 100m water resistance function.

Pros

  • Submarine watch, which means you can use for swimming and snorkeling
  • Comes with an adjustable strap tool and a microfiber cleaning cloth
  • Comes in a giftable packaging box

Cons

  • Bezel doesn’t rotate, so you have to use the stem to set the GMT function
This watch is great if you are looking for a homage to the Rolex Explorer II at a fraction of the cost!

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2. Pagani Design Men Watches Black Bay Homage

The Pagani Design Men Watch Black Bay Homage is another homage watch with a 40mm diameter and 14mm thickness. It is an automatic GMT movement watch with a stainless steel bracelet.  This watch also has an adjustable band and a fold-over clasp. The back cover is made of a viewable glass, giving you a view of the inner workings.   This watch has a unidirectional bezel for easier GMT function, and it has great water resistance, making it ideal for all underwater activities. In addition, the bezel edge is wide and it has a screw-down crown, which makes it comfortable to set the watch even when it’s on your wrist!

Pros

  • Has a great night indicator
  • Bidirectional rotating bezel
  • Up to 200m water resistance, making it great for swimming and other water activities

Cons

  • Design needs better quality control
This Pagani Homage Watch is a great option if you are looking for a watch that goes along  seamlessly with both casual or formal looks!

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3. Pagani Design Men GMT Automatic Watches

Another Pagani design, this watch is 40mm thick with a red and blue or black and blue non-ceramic bezel. In addition, the watch lens is made from artificial sapphire, which increases its glass and scratch resistance! This watch has a 100m water resistance; however, any damage to the glass can affect this. It also has a safety pinhole buckle which prevents it from falling off. 

Pros

  • Screw pins make it easy to size the bracelet
  • Affordable price
  • Comes with a gift box 
  • Includes a one year warranty

Cons

  • Poor quality control
  • Doesn’t have well-positioned cyclops
  • Numbers don’t have the cleanest edges
This watch’s color combination makes it stand out in the crowd. It’s also a good choice if you want to keep track of the time when you’re in another country!

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4. Stuhrling Original Mens Stainless Steel GMT Watch

The Stuhrling Original is a 2019 analog display watch made from stainless steel. It’s a 42mm silver watch with a black dial and an orange 24 hour GMT hand. This watch has a swiss quartz movement and a screw-down crown, making it easy to adjust the time. It also has a bidirectional bezel movement and a 100m water resistance. In addition, the watch has a dual push-button clasp, which helps keep it secure on the wrist. 

Pros

  • Two year international warranty
  • 100m water resistance which is great for snorkeling and swimming
  • Easy to read even at night

Cons

  • Not 316L stainless steel, so the watch may rust after a while
  • Chrome-plated case may scratch easily
If you have always eyed the Rolex Pepsi but can’t stand the insane waiting list and price, the Stuhrling Original is your best bet!

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5. Tissot Men’s Chemin des Tourelles 316L Stainless Steel Watch

A list of the best GMT watches would be incomplete without this Tissot watch. This is a 42mm Swiss automatic movement watch with a 316L stainless steel plate, keeping it from compression. It has a black leather strap and a stationary bezel. This watch also has a 50mm water resistance, so you can wear it to swim for a short period of time in an enclosed pool. It has a push-button deployment strap, making it extra secure on the wrist.

Pros

  • Comes with a two year warranty
  • Dial is large, making it easy to read
  • Classic look

Cons

  • Can’t use this watch for snorkeling or diving
This Tissot is a great watch if you hop from one plane to another for business purposes or want to keep track of business partners that live in other countries.

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Factors to Consider When Buying Your GMT Watch

Personal Preferences

You need to consider your personal preferences. Ask yourself if you prefer a rubber bracelet or stainless steel? Do you like firm watches and light? Do you prefer color or monochrome? These questions can help you choose the right watch.  If you already have a favorite brand that works for you, it’s better to start your search with them. Besides having a trusted dealer by your side, you can also have your specifications and sizes ready in advance.

Functionality

Functionality is very critical when buying a GMT watch. First, you need to ask yourself why you are buying a GMT watch. For example, if you are trying to keep track of a relative’s time zone overseas, you may need a less expensive and simpler design than an international athlete who often competes in different countries!

Complications

There are two types of GMT complications. These are the Caller GMT and the True GMT. If a GMT watch allows you to only adjust the local hand, it is called True GMT, but if it allows you to adjust the long GMT hand, it is called Caller GMT.  As you can guess, true GMT is better for those who travel more as the focus becomes their current location. On the other hand, Caller GMT is better for people who tend to stay in their home country but need to call people or attend meetings with people who live overseas.

Guarantee and After Sales Procedure

There’s an industry minimum of 2 years warranty on luxury wristwatches, so you probably won’t get less than this. However, some brands do offer less. For example, Pagani has a one year warranty since it’s a Chinese homage brand. For aftersales, you should consider what your dealer offers you. For example, some brands offer full-time, long-run maintenance, while some only offer this for a limited period of time. Again, ask your authorized dealer to explain your options before you make a choice.

Weight

The weight of a wristwatch has to be comfortable, and most GMT watches fall on the heavier side. Make sure that you check out the diameter to thickness of each watch side by side before deciding on a piece.

Best Watch Brands

Pagani

Pagani Design is a Chinese watch brand that was first established in 2012. Their watches pay homage to sports watches of top luxury brands. 

Stuhrling

Stuhrling is a modern brand with 18 years of experience in watchmaking. Stuhrling makes classic men and women designs and ships directly to all different parts of the world. 

Tissot

Tissot is a Swiss luxury watch company that was first established in Lo Locle in 1853. It was then merged with Omega, SA in 1930.

Seiko

Seiko is a Japanese watchmaker that started in 1881. They have various sub-brands and collections to explore!

Frequently Asked Questions 

What Does GMT Mean?

GMT means Greenwich Meridian Time, also known as Meantime. It is the world-accepted time that replaced the UTC long ago, and it runs on a 24 hours basis. This makes it perfect for intercoastal or inter-border travel.

Is GMT Different from UTC? 

UTC stands for Coordinated Universal Time, a more scientific measure of time than GMT. However, this difference is not particularly useful to the average person. For example, if it’s 2 a.m. UTC, then it’s 2 a.m. GMT.

How Does a GMT Wristwatch Work? 

A GMT has a 24 hour hand and the normal 12 hours display. The 24 hour hand turns two times slower than the 12 hours hand; thus, it completes only one rotation per day.  The 24 hour hand is the one that tells the GMT, while the 12 hour hand indicates your timezone. The 24 hour structure also helps you tell whether it’s AM or PM.

How Do I Read a GMT Watch? 

To use a GMT watch, you should know whether the hours of the country you are tracking are behind or ahead of you. This way, you know whether to move the bezel clockwise or counterclockwise. You can always reset the clock to the time of your destination and track your local time with the bezel instead. Of course, keep in mind that GMT watches can vary, so the process might differ watch to watch.

Is a GMT Watch the Same as a Dual-Time Watch? 

No, not entirely. A GMT is a dual-time watch since it allows you to check two time zones at the same time. However, not all dual-time watches are GMT.  There’s a separate category of dual-time watches that do not have the 24 hour format. It qualifies as a dual-time watch as long as it’s displaying two time zones, even if it’s in 12 hour sub-dials.

Is a Chronograph Better than a GMT?

Both are equally useful complications, so it’s all up to your needs and personal preferences.  For example, if you have family members abroad or you love to travel, you will find the GMT more useful. In fact, many people claim that it’s easier to use a phone to set a timer or keep appointments than it is to use a chronograph. 

Final Thoughts

GMT wristwatches are a staple if you are in business. While your phone can be a ready alternative, you can still benefit from this excellent watch complication.  There are many watches to choose from, so you should consider your personal preferences, functionality, and other variables before choosing one.  Now that you know the best GMT watches out there, make sure to purchase from your preferred dealer so you can start to enjoy traveling in a whole new way!

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