These GMT watches from Rolex, Patek Philippe, Bell & Ross, and Tudor get the job done in absolute style
No world traveller would want to do without these GMT timepieces.
Of all the complications offered by mechanical timepieces, globetrotters arguably find none more practical than the GMT. So named after the Greenwich Mean Time, the watch’s ability to indicate two different time zones allows its wearer to keep track of the local time and the home time at a glance. It’s an extremely useful tool that helps travellers stay connected to life back home. Even more so when the watch’s good looks get one respect and nods of approval at any corner of the globe. Here are four GMT timepieces that will easily take you from meetings to merrymaking, no matter the time zone.
Rolex’s Oyster Perpetual Sky-Dweller
Unsurprisingly, Rolex’s GMT-Master II is often considered the archetypal GMT timepiece. The collection’s 69-year history is inextricably tied to the beginnings of GMT wristwatches, with its bi-directional rotating 24-hour bezel having set the design template for the many that followed.
Still, it’s not the brand's only second time-zone option. Rolex’s Oyster Perpetual Sky-Dweller offers a more gentlemanly alternative with all the sporty-luxe trappings intact. And for 2023, Rolex has released three new Sky-Dwellers with an updated movement dressed in three dial colour and precious metal variations.
The black dial edition comes with an Oysterflex, making this the first-ever white gold Sky-Dweller launched with the hardy elastomer strap. The white gold and Oystersteel Rolesor features a dial in a mint green that has so far been reserved for the Datejust collection. Then, there’s the Everose version with a new blue-green dial that’s exclusive to the timepiece.
All three 42mm references are powered by the brand-new Perpetual calibre 9002, an evolution of the calibre 9001 that has driven the Sky-Dweller since its launch in 2012. What’s new is that the 9002 now incorporates the brand’s patented Chronergy escapement and an oscillating weight with optimised ball bearing. Meaning, you get all the Sky-Dweller features that you love, including the Saros annual calendar, but with greater energy efficiency and dependability — and new dashing looks to boot.
Patek Philippe’s Calatrava 24-Hour Display Travel Time
One of two Travel Time timepieces that Patek Philippe has released this year (the other being the Calatrava Pilot Travel Time Chronograph Ref. 5924G), this suave 42mm rose gold number presents an innovative take on the traveller’s watch.
A distinctive 24-hour display dial nods to the brand’s historical Chronometro Gondolo timepieces produced in the 1920s but with an updated take. Here, things are topsy-turvy, with noon found at the 12 o’clock position, and midnight at six o’clock, to maximise the legibility of the daytime hours. Even more intriguing is that this Calatrava Travel Time sees both the local- and home-time hour markers using the 24-hour display, unlike conventional GMTs where it’s just the home time that is shown in the 24-hour format.
A new, patented three-position crown allows Patek Philippe to do away with correction pushers and maintain the design’s elegant profile. Pull it out to the first position to set the local time in one-hour increments in either direction. Pull it out again to set the home time and stop seconds. Then, push it all the way back in to wind the watch (it offers a 48-hour power reserve) — easy as pie. A navy blue dial with hand-laid rose gold appliques complete the picture.
Bell & Ross’s BR 03-93 GMT Blue
Those looking for a watch with more grit and grind can always trust Bell & Ross to deliver. The French brand has built its reputation on statement timepieces inspired by cockpit instruments — and the automatic BR 03-93 GMT Blue is no exception. Taking its cues from the updated BR 03-93 GMT of 2021, this newest rendition also features a 42mm by 42mm steel case with polished- and satin-finished surfaces and a clean, legible dial that makes time-reading a breeze even after an 18-hour flight. (Though some squinting might be needed to read the small date aperture between the four and five o’clock position.) Its indices and hands are coated with Super-LumiNova, while its 24-hour bi-directional rotating bezel allows for the display of a third time zone.
Where the GMT of 2021 featured a matt black dial with a red-and-black “Coke” bezel, here it’s a navy blue sunburst dial and a blue-and-grey anodised aluminium ring bezel that accentuates its signature circle-in-a-square look. The result is a more youthful reinterpretation of its sombre predecessor.
Tudor’s Black Bay GMT
When Tudor debuted its Black Bay GMT at BaselWorld 2018, the watch became one of the most talked about timepieces at the fair. Its red-and-blue “Pepsi” bezel and sporty looks recalled those of its much-coveted crowned older brother, delivered at a more accessible price point. It was an attractive proposition that got many watch fans whipping out their wallets. Since then, the automatic GMT has consistently drawn in the crowds for the brand — and will continue to do so now that Tudor has expanded its ranks with a new edition.