5 Reasons You Should Consider a GMT Watch

by Nour Abraham

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May 11. 2017 - by Nour Abraham

GMT timepieces are fine mechanical instruments that are vastly popular around the globe. And that’s no wonder considering there are countless arguments that speak for a GMT watch, including but not limited to a classic and timeless aesthetic in addition to an incredibly functional and practical design. Read on to find out more about the top 5 reasons you should consider a GMT watch

GMT: One of the most useful complications

A chronograph, a moon phase, a tourbillon… all are ingenious complications that represent the art of watchmaking. When it comes to everyday use and practicality, however, the GMT complication comes very much in handy. The GMT complication is a sensible investment that originated in the 1950’s when transcontinental flights became more common. Since then, the watch has remained on the wrists of pilot’s, jet setters, and watch enthusiast who find the practical functionality of a GMT timepiece worthwhile.

Some of the most popular GMT models in the world of fine timepieces today include the Rolex GMT Master II, the Breitling Navitimer GMT and the Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean GMT.

A fitting complication for globetrotters

For those of us who find ourselves starting the day in London but winding down for the night in New York, the everyday use of a GMT complication is invaluable. Indeed, the ingenuity of the GMT watch lays in its simplicity. The dial of the watch features 2 hands – one that points to the home time and another which points to Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) or alternatively to the local time in the current time zone of the wearer.

Another special feature incorporated into some GMT timepieces is a compass function. These watches allow their wearers to orient themselves by synchronising the GMT with the current time. As long as a wearer of these watches orients the bezel to align with the direction of the sun, they will be able to orient themselves. If the watch is being worn in the northern hemisphere, the 12-hour hand will point north, whereas if the watch is being worn in the southern hemisphere the 12-hour hand will point south.

Attractive bezel aesthetics

It goes without saying that GMT watches are loved for their convincing design elements. These timepieces are often the favourites of those with a tendency to favour colourful accents. One of the most popular GMT watches in the world of fine timepiece today is none other than the Rolex GMT-Master “Pepsi”, which, as made evident by its playful nickname, features a bold blue and black bezel. Simple yet distinctive colour pronunciations are an undeniable benefit of GMT watches. Other popular models include the Nomos Tangomat GMT and the  Panerai Radiomir GMT. In addition to vibrant aesthetics, GMT watch bezels are also popular thanks to an addition function of the bezel. GMT timepieces feature bi-directional bezels, meaning that they can be rotated in both directions.

A remedy to jet lag

Frequent flyers are well aware of dreaded and unpleasant jet lag symptoms. There are many tips to circumvent fatigue and exhaustion when travelling – the most helpful being to switch to the local time of the destination before the trip. Here is where a GMT watch comes in handy. Owners of these exquisite timepieces are able to set the home time to the local time of their destination one or two days prior to their trip. The GMT hand can then be set to the home time, allowing the wearer to try and adjust their circadian rhythm prior to their trip, which is a clever solution for a widespread problem.

The perfect complication for pilots and aviation enthusiasts

GMT timepieces have always been interlinked with air travel. After all, the GMT complication was developed by Rolex for pilot’s, as they needed and easier way to keep track of multiple time zones when intercontinental became more prevalent. Interestingly, the GMT-Master was designed in cooperation with PAN Am – a popular American Airline in the 1950’s. Since then, GMT timepieces have been valued tools for pilots and frequent travellers as well as beloved instruments for aviation enthusiasts.


Discover the fine timepieces as mentioned in the article in our CHRONEXT SHOP:


The Rolex GMT-Master II is undoubtedly one of the most iconic timepieces developed by the Swiss manufacture Rolex. The reference 116710LN has been in production since 2007 and while the model retains the timeless aesthetics that have come to be known of the Rolex brand, it also integrates robust and rugged aspects that add to its tool watch functionality. Like most sports pieces from Rolex, the GMT-Master II is comprised of 904L stainless steel, further adding to its tough disposition and certainly contributing to its stable investment value.


Breitling Navitimer

The Breitling Navitimer can suitably be called one of the largest icons in the luxury watch industry and it is one of the most highly associated models with the Breitling brand. The timepiece looks back on over 60 years of history and is available in a number of variants. Developed exclusively for aviation professionals, the circular slide rule allows pilots to compute calculations, including, for example, fuel consumption or the flight of speed. The Navitimer is suitable for collectors as well as everyday watch enthusiasts. 


Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean GMT

The Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean GMT masterfully exceeds a multitude of requirements expected of fine timepieces, making it evident that it is far more than just a dive watch. In addition to its extraordinary waterproof capabilities, the versatile and classic aesthetics ensure that the timepiece can be worn in a multitude of settings – be it a long dive, a business meeting or a black tie dinner.


Rolex GMT-MASTER “Pepsi”

Globetrotting became increasingly prevalent during the 1950s resulting in the need for a timepiece that could enable its wearer to keep track of concurrent time zones at once. It was during this time that Rolex introduced the GMT-Master ref. 6542 in collaboration with the American airline Pan Am. The timepiece became the official watch on board all Pan Am flights and some watch experts claim that the characteristic red and blue bezel was inspired by the colours of the legendary airline.


Nomos Tangomat GMT

The Nomos Tangomat GMT goes one step beyond the classic model from the collection, allowing its wearer to keep track of the time all over the globe. The model exudes the typically minimalist aesthetic that has come to be known of Nomos and houses the sophisticated in-house produced calibre DUW 5201, which not only features a worldtime indicator but the innovative Nomos swing system with tempered blue balance springs.


Panerai Radiomir GMT

The Radiomir GMT is a timepiece brimming with watchmaking history. The classic Panerai Radiomir collection was designed in 1938 with high water resistance and optimal legibility and was utilised by divers in the Italian Navy. The reference PAM00242 features a GMT function as well as a date function. Hallmark of the Officine Panerai brand, this Radiomir measures a bold 45 mm ensuring a striking presence on the wrist.

Nour Abraham

by Nour Abraham

Nour is an enthusiastic watch lover who hails from the Canadian Rockies. She can spot a fine timepiece from miles away and identify it with the blink of an eye. Since moving to Germany and joining CHRONEXT, she has discovered a deep passion for Saxonian watchmaking and spends most of her time exploring the depths of the watch ocean.

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