Whether it’s to track a second time zone, a love of aviation history, or simply the aesthetics of a fourth hand, most collectors consider acquiring a GMT watch at least once. However, finding the best GMT watch for you can be difficult. The sheer number of choices can make the process complicated, but more so than that, they can get quite pricey (especially if you’re interested in a mechanical option).

That’s why I’ve created this comprehensive breakdown of my favorite GMT watches, along with all the relevant terminology and commonly asked questions you’d need to know to make an informed decision. I’ve also kept the price point of the selections here under $2000 because it’s very common for GMT watches to be expensive. I am sharing more reasonably priced options for those trying to find the right timepiece.

Q Timex GMT Watch

Image: Timex
Case Size:38mm x 44mm x 12.5mm
Movement:Swiss Ronda 515.24H (Quartz)
GMT Type:Caller GMT
Crystal:Acrylic Crystal
Band Options:Rubber Strap or Stainless Steel Bracelet
Price:$219 – $229

The Q Timex reissue in 2020 commemorated the original Q Timex releases from 1978 and 1979, and upon first glance, the watch community fell in love. The original Q Timex reissue blends unapologetic retro design and a refreshing revitalization of a 1970s case design. As a result, it quickly branched out into various colorways and iterations. One of the more exciting releases within this product line is the Q Timex GMT.

The design of the Q Timex GMT remains virtually identical to its 2020 reissue, which isn’t a surprise since the design format for the watch is practically perfect. The only differences between the GMT version of this watch and the original are the watches’ movements and thicknesses. The Q Timex GMT features the Swiss Ronda 515.24H quartz movement. Although Timex doesn’t overtly state this, we can extrapolate this from the data and specs. However, due to this movement difference, the watch’s thickness is also impacted. As such, the Q Timex GMT is 12.5mm thick, an entire millimeter thicker than the original. This sizing difference isn’t necessarily an issue because 12.5mm still isn’t very thick.

The Q Timex would be a perfect choice for anyone at this price point who wanted something on their wrist that celebrated and embodied retro vintage design in all its forms. It’s available on either a stainless steel bracelet or a rubber strap.

Citizen Promaster Titanium Diver GMT (BJ7111-86L)

Image: Citizen
Case Size:43mm x 49mm x 14mm
Movement:Eco-Drive (Solar Quartz)
GMT Type:Traveler GMT
Crystal:Sapphire Crystal
Band Options:Rubber Strap or Stainless Steel Bracelet
Price:$350 – $450

Few watch brands have created as many reliable and GADA-driven (“go-anywhere-do-anything”) watches as Citizen. These timepieces are viewable in the iconic Japanese brand’s line of Eco-Drive movements (which are solar-powered). Citizen can also craft watches out of titanium, which is approximately five times stronger than stainless steel and half the weight. So, a watch that combines those incredible features (solar-powered movement and titanium) and a desirable Traveler GMT function would be a big hit. What about getting that watch for under $500?

If you’re looking for a watch that can handle rough usage without compromising style, the Citizen Promaster BJ7111 is a perfect choice. It is rugged and versatile, ideal for casual and professional settings. At 43mm in diameter, the BJ7111 could wear slightly larger than other GMT watches on this list, but the added benefit of being titanium also means that you’ll barely feel the watch on your wrist. Being a Traveler GMT means this watch sets itself apart from other selections on this list by allowing users to set the hour hand independently. That plus the fact that it’s also a dive watch with a rotating dive bezel, 200m of water resistance certainly, and the option of a rubber strap also makes an impact.

Including a diving bezel rather than a rotating GMT bezel means that you can only track two time zones rather than three. But realistically, it’s a fair tradeoff. You’ll probably use the elapsed time bezel more regularly than a GMT bezel.

Seiko 5 GMT Watch (SSK005)

Case Size:42.5mm x 46mm x 13.6
Movement:Seiko 4R34 (Mechanical)
GMT Type:Caller GMT
Crystal:Seiko Hardlex
Band Options:Stainless Steel Bracelet

We were lackluster on many of the Seiko 5 changes that have occurred over the past several years. But the release of the Seiko 5 GMT in 2022 pleasantly surprised us. Building on the format of the iconic Seiko SKX case, the Seiko 5 GMT features a somewhat asymmetrical case shape with the crown position at 4 o’clock. At 42.5mm and 46mm lug to lug, the specs may appear on the larger side (especially compared to some of the other watches we’re discussing), but the case design itself allows the Seiko 5 GMT to wear much smaller than the dimensions on paper would lead you to believe.

Seiko specifically created the 4R34 movement for this watch release, and while these initial offerings included three dial options, we should expect to see more dial colors over time. For now, the orange, black, and blue dials certainly cover many bases, though, and most people should be able to find a model they enjoy. The Seiko 5 GMT would be an excellent choice for someone at this price point who was looking for a more sporty GMT watch that also had a slightly vintage/retro vibe to it (being heavily influenced by the SKX case, the design of that case is rooted Seiko dive watches from the 80s).

The widespread use of this movement within the microbrand community makes this watch particularly interesting. When one thinks about the ubiquity of the NH35, I am not surprised if we start seeing a similar usage of the NH34 (the non-branded version of the 4R34).

Want to read more? Check out our hands-on Seiko 5 GMT review!

Steinhart Ocean 39 GMT

Case Size:39mm x 47mm x 13mm
Movement:ETA 2893-2 or Sellita SW330 (Mechanical)
GMT Type:Caller GMT
Crystal:Sapphire Crystal
Band Options:Stainless Steel Bracelet
Price:$550 – $700

Based in Germany, Steinhart has earned its place in many watch collectors’ hearts as a well-built, reliable, and affordable timepiece provider. Steinhart assembled their timepieces from high-quality Swiss-made parts while applying their keen eye and craftsmanship to ensure that all watches feature a tight fit and finish. Of all the models they offer, the Ocean 39 GMT is one of the most popular.

The Steinhart Ocean 39 GMT presents itself as another (amongst many) entry into the wide world of Rolex GMT Master homages. What sets this watch apart is the lengths Steinhart goes to ensure their legacy for high-quality construction carries through to the final product. This watch would be ideal for someone who wanted something relatively under the radar and well-built that featured the classic black dial Rolex GMT-Master II Pepsi bezel look (initially created for Pan Am pilots in the mid-1950s). It’s even available with some ceramic bezel options.

Powered by the ETA 2893 or the Sellita SW330, you can count on the time-honored reliability of both movements since they are equally well respected in the watch community (and feature the same specs).

Sangin Professional

Case Size:43.5mm x 49.5mm x 12mm
Movement:Swiss Ronda 515.24H (Quartz)
GMT Type:Caller GMT
Crystal:Sapphire Crystal
Band Options:Rubber strap and Nylon strap

A collection of members from the enlisted forces and special operations community formed Sangin Instruments. The goal was to create purpose-driven, high-quality timepieces that represented what they felt was special about their unique journeys through the armed forces. But more importantly, they wanted to offer those watches to those who also found their journeys while enlisted.

Outside of the symbolism of the brand’s impetus and crafting ethos, the timepieces at their core feature engineering that allows them to be long-lasting and rugged – these watches are intended to function reliably in the field and real-world situations.

As such, the intended function of each timepiece influences its form – such is the case with the Sangin Professional GMT watch. Originally designed as a testing platform for another release (the Kinetic II), the professional features a sleek design than its future iteration. As such, this would be an excellent fit for anyone who wanted a timepiece with the robust reliability you can expect from Sangin but also something that wouldn’t necessarily look too “tactical” and out of place in an office or boardroom setting.

The Swiss Ronda 515.24H movement is a highly regarded competitor to the other comparable Swiss quartz GMT movements. The movement utilizes the well-known Ronda 515 movement as a base and adds a GMT complication to the base movement. As such, it is a reliable GMT because it’s quartz-powered, meaning it uses a battery and will, more often than not, be more accurate than mechanical movements.

Glycine Airman No.1

Case Size:36mm x 44mm x 11.6mm
Movement:Glycine GL293 (Mechanical)
GMT Type:Caller GMT
Crystal:Sapphire Crystal
Band Options:Leather Strap (pictured on 3rd party nylon strap)

Modern Glycine is a brand currently in an odd spot. Their origins start in Switzerland back in 1914. While the company’s original offerings were more geared toward jewelry-focused horology, the brand became synonymous with function-driven Pilot watches in the 1950s. No other watch embodies this more than the Glycine Airman No.1 GMT watch.

At 36mm in diameter and 44mm lug to lug, the wearing experience of the first Airman release is preserved very well in the modern iteration of the watch. The watch’s dimensions give it a slight sense of being visually lug-heavy, but that helps to balance and draw focus towards the dial, which is relatively small given the diameter of the case and the interior circumference of the GMT bezel. That dial focus is also helpful given how much is going on in the dial itself – between the hour, minute, seconds, and GMT hands, in addition to the inverted interior seconds track, it can be easy for the dial to appear crowded.

Many credit the Invicta Watch Group’s acquisition of Glycine in 2016 with reviving the brand. However, this point in the brand’s history is a mystery to watch enthusiasts. Glycine models are still available, but there is little to virtually no marketing or outreach for the brand. This brand silence has led many to speculate whether the brand plans to remain active or explore other avenues.

Regardless, the Glycine Airman No.1 is a fantastic GMT watch option for anyone looking for a more vintage watch-wearing experience with all the convenience and reliability of modern craftsmanship.

Christopher Ward C63 Sealander GMT

Image: Christopher Ward
Case Size:39mm x 45.8mm x 11.85mm
Movement:Sellita SW330-2 (Mechanical)
GMT Type:Caller GMT
Crystal:Sapphire Crystal
Band Options:Canvas, Leather, Rubber, or Stainless Steel Bracelet
Price:$1040 – $1200

Christopher Ward has come a long way over the years. Based in England, the brand started in 2004 and was mainly known for its affordable dive watches. Now, they’ve expanded to various watch styles and functionalities, including GMT watches. The C63 Sealander GMT is a familiar but refreshingly designed GMT with fantastic dimensions. At 39mm in diameter, 45mm lug to lug, and under 12mm thick, this is probably one of the best GMT watch choices for someone interested in a more subtle and smaller wearing experience.

With four distinct design and color options, each model has its own clear and defined aesthetic vision, but they all still feel like part of the C63 Sealander product line. The hour hand and GMT hand feature a very prominent arrow point for clear legibility, while the minute hand is more of a low-angle baton hand, which creates good contrast and balance on the dial. The GMT bezel is also thin and features a nuanced, flat-looking font. This bezel design allows the dial space to feel maximized, which can be an issue with watches in this size range.

The C63 Sealander also features a Sellita SW330-2 automatic movement, a staple for GMT watches in this price range that you can trust.

Archimede Pilot 42 GMT

Case Size:42mm x 51mm x 10.2mm
Movement:Soprod C125
GMT Type:Caller GMT
Crystal:Sapphire Crystal
Band Options:Leather, Milanese Mesh, or Stainless Steel Bracelet
Price:$1100 – $1300

In 1924, German-based watchmaker Karl Ickler started to craft high-quality watch cases for the burgeoning German watch brand industry. While the original factory he operated out of was destroyed by Allied forces in 1947, Karl Ickler’s sons led a rebuilding effort, and the production of watch cases continued into the early 2000s.

Around that time, the company started experimenting with creating their own watch brand. Then, in 2003, they started Archimede watches. Very quickly, the brand began to gain recognition as a producer of high-quality and affordable German timepieces – especially Fliegers. While the brand offers several different types of Flieger models, the Archimede Pilot 42 GMT is the focus of our discussion here.

At 42mm in diameter and 51mm lug to lug, the watch may appear to wear large when looking at the specs, but the fantastic thinness of the case at 10.2mm curbs any top-heavy wearing experience one may expect. Instead, what occurs is a watch that covers an appropriate amount of surface area on your wrist to maximize legibility without feeling bulky. This wearing experience, combined with the added function of a GMT complication, makes the Archimede Pilot 42 GMT a series contender for anyone looking for a highly legible but appropriately sized GMT.

Yema Superman 500 GMT

Image: Yema
Case Size:39mm x 11.52mm x 19mm
Movement:Yema3000 (Mechanical)
GMT Type:Caller GMT
Crystal:Sapphire Crystal
Band Options:Leather, Rubber, and Stainless Steel Bracelet

Based in France and with horological roots stretching back to 1948, Yema is a brand that most people should watch. While most attention in the watch community tends to focus on Swiss, German, and even British brands, France spent the better part of the 20th century developing their brands and horological legacy. One of these brands was Yema, which has close ties with French aviation, motorsports, and diving.

That’s where the Yema Superman comes into focus for our discussion. Initially released in 1963, the Superman was one of few (at the time) deep sea divers available from a French brand. After Yema’s brand revitalization in 2004, the Superman became their flagship model for the popular dive watch market.

A distinctive bezel lock at the 3 o’clock crown sets the design of the Yema apart from other watches in this space. Additionally, Yema strived to preserve the original vintage aesthetics of the timepiece with their treatment of the bezel, indices, and hands. For our discussion, this iconic diver is also now available as a GMT watch, featuring Yema’s in-house Yema3000 automatic movement and 500m of water resistance.

The Yema Superman 500 GMT watch is also available in two case diameters: 39mm in diameter and 41mm in diameter.

Zodiac Super Sea Wolf GMT

Image: Zodiac Watches
Case Size:40mm x 49mm x 13.6mm
Movement:Soprod C-125 (Mechanical)
GMT Type:Caller GMT
Crystal:Sapphire Crystal
Band Options:Stainless Steel Bracelet
Price:$1695 – $1795

Zodiac is technically a legacy Swiss brand that’s now technically American-owned. With its roots stretching back to the 1800s, Zodiac eventually passed hands in ownership until its acquisition by the Fossil Group, which currently owns the brand today. Zodiac originally made its most delible impact on horology with the release and subsequent success of the Super Sea Wolf dive watch in the 1970s. The modern Zodiac has utilized the Super Sea Wolf as a canvas for experimentation – case in point, the Super Sea Wolf GMT.

Originally, Zodiac released the Aerospace GMT model as a limited edition. After another series of limited edition releases, Zodiac applied the GMT feature to the Super Sea Wolf, creating a non-limited edition release. With a stainless steel case at 40mm in diameter, the Super Sea Wolf GMT will be an excellent fit for someone looking for a Swiss-made GMT that wears on the more subtle side. The only thing to be conscious of is the 13.6mm thickness could sit a bit on the taller side of one’s wrist if they’re on the lower side of the 6-inch wrist mark. The angle of the lugs, though, does help curb any top-heaviness that could occur.

The Zodiac Super Sea Wolf features the Soprod C-125 automatic GMT movement. A Swiss-based movement manufacturer, Soprod is a lesser-known name in the watch community. But the Soprod C-125 is an appropriately reliable GMT movement with respectable specs and features. Seemingly heavily influenced by the ETA 2893, the C-125 is a movement that we’ll see more of as a more cost-effective alternative to the ETA 2893.

Monta Atlas GMT Watch

Case Size:38.5mm x 47mm x 10.2mm
Movement:MONTA Caliber M-23 (Mechanical)
GMT Type:Caller GMT
Crystal:Sapphire Crystal
Band Options:Stainless Steel Bracelet

St. Louis-based Monta Watches is a brand that has expertly honed its design language and main value propositions. Combining equal parts timeless design, horological history, and modern technology, Monta has dedicated itself to creating timepieces that are more than the sum of their parts – case in point: the Monta Atlas GMT Watch.

The presentation of the Monta Atlas is easily one of the cleanest, function-driven, and non-frills GMTs I’ve ever seen. The balance between the hands and the dial elements creates an incredibly legible timepiece. There aren’t any design attempts to make this feel like a nostalgic aviation-driven GMT, nor is the watch attempting to capture people’s attention. Its design ensures a comfortable fit on your wrist while confidently functioning. There is nothing for this watch to attempt to compensate for when quality and form are its guiding principles.

The other driving factor of this GMT watch’s success is the Monta bracelet and clasp. The brand invested a lot of time and resources in ensuring that its unique bracelet achieved two things: it was as comfortable as possible and featured the absolute best fit and finish achievable. But what stands out the most about the Monta brace is that it’s incredibly visually nondescript. Only the wearer of the watch (and those in the know) would be aware of how special it was. But that’s the point with Monta. They command a higher price tag, but it’s also one of the rare instances where we will tell people it’s worth it. They aren’t trying to compete for people’s attention with flashy timepieces but to let the high-quality wearing experience speak for itself.

Be sure to read our review on the Monta Atlas if you’d like to learn more.

Monta Skyquest

Case Size:40.7mm x 47.4mm x 11.8mm
Movement:MONTA Caliber M-23 (Mechanical)
GMT Type:Caller GMT
Crystal:Sapphire Crystal
Band Options:Stainless Steel Bracelet

Monta has 5 product collections available, and two of those feature GMTs. So, it’s safe to say that the brand likes watches that track multiple time zones. However, when we zero in on the details, the Skyquest is a very different timepiece from the previous Monta we discussed.

At 40.7mm in diameter, the Skyquest’s case is larger than the Atlas (and somewhat bulkier) while not too large to be comfortable. But the extra size is designed to support extra function. The indices are bolder, the crown guard is more stout, and this timepiece features a rotating GMT bezel, which allows the user to track an additional time zone (up to three). Plus, like all Monta releases, the Skyquest features their incredible bracelet which is crafted for optimal comfort, usage, and functionality.

The Skyquest is Monta’s answer to those looking for more of a historically aviation-inspired GMT watch. Between the sizing, options for a very legible Pepsi GMT bezel, and dial colors, this would be the ideal choice for someone who wanted to experience Monta’s dedication to quality and excellence but still with a timepiece that was reminiscent and familiar within the catalog of GMT watch designs.

If you’d like to research this timepiece further, please see our full review of the Skyquest.

GMT Watch Terminology

Caller GMT

A Caller GMT is a type of watch where the additional 24-hour hand can be moved independently from the other hands on the dial. This function is crucial to maintain the local time that the wearer is tracking with the traditional hour and minute hands.

Anyone needing to track a second time zone for work or personal reasons typically uses Caller GMT, regardless of location. So if your location is in New York (ET GMT-5) but you do business or have family in Zurich (CET GMT +1), which is 6 hours ahead (the point difference between GMT -5 and GMT +1 is 6 points), you should set the 24-hour hand six hours ahead of the local time hour hand.

Traveler GMT

Often called a “True” GMT watch, the Traveler GMT essentially utilizes the opposite practice from the Caller GMT to track dual time. You can set the hour hand independently from the minute hand.

This function exists because the wearer uses the timepiece as a travel watch and consistently changes time zones. In doing this, they need the ability to move the main hour hand to alter their local time on the fly. Typically, people set the additional 24-hour hand to their home time zone.

GMT Rotating Bezel

Some GMT watches will include a bidirectional rotating bezel with a 24-hour scale. This is a GMT bezel the wearer uses to track additional time zones on demand. The principle works like this – the GMT hand functions as the central reference point.

If we’re wearing a Traveler GMT watch and want to track time in the CET (GMT+1) time zone, we can use the GMT 24-hour bezel to make the necessary adjustment. Assuming our local time is on the East Coast (GMT-5), and we know that CET is 6 hours ahead of our home time, we need to move the bezel six clicks to the left. This action will align our local time hand with the CET time zone (GMT+1).

Commonly Asked Questions About GMT Watches

What Does GMT Stand For?

Any watch that can track world time in at least two time zones is called GMT, which stands for Greenwich Mean Time.

Greenwich Mean Time is the standardized time zone synchronizing all time zones to a central reference. This standardization exists for consensus on how all time zones can understand and track their differences (based on how they relate from GMT as a reference point).

GMT Watches initially gained popularity with the advent of Jet travel in the 1950s. Since people could travel to different international destinations more efficiently, they also needed to tell time in different time zones quickly.

While no longer strictly necessary due to cellphones and other connected devices, GMT watches remain popular among enthusiasts who enjoy the 4th hand complication and the different design aesthetics the GMT function can bring to a timepiece.

Are GMT Watches Useful?

Yes – they can be handy for quickly checking or referencing a different time zone if you want to use something other than your phone or connected device.

What Are The Pros and Cons of GMT Watches?

The leading Pro is the ability to tell time in multiple time zones. The Cons of a GMT watch can sometimes be: 1) The thickness if it’s a mechanical movement with a GMT module applied to it; 2) Higher price points if you’re looking for a mechanical watch; and 3) Some GMT designs can create a very busy dial, impeding legibility.

4 thoughts on “Best GMT Watches of 2024 | Prioritized By Price”

  1. I have a Lum Tec Combat B45 GMT (caller style) and am fond of it. For the price, the finish and everything about it is quite nice. I am quite sure that I could run it over with my car and it would be just fine, which is why I bought it. Well kind of. I do not plan on running it over but I have absolutely not treated it nicely and it is just fine.

  2. I propose a watch from a major brand, multiple time zones, easy to set hands, divers bezel and when there is almost no budget. Timex T45181. I travel almost every 2 weeks for work. I wanted that feeling of being connected to my home time zone that you discussed in a recent podcast. I’m wary of Amazon brands that disappear, or others that sound too good to be true. Unless that $500+ GMT watch comes with many giant boxes of diapers, it was not happening. The Casio multi time zone options didn’t seem to have easy to set hands. So I bought the Timex. I’m hoping it will be that unicorn of reliability, features, and feeling of being connected to my family at home. I actually plan on using the ability to time with the bezel often. Maybe if it’s successful after a few trips I will upgrade the watch band.

  3. Hi Mike and Kaz, the GMT episode was great! In response to the call for feedback on some other budget friendly GMT options, I submit some that I own for consideration:

    1. Citizen Nighthawk – a “traveler” GMT with a fun an unique GMT hand/display.
    2. Seiko SNJ029 and related models – the “Arnie” and “Safarnie” can display a separate time in the digital display.
    3. A less well known but longstanding microbrand, Bernhardt, has a couple of fun GMT options including the one that I own (with the green and silver bezel) the Corsair GMT (formerly known as the Globemaster).

    Keep up the great work!!!

  4. What about the Monta Atlas that slides right under your $2000 cap. From all accounts Monta is offering watches hitting way above their weight class.


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