A mechanical timepiece might seem outdated, but a GMT watch with a second time zone remains useful for frequent flyers. And, judging by 2018’s crop, watchmakers expect a lot of air time
WE ALL HAVE our own ways of dealing with jet lag – and, like Bill Murray’s character in Lost in Translation, they can involve as many midnight trips to the hotel gym as to the bar. But what if neither lulls you into a slumber? Maybe it’s time to get some work done. A glance at your GMT watch tells you it’s midnight here in Sydney, but your colleague John is on a 3pm deadline at the London office and could do with a hand. This was the point of GMT watches – with the rise of the jet age in the 1950s, a device was needed to let pilots keep tabs on the clock at both their origin and destination.
Though our instantly syncing smart devices have called time on the original function of the GMT indicator, this year’s boom in watches with dual-time capability proves that it’s still a popular tool. Not only do you have the novelty of your own miniature observatory strapped to your wrist, but the variety of creative, colourful ways to display that second time zone has resulted in a world of different looks. And with us clocking up more air miles than ever and 37 time zones to negotiate, it’s all the more reason to invest.
01° Bell & Ross BRV2-93 GMT $5500
This sporty GMT is a watch for the truly jet-set. The reason? It provides the time in three different global locations. The orange hand indicates a second timezone while the 24-hour bezel allows a third timezone reading. The only missing feature is a function to calculate your Frequent Flyer points.
02° TAG Heuer Carrera Heuer 02 Chronograph GMT $7750
You’re guaranteed a rock-solid timepiece with TAG, and this GMT chrono is one of the brand’s finest iterations of its iconic Carrera to date. Boasting a 75-hour power reserve and a skeletonised dial, it will mesmerise the mechanically minded for hours.
03° Tudor Black Bay GMT $4670
Tudor’s Black Bay line continues to grow and this year’s GMT model has got pulses racing. The Pepsi colour configuration is a nod to the watches worn by Pan Am pilots in the 1950s. The bezel rotates, so you can use the big-arrowed 24-hour hand to track a third time zone.
04° Mido Multifort GMT $1625
Mido is a Swiss watch brand that delivers serious bang for your buck. Here, you get the GMT function plus a top-notch ETA movement that’s visible through a sapphire caseback. But it’s a handsome fellow, too, with the textured dial and a lick of colour guaranteed to catch the eye.
05° Frederique Constant Runabout GMT $2650
There’s a classy restraint about the Runabout, with its white indices and clean, well-proportioned dial that’s enlivened by the skeltonised blue GMT hand. Frederique Constant is all about affordable luxury, but this watch reeks of business class.
06° Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean 600m Co-axial GMT $15,075
At 45.5mm wide, this is a big boy. But despite its heft, this diver is surprisingly light – the glossy casebody has been crafted from a single block of ceramic. GMT functionality is all present and correct, but this is also a serious diver: it’s water-resistant to 600m.