Pre-Owned Picks Two Time Zones, Two Hour Hands, Zero Problems. The GMT Watch.

Traveling across timezones for the holidays? Grab a GMT, a watch that’s built for the task.

The holidays are here again, and it’s time to pack that ugly Christmas sweater sweet Aunt Mary gave you and start the annual pilgrimage to meet up with the family. As you travel across time zones, keeping track of what the local clock says can be easy if you have a Multi-Band6 G-Shock. A feature that automatically updates the time via radio waves. For the mechanical watch crowd, however, we’re going to have to go a little more old-school with a GMT watch. A GMT watch has two different hour hands that can each keep track of a different hour, a simple solution to knowing both home and away times.

This complication rose to popularity in tandem with commercial aviation in the 1950s, when flying across long distances became a normal occurrence, and the need to know more than one time zone was suddenly necessary. The GMT has remained a popular addition to a watch, as we no longer need it only for travel, but also for knowing what time it is for our co-workers across the country. Below is a variety of pre-owned GMTs that are currently stocked in the Shop, from the traditional to the unusual. With travel season nigh, it’s the right time to find the right piece that can be your steady (and stylish) travel companion this holiday season.

Rolex GMT-Master II 16710

rolex gmt


When it comes to GMT watches, the Rolex GMT-Master II is the king of the hill. While the sought-after multi-colored bezel versions are known best by their familiar nicknames, like Pepsi and Batman, it’s the solid black bezel that holds a special place in my heart. A vintage version of this watch was the first timepiece that I couldn’t stop thinking about. It was the first watch that stirred up whatever emotion it is that all watch enthusiasts get when all they want to do is learn more about the watch. This 16710 sticks with that vintage design I fell in love with, and has a red GMT hand, black aluminum bezel, and pierced lugs. The 16710 also has Super-LumiNova that won’t crack and fall out and markers made of white gold. This is a watch at the intersection of vintage and modern Rolex, the best place for any watch to be.

Grand Seiko Elegance Automatic GMT 9S 20th Anniversary Limited Edition SBGM235

For the 20th anniversary of the 9S movement, Grand Seiko released a series of limited editions that featured a swirling “whirlpool” motif on the dial, with GS stamped within the open spaces. The most well-remembered of these was the SBGH267 blue whirlpool. This SBGM235 was the white-dial GMT version of this anniversary release. The GMT hand does not extend to an outer bezel but instead uses an inner 24-hour scale that the hand will traverse only once a day. This is a slightly unusual design outside of Seiko, but one that the watchmaker uses throughout their lineup.

Tudor Heritage Black Bay GMT Root Beer 79833

Tudor GMT
The first Black Bay GMT Tudor released was a runaway success. It was based on the classic Pepsi red and blue color combination that Rolex has been using since their first GMT. The follow-up was this 79833 Root Beer – GMTs really do get all the cool nicknames. The brown and black dial on a two-tone watch is a colorway lifted right from Rolex. The difference is that Tudor brings a vintage look. No crown guards, no ceramic, and a gilt dial – everything the early GMT watches were. The one thing that’s not vintage-inspired is the movement. The MT5652 is Tudor’s own chronometer-grade movement, with 70 hours of power reserve and silicon hairspring.

TAG Heuer Aquaracer 300M GMT WAY201T

tag gmt
As with all things GMT-related, the black and blue “Batman” bezel color of the WAY201T Aquaracer originated over at Rolex. That’s where the similarities start and end. The TAG Heuer Aquaracer line is first a dive watch meant more for open seas than economy-plus on a commercial airline. For the GMT version of the Aquaracer, the unidirectional dive bezel has been replaced by a bidirectional GMT bezel, and a second hour hand has been added. The rest of the watch is the rugged 300m water-resistant dive watch an Aquaracer is supposed to be. If your holiday plans include going straight from landing to scuba diving – or a relaxing swim in the hotel pool – this is the watch you want.

Panerai Luminor 1950 10 Days GMT PAM 533

Panerai GMT

Panerai lives by the slogan, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” The large-wearing Luminor cushion case, with its signature crown guard and sandwich dial construction is well ingrained into Panerai’s DNA. The good news is that the result is a pretty good-looking watch that has served as a base for many different complications over the years. Panerai keeps it simple, with no second hour track of any kind for the GMT hand, instead opting for a day/night indicator for each hour hand in the 9 o’clock sub-dial. The best-looking part of this watch must be the actual GMT, it’s mostly a matching black to the dial, so the only real indication that it is even there comes from the lumed tip. It looks like a floating triangle in a sea of black. If you are someone who hates worrying about a watch running out of power when you sit it down for a day or two, then no worries here, the PAM 533 also includes a 10-day power reserve.

OMEGA Seamaster Aqua Terra 150M Master Co-Axial GMT GoodPlanet

omega gmt


The Aqua Terra in its standard form is one of the more popular watches in OMEGA’s catalogue. It’s a watch meant specifically for daily wear, not dressing up or diving. This GMT GoodPlanet edition was originally produced to help raise awareness and funds for the GoodPLanet Foundation – an organization that aims to raise public awareness on environmental issues. It’s a collaboration that OMEGA has done a handful of times over the years. The result of this special edition is unusual for the Aqua Terra, with a titanium case and bracelet that are matched to a stunning white lacquer dial. The blued markers and hands practically jump off the stark white of the dial. This is one of those unusual watches that OMEGA often makes and can easily be buried under an avalanche of future releases, only to be rediscovered years later.

Looking for the right watch to take on your travels? Find it at Crown and Caliber.

Written by

Crown & Caliber is the smartest way to buy or sell a luxury watch. As an exclusively online marketplace for pre-owned timepieces, Crown & Caliber exists to ensure that when it comes down to the final transaction, buyers and sellers can both win. For sellers, we do all the legwork of valuating, marketing, and selling—for buyers, we put trust back into the act of purchasing sight-unseen with our servicing and authentication process. By emphasizing transparency and placing value on quality, Crown & Caliber has become the preferred marketplace for watch collectors and casual enthusiasts alike.

No comments