You want to talk tool watches? These are proper tool watches. A GMT watch – one that can display two or more time zones on a single dial – isn’t just a technical marvel, it is pretty darn useful, too. There isn’t the niggling fear you get when you expose your mechanical dive watch to the elements, or the frustration of squinting at the chronograph. A GMT watch is something that you can put to work right out of the box. And whether you are a suites-class type of traveller, or a regular vacation-hound on a budget, there is a GMT watch this year with your name and air ticket on it.
Patek Philippe – Ref. 5531R World Time Minute Repeater
In a year flush with GMT watches, this Patek Philippe complication
stands out like James Bond at a pyjama party. The Ref. 5531R-001 World Time Minute Repeater
is elegant, sophisticated and armed to the teeth with technical ammo – it is a world-first complication that combines a minute repeater with a 24-city world-time display, with the ability to chime the time for any place in the world on demand. There’s a catch, though. The watch retails for about US$561,341.
Rolex – GMT-Master II
What sorcery is this? A few tweaks here and there, and Rolex
just steamrolls the competition. But don’t get us wrong, we have nothing but love for the new GMT-Master II. The watch offers both nostalgic touches (‘Pepsi’ colours and Jubilee bracelet), as well as modern assurances (new in-house movement and Cerachrom bezel). And now that it is available in stainless steel, this icon costs considerably less than its similarly styled white gold brethren. Read the full review here
Glashütte Original – Senator Cosmopolite
Think of this as the mechanical smartwatch version of the GMT watch. The Senator Cosmopolite computes the time from 36 world cities, which you can choose to display as the second-time zone window with just a push of a button. Not only that, the movement also calculates daylight savings time, and provides day/night display of the home time for easy reference. Read the full review here
TAG Heuer – Carrera Chronograph GMT
Part-retro, part-futuristic, and one hundred per cent mechanical muscle, the Carrera Chronograph
GMT packs a lot of tech and swag – not bad for a collection turning 55 this year. The ‘Batman’-style bi-coloured bezel that frames the skeletonised display is a great touch, but don’t let it distract you from the watch’s real mojo; specifically its in-house Heuer 02 automatic movement, paired for the first time with a GMT feature, which has provided the foundation for TAG Heuer
’s high-end technical creations.
Tudor – Black Bay GMT
If there were a People’s Choice award at Baselworld 2018, this cool, retro-licious number would’ve grabbed the prize with both hands. That vintage ‘Pepsi’ aluminium bezel, the indelible Black Bay design with ‘snowflake’ hour hands and all, brand new in-house movement with easy-to-use second time-zone corrector that you can adjust forwards and back in one-hour increments, AND a great price tag of 3,700 Swiss francs. Take us away!
Oris – Calibre 114
At about eight grand, the Calibre 114 isn’t a cheap watch per se, but for a GMT complication, it is really attractively priced. Plus, this is not your run-of-the-mill travel companion. Powered by an in-house Oris movement with 10-day power reserve, the 24-hour second-time zone indicator allows you to adjust it to the nearest half-hour, as opposed to one-hour in most other watches.