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BUYING GUIDE: GMT Timepieces That Take The CROWN In 2022

The Patek Philippe Ref. 5326G-001 Annual Calendar Travel Time.

A guide to some of the best dual time zone watches CROWN has seen this year. 

One of the most recognised and valued complications in fine watchmaking is the dual-time zone. Apart from the functional benefit of displaying up to three different time zones (for certain models) at a glance, the best GMT models possess iconic designs and aesthetics.

Generally, there are two types of GMT movements to choose from. The first has a local hour hand that can be independently adjusted and linked to the date function. The second type, however, is not linked to the date, and the independently adjustable GMT hand can be separated from the indicated local time. Of the two, the former is more sought after, given its convenience. Here are some recent GMT releases that you should consider:

The Seiko 5 Sports GMT series.

The Seiko 5 Sports GMT series comes in three options, with black, blue or orange dials and matching bezels.

Seiko 5 Sports Collection, SKX Sports Style GMT Series

A new automatic GMT model for Seiko fanatics was launched in the middle of this year. The Seiko 5 Sports GMT series, powered by the reliable Calibre 4R34, surprised everyone. Design-wise, it retains all of the Seiko 5 Sports’ classic elements. Paired with a five-row bracelet and featuring dual-tone bezels, the black, blue, and orange dials range from more serious to seriously funky. Best of all, these new travelling companions are pocket-friendly at less than S$1,000. Of course, if you prefer a higher-end version, there’s the Grand Seiko GMT as well.

The Longines Spirit Zulu Time collection comes in 3 designs, with a dual time zone hand and 24-hour bezel.

The Longines Spirit Zulu Time collection comes in three designs, with a dual-time zone hand and 24-hour bezel.

Longines Spirit Zulu Time

Those familiar with the history of the travel-time watch will know that Longines pioneered the complication with a pocket watch in 1908 and, subsequently, a wristwatch in 1925. The brand’s recent Spirit Zulu Time, released under its new collection, captures the best of aviation design with just the right hint of vintage cool, with six colour options. It’s also a COSC-certified model that comes in under S$5,000, giving it authenticity and accessibility with plenty of style.

Breitling's Chronomat Automatic GMT 40 is a stunning watch with a comfy rouleaux bracelet, colourful dials and reliable performance.

Breitling’s Chronomat Automatic GMT 40 is a stunning watch with a comfy rouleaux bracelet, colourful dials, and reliable performance.

Breitling Chronomat Automatic GMT 40

Available in five dial colours – black, blue, white, green, and anthracite grey – the Chronomat Automatic GMT 40 is housed in a robust 40mm steel exterior with a rouleaux bracelet. It features a unidirectional rotating bezel that maintains a 60-minute scale and a 24-hour ring circling the dial to indicate the second time zone, shown by the second hour hand. All Breitling watches are chronometer-certified, making this a highly precise watch at a reasonable S$7,900. The sporty and discreetly designed watch is also water-resistant to 200m, ideal for your next sports-centric trip.

The Rolex GMT-Master II Left-Hand is its first left-handed GMT model with a new bezel colour combination.

The Rolex GMT-Master II Left-Hand is its first left-handed GMT model with a new bezel colour combination.

Rolex GMT-Master II

To the left, to the left. Rolex has flipped its crown to the left. A slight tweak with the repositioning of the date window has made an impact, calling out to all the lefties around the world. This modern ‘destro’ version of the Oyster Perpetual GMT-Master II even introduced a new black-and-green Cerachrom bezel insert, giving it the nickname ‘Sprite GMT’. Retaining all its original elements, this model is purchasable at S$15,240, available in either an Oystersteel or Jubilee bracelet. Check out our editor Alvin Wong's full review of the watch here.

Parmigiani Fleurier Tonda PF GMT Rattrapante

Now you see it; now you don’t. Parmigiani has incorporated a rattrapante mechanism to a dual-time function to maintain the highly minimalist look of the Tonda PF. The white gold hour hand is operated by a button on the bottom left lug – each push advances the hand an hour to set the local time. Meanwhile, an otherwise hidden rose gold hand stays in place to show the home time. When the GMT function is not needed, the white gold hand will ‘catch up’ with the home time when the pusher on the crown is activated. A good catch at S$37,692 for lovers of minimalist design.
The Patek Philippe Ref. 5326G-001 Annual Calendar Travel Time watch combines the two complications in one model for the first time.

The Patek Philippe Ref. 5326G-001 Annual Calendar Travel Time watch combines the two complications in one model for the first time.

Patek Philippe Annual Calendar Travel Time

Patek Philippe has married two popular complications – the annual calendar and the GMT function. The Annual Calendar Travel Time Ref. 5326G has a Clous de Paris pattern implemented on the case band instead of the bezel. The timepiece’s design bears hints of a vintage field watch, featuring a granular texture on the charcoal grey dial and touches of beige lume on details like the syringe hands and the gold applied numerals. Attached to it is a calfskin nubuck leather strap, also in beige, making it a stunning collector’s piece, if on the more pricey end at just over S$100,000. (More info on the watch here.)

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