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automatic gmt watches

Best Automatic GMT Watches for Venturous Globetrotters

Looking for a reliable companion to track different time zones? Automatic GMT watches could be a convenient and best pair for your travel.
Apr 30, 2024

When traveling to different time zones, it can be challenging to keep track of the local time and the time back home. That’s where automatic GMT watches come to the rescue. It serves as a useful and practical complication that displays time from different time zones in one timepiece.

GMT or Greenwich Mean Time, is the time standard used as the basis for all other time zones around the world. Automatic GMT watches have the capability to display both the local time and GMT, making them the perfect travel companion for any globetrotter.

In fact, GMT becomes one of the most loved complications in the watch community. Well, it is understandable as you can simply tell time from different time zones with the addition of a fourth hand and a 24-hour scale or bezel. 

This article will take you through the realm of GMT complications even with some recommendations for automatic GMT watches under $1000. Interesting, right? It doesn’t take you to spend thousands of bucks to finally grab GMT watch in your collection.

Advantages of Automatic GMT Watches

The primary advantage of automatic GMT watches is their ability to track multiple time zones. This is particularly useful for frequent travelers who need to stay in touch with the time back home while still being aware of the local time. 

With an automatic GMT watch, there’s no need to constantly adjust the time on your watch when traveling. Simply set the GMT hand to the corresponding time zone, and you’re good to go.

Automatic GMT watches also offer the convenience of being self-winding. These watches are powered by the movement of your wrist, eliminating the need for batteries or manual winding. 

That makes them an excellent choice for travelers who don’t want to worry about running out of battery or forgetting to wind their watch.

Should You Need Two or Three Time Zones?

The most common type of automatic GMT watches comes with two time-zones tracking. The wearer can track the second time zone by looking at where the fourth hand indicates the 24-hour scale or bezel. 

However, other models also come with three time zones. In this case, the watch features both an internal 24-hour scale and an external rotating 24-hour bezel. 

That way, the wearer can indicate the first time zone using the local hands, a second by looking at the fourth hand pointing on the internal 24-hour scale, and the third by calculating an offset of the bezel against the fourth hand.

Read also: 5 Best Travel Watches for Your Upcoming Holiday Season

Top Picks Automatic GMT Watches for Venturous Globetrotters

While there are various models and designs of automatic GMT watches you can find in the market, below are our top picks that might interest you:

Le Jour Hammerhead GMT Black/Blue Ref. LJ-HH-GMT-004

Right off the bat, the classic vintage-inspired cushion case of the Le Jour Hammerhead GMT Black/Blue Ref. LJ-HH-GMT-004 embodies the sporty character of their 70s sports chronograph’s cushion case, an attractive design that certainly aged beautifully throughout the past few decades.

Powered by the ever-reliable Sellita SW-330 Swiss automatic GMT movement, the Le Jour Hammerhead GMT Black/Blue holds a power reserve of 42 hours. This 25-jewel movement has been reputed to be a tried-and-tested movement utilized by many leading watch brands.

With all of these features, this watch offers great value for money for an automatic GMT watch under $1000. So, wouldn’t this be a good start for your GMT watch collection?

Price: $980.00 USD

Steinhart Ocean One GMT Black Ceramic

The Steinhart Ocean GMT is to a very high standard in terms of case execution and finishing. The bezel on the Ocean 1 GMT is a classic diver design. Further, it features 24-hour bezel markings on the bezel insert helps tell time on the second timezone at a glance.

This diver GMT watch exhibits exceptional value with reliable features for you to rely on. For the price, you get a Swiss Made to watch with an ETA2893-2 movement, a full 316L stainless steel 300m diver watch with an SEL bracelet, and an overall well-finished sturdy watch. 

Price: $570.00 USD

Price: On-Hands: The Classic Steinhart Ocean 39 Vintage Review

Squale 30 ATMOS Tropic GMT Ceramica – 40mm

Here comes one of our best automatic GMT watches under $1000 which is the Squale 30 ATMOS Tropic GMT Ceramica – 40mm. The watch is in Switzerland and powered by a Swiss Made ETA 2893-2/Sellita SW330-1 automatic movement with quickset GMT and date function.

The watch is also tastefully done and equipped with an elegant oyster bracelet for that ultimate nostalgia. Good looks are appreciated, but performance matters more; in terms of ease of use during operations, the watch provides a smooth and pleasant operation to accompany your travel. 

Price: $799.00 USD

Ball Watch Co. Roadmaster Marine GMT Blue/Red Ceramic

Looking for a more robust automatic GMT watch with a luxury feel? The Roadmaster Marine GMT might be a good choice for you. The watch features a blue-red ceramic bezel which is characteristic of GMT sports watches, a day-to-date automatic movement, and micro-gas tubes.

Moreover, this is the company’s first chronometer-certified GMT watch that boasts a travel theme, suitable for adventurous globetrotters. It is built on top of Ball’s RR1203-C movement which is an in-house module that allows for efficient GMT settings.

Price: $2,610.00 USD

Seiko Presage Ocean Traveler GMT Champagne Ref. SARF012

Constructed out of titanium, the refined case of the Presage Ocean Traveler GMT Champagne – Ref. SARF012 carries some really impressive finishes despite being a metal that is significantly tougher to work with compared to stainless steel. 

If you’re a venturous globetrotter, a lightweight yet durable, travel-ready GMT timepiece like this certainly makes for a great companion.

At the heart of the watch, it is driven by the in-house Seiko caliber 6R64 automatic GMT movement. Being a “true” GMT movement, the GMT hand can be adjusted independently without hacking the second hand, a feature truly appreciated by frequent travelers.

Price: $1,280.00 USD


Automatic GMT watches makes an essential accessory for frequent travelers and globetrotters. With the ability to track multiple time zones and the convenience of self-winding, these watches offer unparalleled functionality and durability. 

Whether you’re traveling for business or pleasure, an automatic GMT watch is the perfect travel companion. So, why not invest in one today and experience the convenience and style of an automatic GMT watch for yourself?

You might also like: Automatic Watch Accuracy: How Accurate Should It Be?

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