Two Time Zones on the Cheap

These Are Seven of the Most Affordable GMT Watches


August 5, 2019 Watches By

For many years, a well built GMT (Greenwich Mean Time) watch, which can tell the time in multiple time zones, was expensive and difficult to come by. Sure, there was always the ubiquitous Rolex GMT Master I and II, but prices for these have been steadily skyrocketing in virtually all iterations, and GMT complications from other Swiss brands were similarly expensive.

The landscape today is very different, however. These days, boutique watch brands have capitalized on the popularity of the GMT and the relative plentifulness of GMT-based Swiss movements, and are developing watches that offer multiple time zones at a fraction of the cost of a Rolex or similar watch. This isn’t to say that you should buy a modern GMT Master II if you’d like one and can afford one (and can find one), but there are now plenty of more affordable options.

From quartz Timexes to Swiss-made microbrand offerings, these are 7 of the most affordable GMT watches available right now.

Buying Guide

Timex Allied GMT

Believe it or not, you can get into a GMT watch for $149. Will this Timex Allied hold up like your GMT Master II? Eh — probably not. But it’s got a sleek, utilitarian black dial with dual-color bezel (black and blue), a 43mm case, a date window and 100m of water resistance. For the budget traveler, this may be the perfect option.
Diameter: 43mm
Water Resistance: 100m
Price: $149

Citizen Eco-Drive GMT

If you want to take your GMT watch into the water and not worry about it, but also don’t want to spend a ton o’ moolah, this Eco Drive from Citizen could be your best bet. It’s admittedly HUGE (49mm), but it’s got that cool dual-crown, Compressor-style case thing going on, and the battery should outlast you, given that it charges via sunlight.
Diameter: 49mm
Water Resistance: 200m
Price: $292

Alpina Startimer Pilot Quartz

A step up in terms of fit and finish from the previous two entries, the Startimer Pilot Quartz GMT from Alpina is available in multiple dial and bezel colors and features a 42mm x 9.2mm steel case, scratch-resistant sapphire crystal and quartz movement with 25-month battery life. These sleek, pilot’s-inspired watches will look great on a variety of straps, and the black dial/black bezel variant especially can be dressed up or down.
Diameter: 42mm
Water Resistance: 100m
Price: $595+

Monta Atlas

One of our favorite timepiece from Baselworld 2019, the Atlas is no-nonsense, American-designed, Swiss-made GMT. Available in numerous dial colors and strap options, the Atlas perfectly straddles the line between sport and everyday watch, and it’s got 150m of water resistance, to boot. This could conceivably be your “one watch,” and with pricing beginning at $1,410 (on rubber), it won’t break the bank, either.
Diameter: 38.5mm
Water Resistance: 150m
Price: $1,410+

Farer Lander II

Built around the venerable ETA 2893-2, the Lander II from Farer offers similar microbrand value to the Atlas, although with decreased water resistance and without the option for a bracelet. Still, the Lander II is handsome, sleek, and with its eye-popping blue dial, perhaps the perfect summer travel watch. (It’s also available in a different colorway as the Ponting at the same price, or in black PVD as the Oxley for $1,455).
Diameter: 39.5mm
Water Resistance: 100m
Price: $1,425

Hamilton Broadway GMT Limited Edition

Admittedly a large watch at 46mm, the Broadway GMT is powered by the H-14 automatic movement and features a city ring around the ceramic bezel for keeping track of time in foreign locales. Also available on a matching steel bracelet for $1,545, the Broadway is a versatile take on the GMT/world timer.
Diameter: 46mm
Water Resistance: 100m
Price: $1,495

Yema Superman Heritage GMT

Essentially a GMT-adapted version of Yema’s flagship dive watch, the Superman, the Heritage GMT is available in 3 Rolex-derived bezel color varieties, each limited to 100 pieces. With 300m of water resistance and a Swiss ETA movement powering its time-tracking capabilities, this Yema is another candidate for the mythical “one watch.” Just be prepared for people to confuse it with a certain watch from Rolex…
Diameter: 39mm
Water Resistance: 300m
Price: $1,499+

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Oren Hartov is Gear Patrol's watches editor. He knows what time it is, and one or two other things.

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