2018: THE WATCH YEAR IN REVIEW

Eight Noteworthy GMT and Dual-Time Watches for World Travelers


As we approach the end of 2018 and prepare for 2019 — surely destined to be another interesting year in the world of watches — we take a look back at some of the most noteworthy timepieces that came out this year, in various popular categories. Today, we look at 10 watches equipped with GMT and dual-time functions that had watch aficionados buzzing this year.

Armin Strom has made the pursuit of resonance part of its brand identity. Its first timepiece devoted to the concept was 2016’s Mirrored Force Resonance, followed by this year’s Pure Resonance, which boiled down the complicated manufacturing process into its clearest form. Recently, the boutique watchmaker took its Resonance quest to the next level with the Masterpiece 1 Dual Time, which combines two independent movements displaying two different time zones at the same time — movements balanced courtesy of the brand’s patented coupling spring that allows the two dueling gear trains to remain in sync. The two independent time indications, which feature guilloché work by Kari Voutilainen’s atelier, share the oval-shaped case with two power-reserve indicators, each placed within one of the subdials, and a single 24-hour indicator set between these subdials that displays the time for both indicators simultaneously via two small hands. For much more detail on the Dual Time, including Logan Baker’s interview with Armin Strom co-founder Serge Michel, click here.

The Armin Strom Masterpiece 1 Dual Time Resonance

Under the stewardship of its globetrotting owner, Pascal Raffy, Bovet commemorated the centennial of namesake Edouard Bovet’s legendary trip to Asia with the Edouard Bovet Tourbillon, a timepiece distinguished primarily by its ability to display three time zones simultaneously. The movement, which amasses a lengthy 10-day power reserve despite the array of complications it drives executes those three time zone dsiplays thusly: The local time, indicated by central hour and minute hands, along with a domed day-night disk, occupies the center of the complex dial. This domed indicator rotates counterclockwise to realistically depict the day’s cycle, with the sun rising in the east and setting in the west. Two additional time zones are represented at 3 o’clock and 9 o’clock by two hemispherical world-map domes that display the name of one of 24 world cities chosen by the wearer as well as the time in that city on a 24-hour scale. The 46-mm gold case is in Bovet’s emblematic, patented Amadeo configuration, which means that it can convert from wristwatch (one with two distinctive faces) to miniature table clock to pocketwatch without the need for tools. More on this watch’s incredible array of functions can be found here.

Bovet Edouard Bovet Tourbillon - front
Bovet Edouard Bovet Tourbillon

Released at Baselworld 2018, the Glashütte Original Senator Cosmopolite is a direct descendant of a 2015 timepiece whose manufacture movement displayed 36 time zones. Here, we see that same movement and globe-trotting functionality on display with a cleaned-up dial layout and a new case material, stainless steel. The reformatted dial maintains the same matte white lacquered surface but features additional dark blue notes, with black details, that make it easier on the eyes. The previous model’s black Roman numerals have been replaced by Arabic ones supplemented by blue appliqués, the railroad-track minutes scale has given way to separated markers, and the day/night indicator eschewing the colorful night sky and sun for a simple black-and-white design that harmonizes with the main dial. Blued hands tell the local time, while the home time is revealed on a subdial at 12 o’clock. For more on the Cosmopolite and its user-friendly functions, click here.

The Glashütte Original Senator Cosmopolite in stainless steel is a more accessible and youthful take on the brand’s innovative travel-time complication.

n 1993, Seiko’s Grand Seiko sub-brand introduced its first exclusive quartz movement, Caliber 9F, which was touted as “the highest performing in the world” due to its precision of just +5 to -5 seconds per year. This year, in commemoration of that caliber’s 25th anniversary, the now-independent Grand Seiko adds a GMT complication to its flagship quartz movement, debuting it in three new watches, one a limited edition. The new Caliber 9F86 incorporates new components that allow for independent adjustment of the GMT hand while maintaining timekeeping precision. The central GMT hand is mounted on its own axis to ensure smooth operation. The 25th anniversary commemorative-edition timepiece (pictured below), limited to 800 pieces, has a 39-mm stainless steel case and a metallic charcoal dial with a relief pattern based on the traditional symbol for quartz and a five-pointed star — symbolizing, the brand says, the +5 to -5 seconds-per-year precision — above the 6 o’clock position. More details and versions can be found here.

Grand Seiko Caliber 9F68 GMT - soldier
Grand Seiko Caliber 9F68 GMT 25th Anniversary Edition

In keeping with the mountain from which the company derives its name, Montblanc  took inspiration for its new 1858 Geosphere watch from the so-called Seven Summits mountaineering challenge, — the conquest of the highest peaks in each of the seven continents which only 500 climbers have ever accomplished. The timepiece features a world-time complication with two turning, domed hemisphere globes that make a full rotation every 24 hours. The northern hemisphere, located at 12 o’clock, turns counterclockwise, while the southern hemisphere at 6 o’clock turns clockwise. Both mini-globes are surrounded by a scale listing the 24 time zones, along with a day/night indication in contrasting colors. There is even a longitude reference meridian on both hemispheres, coated in SuperLumiNova. A second time zone is indicated at 9 o’clock and the date appears in a window at 3 o’clock. The peaks of all Seven Summits are marked with red dots on the globes. The watch is offered in either stainless steel or a limited edition in bronze. For more info on Montblanc’s 2018 releases at SIHH, click here.

Montblanc 1858 Geosphere
Montblanc 1858 Geosphere

Panerai chose the 2018 Design/Miami art fairs, for which it serves as official watch partner, to exclusively unveil a new, North America-exclusive limited edition of its hyper-masculine travelers’ watch, the Panerai Luminor 1950 – 10 Days GMT Automatic Acciaio. Inside the 44-mm, corrosion-resistant stainless steel case is Panerai’s in-house Caliber P.2003, which stores at least 240 hours, or 10 days’ worth of winding autonomy in its three spring barrels. The sandwich-style satiné soleil blue dial, with beige-colored Super-LumiNova shining through the top disk’s cut-out Arabic numerals, has a date window is at 3 o’clock, a linear power reserve display at 6 o’clock, and an AM/PM indicator sharing the 9 o’clock position with the small seconds subdial. A central arrow-tipped hand indicates a second time zone on the 12-hour scale. More info can be found here.

Panerai Luminor 1950 10 Days GMT Automatic Acciaio -Design Miami - front
Panerai Luminor 1950 10 Days GMT Automatic Acciaio -Design Miami – front

Rolex famously led off its 2018 collection with a new version of its classic “Pepsi” GMT-Master II in an “Oystersteel” case with classical “Jubilee” bracelet, featuring several significant updates on both the inside and outside. The 40-mm case is guaranteed waterproof to a depth of 300 meters. The red-and-blue GMT bezel frames a nearly scratchproof sapphire crystal, with the now-iconic Cyclops lens over the date window at 3 o’clock. The bezel’s 24-hour scale — here, for the first time, on a Cerachrom insert incorporating red and blue ceramics that are exceptionally resistant to scratches, corrosion, and the effects of ultraviolet rays — can be synchronized with the red GMT hand on the dial to quickly and easily read the time in a time zone other than your own, while the hour and minute hands and date all continue to display the local time. An all-new movement, Caliber 3285, makes its debut in this model (as well as two other new variants, one in Rolex’s Everose gold, the other in gold-and-steel “Rolesor,” both with black-and-brown Cerachrom bezel inserts, nicknamed “Root Beer”). Click here for our detailed report on the GMT-Master II.

Rolex GMT-Master II - steel - bracelet
Rolex GMT-Master II in Oystersteel

Rolex’s “little brother” Tudor offered its own take on a dual-time “Pepsi-bezel” timekeeper with its Black Bay GMT, with a design heavily influenced by the classic GMT-Master. As per the success it has forged in recent years since the brand returned to the U.S. market, however, Tudor has made the timepiece distinctly its own: the bicolor bezel is not the bright red-and-blue of Rolex’s version but the burgundy and indigo colors that have become closely associated with the watches in Tudor’s popular, vintage-sport-inspired Black Bay collection. The dial features the now-familiar Black Bay “snowflake” hands and the movement is Tudor’s own in-house Caliber MT5652, with a silicon balance spring and a 70-hour power reserve. The watch works as either a lower-priced alternative to the GMT-Master or as a new complication with subtle but distinctive Tudor DNA. For a hands-on look at the Tudor Black Bay GMT, click here.

Tudor Black Bay GMT
Tudor Black Bay GMT

 

3 Responses to “Eight Noteworthy GMT and Dual-Time Watches for World Travelers”

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  1. Patrick Jones

    Great article with one notable absence. The Oris caliber 114 with a 10 day power reserve and a GMT complication that can be set to half hour increments, very useful to travel to India (which accounts for almost 18% of the worlds population) and South Australia, amongst others. This is a rare complication not offered by many of the watch brands.

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