Dual Time vs. GMT Watches

If you wish to preserve monitor of multiple timezone concurrently, whether or not you might be touring, doing enterprise, or dwelling abroad, there are two kinds of watches that may enable you to.

Step in GMT and Dual Time watches, each have the potential of exhibiting you two time zones however perform in numerous methods.

The two kinds of watches are sometimes confused for one another however are literally fairly completely different. To perceive which is best for you we’re going to check out each, then their variations. Let us get began. 

What is a Dual Time Watch?

Citizen Men's Eco-Drive Promaster Nighthawk Dual Time Watch with Date, BJ7000-52E
Citizen Men’s Eco-Drive Promaster Nighthawk Dual Time Watch

A Dual Time watch does precisely what it says on the tin, it reveals you two occasions without delay, you’ll have even seen any such watch earlier than and not likely observed what it’s for. 

With most Dual Time watches the second time zone is on a smaller sub-dial that sometimes has 12-hour time frames. Although some have minutes dials too, Dual Time watches typically solely use the hours attributable to most time zones being on hour intervals.

The most frequent use for Dual Time watches is for journey the place folks will set the principle watch arms to the native time, and their sub-dials to their dwelling timezone. 

It is a reasonably easy method to preserve monitor of the time distinction with out having to depend the hours in your hand, of which we’re all responsible of at one time or one other! 

Charles-Hubert, Paris Men's 3854-W Premium Collection Stainless Steel Dual-Time Watch
Charles-Hubert Dual-Time Watch

Some dual-time watches, reminiscent of this one, actually have two dials which might be the identical measurement moderately than a smaller subdial. 

What is a GMT Watch?

Grand Seiko Black Ceramic Limited Edition SBGE037
Grand Seiko Black Ceramic Limited Edition SBGE037


As chances are you’ll or might not know GMT is the anagram for Greenwich Mean Time, which is the way in which we outline the world’s time zones. GMT is ready in Greenwich in London and is outlined as zero and every timezone west is -1 and to the east is +1.

For instance, EST (New York) is GMT-5, which is usually 5 hours behind the UK time (GMT), when daylight financial savings is in impact it’s 4 hours behind.

So placing this data into context, GMT watches have a 24-hour bezel that can be utilized to sync up the time with a second time zone. This is usually utilized by folks touring, for worldwide enterprise, or pilots.

A whole lot of the enduring Rolex watches have these bezels, particularly the two-tone fashions such because the informally identified Rolex Pepsi with its iconic blue and purple coloration scheme. 

It is believed that this was initially designed for Pan Am however rapidly turned linked to the favored carbonated drinks.

Differences Between Dual Time and GMT Watches

Nomos Zurich Weltzeit Nachtblau Blue Dial Mens Watch 807
Nomos Zurich Weltzeit Nachtblau

Below we’re going to take a look at only a few variations between Dual Time and GMT watches, this isn’t a definitive record, only a handful of examples to assist decide which is which, and perhaps assist establish your desire too.

12-Hour vs 24-Hour

One of the most important variations between these two kinds of watches is the way in which they current the second time zone. 

A Dual Time watch usually may have a 12-hour sub-dial, which presents problems and restricted usability because of the lack of a transparent AM/PM distinction.

This has been addressed and most fashions may have a refined AM/PM indication, it’s definitely not as clear or so simple as the GMT counterparts.

The GMT fashions, then again, have 24-hour bezels sometimes, that means you’ll have faster entry to the second timezone’s time.



One of the simplest methods to tell apart these two kinds of watches is their precise appears. They sometimes look broadly completely different from one another.

Dual Time watches may have a minimum of one sub-dial, the extra ones are sometimes surplus to necessities as MOST time zones are in hour increments. 

Some time zones are 30 and even 45-minutes offsets, however these are a lot much less frequent, so are sometimes not accounted for.

GMT then again has the extra iconic look, and when folks see a watch of this type, they sometimes affiliate them with the costlier and luxurious fashions reminiscent of a Rolex.


Breitling Bentley GMT Light Body VB043222/BD69-222S
Breitling Bentley GMT

Some watchmakers focus extra predominantly on one of many two timezone watch types. For occasion, Tag Heuer, Breitling, and Rolex all are extra related to making GMT watches.

This may be how you establish which watch you wish to purchase. Each type has its favored manufacturers, however it is very important observe, most watch corporations have a variety of fashions and types, so you’ll have loads of choices. 

So, you might need a most well-liked model or type, both will enable you to resolve which watch is the one for you.


TAG Heuer Men's WAV5112.FC6225 Grand Carrera Grand Date GMT Watch
TAG Heuer Grand Carrera Grand Date GMT

With a GMT watch, the face just isn’t cluttered with the addition of the sub-dials, which creates a way more refined, understated, and polished-looking watch. 

This doesn’t take away from the enchantment and design of the watch, with the bezel being off the face of the watch, holding it trying clear.

However, some Dual Time watches use an ‘invisible’ hour hand, which usually has a smaller hour hand that may be moved independently to be set to the second timezone. 

The time period invisible is a little bit deceptive, however ‘much less seen’ hour hand doesn’t have the identical enchantment.

Is a Dual Time or GMT Watch Better?

Rolex GMT-Master II"Pepsi" Men's Luxury Watch 126710BLRO
Rolex GMT-Master II”Pepsi”

The brief reply? It is solely as much as you. Although some folks would argue they’ve a desire for a GMT mannequin, the 2 do each help you inform the time in two locations concurrently. 

The main distinction, as we alluded to above, is the precise appears of the timepieces. They every have a majorly completely different look to one another, so that can in all probability be the deciding issue for you when you find yourself shopping for one.

With this being stated, GMT-style watches are way more standard and customary, so you might be prone to come throughout these extra often. 

Other elements you would possibly contemplate are the value level, colours, model, match, and measurement. Finding a watch that’s good for you is down to 1 individual, and that’s you. 

So, discover a watch you want that has the options you want, no matter whether or not it’s GMT or Dual Time. There are so many several types of watches on the market, you’d wrestle to search out one which you don’t like, so blissful searching! 

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