Monochrome Watches
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The Best GMT and Travel Watches of 2023

Perfectly fit for the frequent flyers among us, these five GMT/Travel watches impressed us the most in 2023.

| By Robin Nooy | 5 min read |
Rolex Sky-Dweller Steel Rolesor Mint Green Dial 336934

Yesterday, we started looking back at 2023 and all the new watches we’ve seen to try and make a list of the best ones. The MONOCHROME Editorial Team took votes to determine the Best Chronograph of 2023, which kicked things off, but also many other categories. Up next is the GMT/Travel category, and although the list wasn’t as long as the chronographs category, there was a lot of debate on which ones would make the cut. Going through the list reveals that there are plenty of directions to go in, but the diving travel watch is gaining traction. So, without revealing too much up front, here are the MONOCHROME team’s Best GMT/Travel Watches of 2023.

Going through all watch novelties for 2023, we ended up with a little over 70 watches under the GMT/Travel tag. The list before voting saw some usual suspects making the rounds, but some new brands, like Jacob & Co with its The World Is Yours dual time watch, also entered the mix. Nevertheless, we narrowed it down to the five watches we think best represented what we would look for in a travel watch: good looks, practicality, and a solid mechanical movement. Enjoy, and do let us know what you think of our selection.

A. Lange & Söhne Lange 1 Time Zone

The Lange 1 Time Zone isn’t new in A. Lange & Söhne’s arsenal, but it was never available in platinum. And with this monochromatic solid silver rhodium-coloured dial, it looks the part! In 2020, the Lange 1 Time Zone was updated with a fresh movement and, more importantly, a better-organised layout for the dial without losing the signature display of the Lange 1. This new generation exemplified the striking purity the Lange 1 is famous for, with non-overlapping time indications, a city ring on the outside adjustable through a pusher, dual time displays with integrated day/night scale and the signature Outsize Date. All this is set in a beautifully proportioned case and powered by a superbly finished movement. The only downside? The fact that it’s priced upon request means it probably costs an arm and a leg.

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A. Lange & Söhne Lange 1 Time Zone Platinum 2023 - reference 136.025 - wristshot

For more details about the A. Lange & Söhne Lange 1 Time Zone in platinum, please check out our hands-on review here.

Longines HydroConquest GMT

A watch that made a lasting impression on me personally, but also on the MONOCHROME team, is the new Longines HydroConquest GMT. Not only were we taken by its robust build quality but also by its very handsome appearance (especially in green!) and the fact it’s a Flyer GMT. It shows that pairing a dive watch with a GMT function is a very clever move when done right! From top to bottom, just about everything on this watch is executed to perfection. The HydroConquest GMT is water-resistant to 300m, has a GMT indication that can be adjusted independently in both directions (including the date) and has a solid power reserve of 72 hours. On top of that, it feels brilliant on the wrist and doesn’t cost the end of the world. Well done, Longines!

For more information on this very capable Longines HydroConquest GMT, please consult our review article here.

Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean 600M GMT Dark grey

Call it expensive, which it very much is, but the Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean 600M GMT Dark Grey is one mean-looking ‘machine’ with specs to more than back up its robust and tactile look. This attention-grabbing watch comes in a case made of a silicon nitride ceramic composite and a mostly grey colour palette. The only ‘break’ in the monochromatic design is the orange elements on the dial and hands. Furthermore, not only does it have a titanium dial, but the high-tech calibre 8906 Ti is also crafted from the lightweight material. The movement matches the case in terms of looks and comes as a METAS-certified Master Chronometer with a 60h power reserve from two barrels and an independent home time indication.

For more information on the superb Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean 600M GMT Dark Grey, please find our detailed review here.

Rolex Sky-Dweller 2023 edition calibre 9002

The year 2023 was very good for Rolex, as The Crown presented us with some unexpected evolutions. The refreshed Daytona made the cut for Best Chronograph, but the updated Sky-Dweller has also made this list. This combination of Oystersteel and Mint Green genuinely won us over because of its ease of use and good looks. The updates for Rolex’s ultimate travel watch were subtle but included touch-ups on the dial and, more importantly, the calibre 9002, which now features the Chronergy escapement. The Ring Command Bezel system makes it a brilliantly simple watch to set and use, and combining the annual calendar with local and home time in such an easy-to-read layout is a testament to why Rolex is so highly regarded by many. If you can get your hands on one, go for the Jubilee bracelet despite the fact it’s a smidge more expensive than the Oystersteel bracelet.

Rolex Sky-Dweller Steel Rolesor Mint Green Dial 336934

For more information on the updated Rolex Sky-Dweller, please check the hands-on review here.

Tudor Black Bay GMT Polar

We finish our selection for Best GMT/Travel Watches of 2023 with Tudor and its gorgeous Black Bay GMT ‘Polar’, or ‘Albino’ if you will. Part of the incredibly successful Black Bay range, this one combines retro appeal with an opaline white dial and a two-tone Pepsi-style rotating bezel. This pairing of colours takes us back to the GMT-Master Ref. 6452, a highly coveted and rare watch by Rolex. The Kenissi-made calibre MT5652 makes this a Flyer GMT, so it has an independent local ‘snowflake’ hour hand and a red home hour hand, also the signature ‘snowflake’ design. Strap it to the wrist on the steel bracelet or the two-tone NATO-style fabric strap, and you’re guaranteed to be wearing a winner.

Tudor Black Bay GMT Opaline Dial Pepsi Bezel

For more details on the ‘Albino’ Tudor Black Bay GMT, please head over to our hands-on review here.

3 responses

  1. Great watches all, but the Breitling Chronomat GMT is my choice. Great watch for travel and as good for GMT function as any of these, at a reasonable price.

  2. i’m always baffled by the Longines HC GMT.
    those “balls” at 6 and 9 are visibly too small and the final effect on the dial is totally unbalanced…


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