Travelling… Crossing time zones, getting away from it all, changing view… For a year and a half, this reality has also been on lockdown, but not for long now. Summer 2021 signalled a return to travel, and as we’re all back at work, it is time for us to consider travelling again, for fun and for business, and for that, nothing better than a traveller’s watch. GMT, Dual-Time, world-timer… There are many types of watches made to travel, but all have the same objective, making your life easier when crossing time zones. And here are some of the most noticeable traveller’s watches we’ve seen so far in 2021.
Bell & Ross BR 03-93 GMT
Being a brand specialised in everything related to aviation, the GMT complication is a must for Bell & Ross, which has been equipping most of its creations with such display. Latest in line is the classic – dare I say emblematic – BR 03 instrument collection, with an updated version of the GMT watch. For the occasion, it now comes equipped with an external, bidirectional bezel with a red/black insert, and still the typical square case and highly legible dial. This 42mm bold piece of watch is powered by a Sellita SW 330, meaning that this is the GMT hand that can be independently adjusted. The overall look feels sportier but the execution is more refined than before, making this watch a civilian tool rather than a military-oriented instrument. More details in our hands-on article here.
Quick Facts: 42mm x 42mm – stainless steel, bidirectional black and red 24h bezel – 100m water-resistant – Calibre BR-CAL.303, Sellita SW-330 base, 42h power reserve, independent GMT hand – black leather strap – BR0393-BL-ST/SCA – EUR 3,800
Bvlgari Octo Roma Worldtimer
While participating in the Geneva Watch Days 2021, Bvlgari set the tone on the idea to travel again, not with one but two new models equipped with travelling functions. In addition to the cool and youthful Aluminium GMT, Bvlgari has presented the new Octo Roma Worldtimer. Still a watch that couldn’t be more representative of the brand’s design codes, the Roma is a slightly more consensual and softer take on the octagonal shaped case, with fewer facets and of course, less thinness. Still, the brand has done a great job integrating the worldtimer function, specifically in this black DLC and entirely monochromatic version. Sporty, modern, still legible, it’s a great companion for both business or leisure. Inside is the in-house calibre BVL257. More details in our introducing article here.
Quick Facts: 41mm x 11.35mm – stainless steel with DLC coating – 100m water-resistant – matte black dial with city- and 24h-ring – BVL257 calibre, in-house, 42h power reserve, world-time function – black textured rubber strap with DLC steel pin-buckle – 103486 – EUR 8,600
Norqain Freedom 60 GMT
Even though a young brand, Norqain has managed to make a name for itself on the watchmaking scene with its well-priced, well-built, well-designed watches often powered by top-tier manufacture movements. Case in point, the brand vision of a traveller’s watch, the Freedom 60 GMT, which is now available in a classic steel case with a handsome white dial and, because this is somehow iconic of the GMT watches, a so-called “Pepsi” 24h ring, but this time displayed on the dial. The watch has a slight vintage vibe, it is well-proportioned and robust. Inside is a Kenissi-made automatic chronometer movement, with 70h power reserve and independent local-time hand – the most practical when crossing time zones. Overall, a great package with cool looks. More details in our hands-on article here.
Quick Facts: 40.5mm x 14.5mm – stainless steel case – 100m water-resistant – opaline white dial with internal blue/red 24h ring – manufacture calibre NN20/2 (Kenissi base), COSC certified, 70h power reserve, independent local time jumping hand – stainless steel bracelet, leather strap or perlon rubber strap – NN2100SG/0211/201SG – as of CHF 3,550
Porsche Design 1919 Globetimer UTC All Black
Porsche Design might mostly be known for its chronograph watches, the brand has recently integrated the list of brands with a focus on travelling. Launched in 2019, the 1919 Globetimer UTC made a great impression at MONOCHROME, not only because of its beautifully designed, sleek looking and ergonomic case but also because of how the brand handle the idea of adjusting time zones. Forget about the crown and the need to unscrew it… Porsche Design took inspiration in Porsche’s PDK gearbox, with “+” and “-” pushers on the side, linked to the local time hand jumping by one-hour increments – thanks to a proprietary UTC module, on top of a COSC Sellita SW 200-1. For 2021, the brand is releasing this new All Black edition, which couldn’t be more PD, with its matte titanium case, black coating and leather strap made of genuine Porsche car leather. More details in our review here.
Quick Facts: 42mm x 14.90mm – titanium case glass bead-blasted, with black PVD coating – 100m water-resistant – matte black dial with 24h indication – Porsche Design calibre WERK 04.110 (base Sellita SW 200-1 with proprietary UTC module), COSC certified, 38h power reserve, local time hand adjusted by “+” and “-” pushers – Porsche vehicle leather strap – 4056487005355 – EUR 6,250
Rolex Explorer II 226570
Rolex and the GMT complication is a true love story. The crown is often seen as the precursor of the traveller’s watch, thanks to its 1954 GMT Master watch – in reality, Glycine was first on the market with the Airman in 1953. Still, Rolex has become indissociable from this complication, and not only with the classic GMT Master watches, but also with the Explorer II. As part of its 2021 collection, Rolex released a (slightly) updated version of its adventurer’s watch with 24h indication. Surely, the update is minimal, with new hands, slightly reworked proportions with thinner lugs and larger bracelet, AR coating on the crystal (finally). The main update concerns the movement, now part of the 32XX generation with Chronergy escapement and 70h power reserve – the same movement as the GMT Master II, with independent local time hand. So yes, everything has changed in tiny proportions, just to make a great watch even better. More details in our “first look” article here.
Quick Facts: 42mm x approx 12mm – stainless steel case – fixed engraved 24h bezel – 100m water-resistant – matte black dial with orange accents – calibre 3285, in-house, superlative chronometer, 70h power reserve, local time hand adjusted by one-hour increments – stainless steel Oyster bracelet – M226570-0002 – EUR 8,050
Yema Superman Heritage GMT Pepsi
Last but not least, a proof that you don’t need to spend multiple thousand for a cool GMT watch, as demonstrated by Yema with its Superman Heritage GMT Pepsi, a watch that looks cool, that does perfectly the job in terms of complications, and that is still true to the name printed on its dial, with diving credentials. Compact, vintage-looking, still equipped with the model’s emblematic features, Yema adds here a GMT complication and a 24h Pepsi scale on the bezel, making this new version a great combination between travelling and sports, with its 300m water-resistance. Inside is the YEMA3000 manufacture calibre, an automatic movement made in France with 42h power reserve. More details in our hands-on article here.
Quick Facts: 39.5mm – stainless steel case – bidirectional bezel with blue/red 24h insert – 300m water-resistant – glossy black dial with red accents – YEMA3000 manufacture calibre, 42h power reserve, independent 24h GMT hand – stainless steel bracelet – EUR 1,190