Six dual time zone watches for the globetrotter –

Now that the COVID-19 situation has apparently returned to normal, we have observed that many friends and acquaintances are packing up to prepare for their long-awaited vacations abroad.

For watch collectors, this always posed a question: “Which watch should I take on my vacation?”

On the one hand, collectors would usually want to wear a beautiful watch to mark such a joyful occasion. However, on the other hand, with an increasingly worrying amount of watch theft and/or burglary, it is also more prudent to wear a nondescript watch – especially if traveling to areas known for such incidents.

In this week’s article, we’re going to explore some of the most travel-friendly watches. We’ll keep in mind that these watches usually have to be a bit understated, they also shouldn’t compromise on quality and functionality. Here’s the list of watches that we believe do the job:

Grand Seiko GMT (SBGM003/SBGM221)

We begin the article with a timepiece that is no longer a well-kept secret. Cue the exceptional Grand Seiko GMT.

In recent years, Grand Seiko has attracted the attention of many collectors. This is attributed to its well-made watches and no doubt the value proposition it offers as well. One of these watches is the GMT (the old version SBGM003 is pictured above; the new version SBGM221 comes with some minor changes), which is a mainstay of Grand Seiko. We love the smooth cream dial and nicely finished hour markers and hands that featured the manufacturer’s famous zaratsu finish. Movement is also a sight to behold.

The 39.5mm watch is a stylish piece, and it’s priced at US$4,600 (about S$6,450). It’s a great watch, especially for a business traveler or someone who just wants a great travel watch without attracting the wrong kind of attention.

Sinn 105 UTC

For many seasoned collectors, Sinn is a brand known for its simple and robust tool watches. The Sinn 105 UTC continues to live up to the brand’s reputation.

Launched in late 2020, the 105 UTC is another capable tool watch from the Frankfurt-based manufacturer. As the name suggests, the 41mm stainless steel watch features a dual time zone indicator and an additional date display. Other notable touches include a bead-blasted case, as well as a bezel treated with the brand’s TEGIMENT technology that makes it highly scratch-resistant.

Pricing for the Sinn 105 St Sa W UTC starts at S$2,920 for the wristband variant, with the wristband version priced at a relatively affordable S$370. It’s definitely a great travel companion, given its complication and how Sinn is known for producing strong and sturdy watches.

Longines Spirit Zulu Time

Longines has a long history of developing dual time zone watches, the first being a pocket watch produced in 1908. More than a century later, Longines is writing a new chapter in the brand’s history of manufacturing versatile watches for pilots and adventurers. – in the form of Zulu Spirit Time.

The 42mm Zulu Time is a beautiful watch, simple in design and manufactured to satisfactory standards. Some of the most notable touches include the colored bi-directional ceramic bezel, applied numerals, as well as a new exclusive in-house caliber L844.4 which features a silicon hairspring and three-time-zone capability.

Retailing at S$4,420, Longines’ new Spirit Zulu Time is a strong contender in the entry-level GMT watch arena. It is well made and does its job without a hitch. It’s the kind of timepiece we think seasoned and new collectors alike will appreciate, especially if one is a frequent traveler looking for a reliable timepiece that doesn’t attract any unwanted attention.

NOMOS Glashütte Zürich Weltzeit

NOMOS is a brand that has garnered quite a following in recent years, but there are still some hidden gems from the Glashütte-based watchmaker. The NOMOS Glashütte Zürich Weltzeit is one of those timepieces.

The Zürich Weltzeit offers an interesting interpretation of the world time complication. Featuring a minimalist design, the timepiece is just as easy to use. Notably, the time zone can be adjusted simply by pressing an actuator at the 2 o’clock position on the case.

For NOMOS watches, another key element would be the movement. In this case, it would be the in-house DUW 5201 movement. This movement has a 42-hour battery life and features nice touches such as Glashütte ribbing, NOMOS perlage, Glashütte sunburst, and flame-blued screws.

The 40mm watch is priced at S$7,820, which is pretty reasonable for an in-house developed world clock. We sincerely believe that the Zürich Weltzeit is extremely underrated, and for what it’s worth, it deserves a lot more attention from collectors and the press.

Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra GMT Worldtimer

Omega may often be known for its Speedmaster collection, but it also produces other incredibly compelling timepieces. Cue it Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra GMT Worldtimer.

Launched in 2017, the Aqua Terra GMT Worldtimer offers collectors an attractive option in the world of universal watches. The watch attempts to produce a clean and readable layout, to allow for greater readability. This is achieved through the use of the outer ring for city labels and an inner ring which features a 24 hour display. In addition to this, the designers had also brilliantly bet on the indices to serve as an indicator of the weather of certain cities.

The main highlight of the watch, however, lies in the middle. The watch is equipped with a titanium cartridge which has been laser ablated to create a blue ocean (and thus leaving a relief of the continents). The end result is a crisp, detailed centerpiece that is quite out of this world. Pricing for this 43mm watch starts at S$13,000 for the stainless steel model, and we think this particular Omega is a stunning piece that combines both form and function.

Chopard LUC GMT One Black

We end the article with the exquisite Chopard LUC GMT One Black.

The GMT One offers collectors a more contemporary timepiece – something slightly different from the usual dressier watches the LUC collection is normally associated with. This 42 mm timepiece notably has an interior rotating bezel to display its second time zone. It also has an additional GMT hand which can be adjusted with the crown at the 4 o’clock position.

The main dish because the timepiece may reside in its movement. The watch is powered by the LUC Caliber 01.10-L, a COSC-certified self-winding movement that boasts a decent 60-hour power reserve. The finish is also very good, with some of the highlights including Coasts of Geneva and chamfered edges for bridges.

Priced at S$11,800, the LUC GMT One is a stunning piece that offers collectors something sublime without being overly ostentatious.

Final Thoughts

We hope this week’s article has given readers some insight into these kinds of watches.

Given the situation, we obviously have to eliminate some options. We absolutely adore the Rolex GMT-Master II and the Patek Philippe Calatrava Pilot Travel Time, but these two brands are currently popular choices for thieves and burglars. We strongly recommend that readers keep these watches in a home safe, at least for now.

Aside from the Omega Aqua Terra, most of the watches we’ve selected are pretty understated. However, these are tried and tested watches that are well made and fit for purpose. The LUC GMT One and the Zürich Weltzeit are two watches that prove that you can still enjoy high-end watches that are shiny, without being too flashy or showy. We believe that the Omega Aqua Terra can be worn in countries deemed to be safer, especially if one still wishes to have an interesting watch when the occasion calls for it.

Please let us know your thoughts on our selection today, as well as which watches you think deserve a spot on the list. And for those who are traveling soon: bon voyage!

About Robert L. Thomas

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