15 BEST GMT Watches under $1,000 (Value Meets Luxury!)
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15 gmt watches under 1000

15 BEST GMT Watches under $1,000 (Value Meets Luxury!)

Having the opportunity to travel and see the world is one of the best feelings ever. Imagine, after spending so much time at home and work, you have the time to sit down, relax, and plan your next trip. One of those essential things that you are going to take with you is, no doubt, a trusty timepiece. 

Watches accent everyone’s look and are a customizable part of our wardrobe. Numerous features can be on a watch, like date windows and chronographs. But a good GMT hand is one of the most useful and loved features. Whether you are about to hop on a plane to Bali or an Uber to a local shopping mall, anyone can enjoy a GMT.

GMT hands are greatly coveted due to their functionality and interest. This also used to come with a hefty price tag. GMT functionality used to be reserved for more expensive pieces, and only recently have affordable GMTs surfaced into the market. How affordable, you might ask? 

A quality GMT timepiece could be yours if you’ve got anywhere between five to ten Benjamin Franklins in your wallet. $500 to $1000 is plenty to have a reliable and interesting watch by your side. There are many tempting choices out there, and we’re here to give you a taste of what’s available.

What is a GMT Watch?

Really, what is all the fuss about having a GMT watch? What does GMT even mean? Does it mean something like “Great Modern Timepiece”? Actually, “GMT” is short for Greenwich Mean Time and is a way to calculate when the “zero hour” of time is. This makes it easier to tell the time all around the world by adding or subtracting hours compared to the zero hour. 

For example, here in sunny Florida, the time is 11:00 am. Most of Florida operates under Eastern Standard Time (EST), five hours behind the GMT. Our friends on the West Coast in California operate under Pacific Standard Time (PST), which is eight hours behind the GMT. So, there is a three-hour time difference between us, and it would be 8:00 am in California. 

GMT watches usually have a rotating 24-hour bezel around the watch and another hand that points to a different time zone. With this handy feature, you can know the time in two different places simultaneously.

Brief History of GMT Watches

GMT watches were born out of necessity. With the advancement of the aviation industry, people were more frequently going to different time zones. For pilots especially, keeping track of the time in multiple time zones became important. 

One of the first watches to appear with a GMT hand was the Airman from Glycine, featuring a rotating 24-hour bezel. Rolex followed this with their own GMT-Master offering soon after, and the GMT watch became an invaluable tool.

What to Look For in GMT Watches Under $1000?

One of the most important things to look for in a GMT watch under $1000 is to determine if it actually has a GMT feature. It is very easy for watches to mimic the looks of a true GMT watch with a bi-colored bezel. While visually attractive, it does not perform the same function. 

Another thing to remember is that an authentic GMT watch will have a hand that can be independently set. They will move in one-hour increments independently instead of moving with the normal hour hand when setting the time.

This independent hand is the most ideal for a GMT watch, but being able to track a second time zone is a fantastic feature for any timepiece. These things are crucial to remember in more affordable GMT options.

The Best GMT Watches Under $1000

Since the Airman’s release in 1953, many brands have stepped up to the plate and have designed their own GMT watches. Here are 15 of the best GMT watches ranging from $500 to $1000, including some much-loved brands and a few that might be completely new to you. A few might be just a hair above $1000, but for this kind of quality, it’s worth it! 

Hold on to your pilot hats; we’re in for an exciting ride!

1. Seiko 5 Sports Style GMT SSK001

Seiko 5 Sports Style GMT SSK001

No list is complete without something from Seiko, and their rugged, affordable GMT from the Seiko 5 collection starts off our journey. The Seiko 5 line is much loved in the watch community for its affordability and handsome looks. 

It’s wondrous how Seiko is able to pack a functional, genuine GMT into a 42.5mm case at a very reasonable price of around $475. Many of the watches in the Seiko 5 line echo other historical Seiko designs, and this watch is no exception. Enthusiasts will definitely appreciate the inspiration from the beloved SKX series

At the heart of the SSK001 is a robust and reliable Seiko movement, the 4R34. This movement has hacking and hand-winding, a good-sized 42-hour power reserve, and of course, the main feature, the GMT. The bracelet is the same as most other SKX watches, expertly finished and with solid end links. 

Instead of a diamond-hard sapphire crystal, the SSK001 uses Seiko’s Hardlex crystal. Although less scratch-resistant than its sapphire cousin, its use brings the price of the very functional GMT watch down and into the $500 category. This watch is an amazing piece for curious travelers and seasoned veterans to experience a GMT for themselves.

Find it on Seiko’s website here.

2. Hamilton Khaki Aviation X-Wind Chrono Quartz GMT H77932560

Hamilton Khaki Aviation X-Wind Chrono Quartz GMT H77932560

Hamilton is a legendary watch company in its own right, starting in America and now headquartered in the land of great watches, Switzerland. In general, one way to bring the price of a timepiece down is by using a quartz movement.

This battery-powered warrior from Hamilton keeps extremely accurate time and is packed with features that will delight any potential buyer. The dial is very large at 46mm, and you’ll definitely be able to feel the weight of the watch on your wrist.

In addition to the GMT hand, the timepiece also has a handy chronograph for measuring elapsed time and a crosswind feature for all the pilots out there. 

Priced at $995 on the brand’s website, this adventurous, extra-large gadget will fit into any budget looking for an excellent timepiece under $1000. This is the perfect companion, whether in the skies or on the ground.

3. Christopher Ward C63 Sealander GMT

Christopher Ward C63 Sealander GMT

Christopher Ward, the daring British watchmaking brand, offers a sleek, sharp, and suave GMT with the C63 Sealander. Christopher Ward is known for its amazing price value proposition, packing extreme quality for very reasonable prices. 

And for just slightly above $1000 at Christopher Ward, you’re getting a tough 316L stainless steel case with a bright orange GMT hand that pops against the shiny dial. Printed on the dial is Christopher Ward’s new cross-shaped logo, marking this watch as a modern and stylish piece in the collection. 

Inside the perfectly sized 39mm case is a beautifully finished Sellita SW330-2 on display with a see-through exhibition caseback. The time is very easy to see whether it is pitch dark outside or bright and sunny, with Super-Luminova coating illuminating the watch. 

This British bruiser can be found on Christopher Ward’s website.

4. Glycine Airman No. 1 Black GMT 36 GL0370

Glycine Airman No. 1 Black GMT 36 GL0370

For around $1000, you can own a piece of wearable history. The legendary Glycine Airman, the first of its class, is still available today with upgraded materials. The Airman was a pivotal point in watchmaking history, and this timepiece reliably served pilots in the golden days of flying. 

By today’s standards, the 36mm case runs slightly small, but this is made to the exact specifications of the original. The watch emphasizes legibility above all else, with snow-white printing against a matte black dial. 

The modern upgrades to the watch include a crystal clear sapphire crystal and a GL293 Swiss automatic movement. This is a proven, workhorse movement and has a healthy 42-hour power reserve. The GMT works just as well as it did in the past, and everything about this watch screams heritage and history. 

Find this stunner here on Glycine’s website.

5. Squale 30 Atmos GMT Ceramica

Squale 30 Atmos GMT Ceramica

Squale had its start over fifty years ago when only the best watchmakers could survive. Squale watches can handle any situation they’re thrown into. Famous for their dive watches and amazing value, this ceramic version of Squale’s GMT has a vintage feel with very modern features.

Of course, the main highlight of this watch is the stunning ceramic bezel. This ceramic bezel is going to look clean and fresh for many years to come. The watch’s somewhat large but manageable 42mm case is hefty and feels amazing on the wrist.

Owing to their history for divers, Squale also makes sure the watch is also just as comfortable in the depths of the ocean. Rated at 30 atm, or 1000 feet, there are very few places where this watch won’t be able to accompany you. With a variety of colors, a great price at around $800, GMT features, and rock-solid construction, this timepiece is a worthy addition to the list.

See here for more information.

6. Baltic Aquascaphe GMT

Baltic Aquascaphe GMT

For collectors who want a brand that isn’t on everyone’s radar, Baltic has the answer. Baltic is a micro brand, smaller than more mainstream brands like Seiko and Rolex. This certainly doesn’t affect the quality, however. The French brand Baltic has made waves with its unambiguous manufacturing techniques and designs that speak to modern consumers.

The Aquascaphe GMT is perfectly priced at $1000. The design is very original but still has vintage elements, like the hour markers and classic 24-hour bezel. The bold GMT hand comes in a variety of colors, pointing wherever the user needs it to. The bidirectional rotating bezel is satisfying to use and hear.

Behind the engraved case back, which is a map of different time zones, is Baltic’s version of a Swiss-made movement. The Soprod C125 GMT is self-winding, robust, and precise.

The watch is available on Baltic’s website.

7. Mido Ocean Star GMT

Mido Ocean Star GMT

Some watches are just too good not to include. Even though it is ever so slightly above $1000, the extra money that goes towards a Mido Ocean Star GMT is well worth it. Mido is a part of the Swatch Group and is somewhat lowkey compared to its brothers like Hamilton and Tissot. However, Mido is truly challenging what it means to have an affordable GMT.

The Ocean Star GMT is a true GMT watch, with an independently set hand and a 24-hour rotating bezel, and is a statement piece. It is big, bold, daring, and can easily compete with watches much more expensive than it.

True to its name, this watch is water resistant to 200 meters and has a titanic power reserve at 80 hours. This massive power reserve comes from Mido’s modified Caliber 80 movement and is officially COSC certified. The movement even features a new Nivachron balance spring which helps to keep more accurate time.

The watch is available for pre-order on Mido’s website.

8. Certina DS Action GMT

Certina DS Action GMT

Certina has been the go-to brand for affordable, high-quality Swiss timepieces. Occupying a similar position in the Swatch Group as Mido, Certina brings a very competitive GMT at this price point. The DS Action GMT can be found for around $900 and features Certina’s signature DS design.

DS, or Double Security, refers to Certina’s belief in creating watches with maximum resistance to forces. Movements are encased in protective material, warding off the effects of shock and magnetism.

The watch has a 43mm case diameter and a reasonable case thickness of 12.60mm. The true GMT is the real star of the show, however. The timepiece’s independently set jumping hour is complicated and a wonder to behold. Powering this excellently priced GMT is the Powermatic 80, with an outstanding 80 hours of power reserve.

Discover the wonders of the DS Action GMT on Certina’s website.

9. Lorier Hyperion

Lorier Hyperion

Few microbrands are more exciting than Lorier. This brand is a newcomer; it only just recently started in 2017. However, their impact with outstanding and sharp pieces like the Lorier Hyperion makes them a contender in the competitive watch market. With a price fitting comfortably within the range of this list, $800 gets you a clean and unique travel companion.

Vintage is the name of the game for the Hyperion, with dual-colored bezels, a 38mm case, gilt writing, and a long and slender true GMT hand. Keeping with the vintage inspiration of the watch, the Hyperion has a Hesalite crystal.

Found in other famous watches like the original Omega Moonwatch, the Hesalite crystal protects against glare and smudges. Scratches can be washed away with a quick treatment of Polywatch. Powering the watch is the affordable but strong Soprod C125.

Find this vintage-inspired beauty here on Lorier’s website.

10. Bulova Wilton GMT

Bulova Wilton GMT

Bulova are kings in the affordable category. Bulova and Seiko have truly remarkable GMT options that won’t break the bank. The $700 Wilton is Bulova’s answer to the much-loved Seiko 5 GMT and has a few features that can put it in serious contention. 

First, the automatic Miyota 9075 is a self-winding 24-jewel movement capable of giving the Wilton the true independently set GMT hand. Next, the dial also has some fine details on it, nicely etched and textured with a picture of the globe. 

The 43mm case and 22 mm lug width make this a sizable option, suitable for larger wrists and also bold adventures with a smaller wrist. Buyers will appreciate how easy it is to set the GMT hand and the boldly colored 24-hour ring. It’s incredible how Bulova can offer so much value for money with the Wilton. 

This detailed model can be found on Bulova’s website.

11. Traska Venturer GMT

The Venturer is microbrand Traska’s first bold step into the world of GMT watches. This is also one of the newest watches on the list, being released just this year. Traska has steadily improved its selection of excellent timepieces ever since it debuted in the world of microbrands.

Traska has built up the excitement for their newest release with early models that have definitely impressed. At $695 for an independent GMT hand powered by the Miyota 9075, this timepiece is a true value for money. 

Modern dimensions make the watch even more attractive and wearable for every adventurer lucky enough to grab one for themselves. 38.5mm case size, 46mm lug-to-lug, and 10mm case thickness make this a watch for a modern soul. Learn more about this model here.

12. Le Jour Hammerhead GMT

Le Jour Hammerhead GMT

Le Jour is a historic brand that has been revived and is now better than ever. Most famous for being a distributor of expert chronograph movements, Le Jour bursts into the GMT scene with their imposing Hammerhead GMT. Capable of being found for under $1000, this is a large 42 mm-sized watch with a very subtle, fabric-like dial. 

The dial is a big contrast to the bold and sharp hour, minute, and GMT hands. The powerful and respectable Sellita SW330 is the heart and soul of the watch. The independently set GMT hand is a great tool, reliable in the harshest conditions. Learn more about this shark here on Le Jour’s website.

13. Steinhart Ocean One Vintage GMT

Steinhart Ocean One Vintage GMT

They say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, and experienced watch enthusiasts will see design choices from the Steinhart Ocean One GMT that pay homage to many great watches before it. The Ocean One can be customized to your liking, with a vast range of color and dial options. 

The Vintage model is very affordable at $550, is built like a tank, and is a proper tribute to the fantastic watches of the 1960s. The colored hour markers are an attractive, vintage yellow-brown, and the orange GMT hand gives a pop of vibrant color. 

With a large 300-meter water resistance, hardy ETA 2893-2, and 42mm case, this watch demands presence. Sturdy and with specs that go above and beyond its price point, Steinhart makes the ultimate affordable GMT.

This watch can be purchased on Steinhart’s website.

14. Victorinox FieldForce GMT

Victorinox FieldForce GMT

Victorinox is the epitome of Swiss design and engineering. The same impeccable quality found in their famous Swiss knives is found in the affordable FieldForce GMT. Victorinox pushes the boundary of quality and value by offering this cutting-edge GMT for only $525. 

Any traveler who is looking for 42mm of expert Swiss engineering will find it here. The quartz movement brings the watch down to a price that many will find attainable. 

Everything from the Swiss-army shaped second hand, to the lively red cross and shield on the dial, to the amazing practicality makes this watch hard to resist. Discover this Swiss marvel at Victornix’s website.

15. Nodus Sector GMT

One of the cleanest-looking pieces on this list, the Nodus Sector GMT is one of the first to utilize Seiko’s new GMT movement, 4R34. Buyers can feel confident in their purchase with known Seiko quality backing this exciting watch up. 

The Sector GMT is also at an extremely similar price point to the SSK001, at just $450. This rise of new, affordable GMTs is thanks to Seiko’s movement innovation, and I can’t wait to see what else comes out as a result of it.

The dial is highly legible, and the case is sleek and stylish. The 38mm case size is comfortable to wear, and the watch speaks for itself. Nodus is challenging what it means to be an affordable GMT, and enthusiastic buyers can only benefit from Nodus’ innovation. 

At such a fantastic price on the Nodus website, you’ll definitely want to check it out. 


GMTs are bold and exciting. Their functionality and practicality make them worthy additions to any collection. An amazing quality GMT can be yours for under $1000 or ever so slightly above that. There are so many choices out there, and this list is just the tip of the iceberg. 

However, armed with this knowledge, you too can find the perfect travel companion. This new companion will be able to accompany you to any location, from the highest mountains to the comforts of your own home. The GMT feature is convenient and gives everyone an interesting new feature to admire their watch over.

About Exquisite Timepieces

Established in 1998, Exquisite Timepieces is your one-stop shop for all things luxury watches! We are an authorized dealer for 60+ luxury watch brands including Omega, Hublot, Seiko, & Longines! We are proud to showcase one of the world’s largest pre-owned watch collections, including renowned brands like Rolex and Patek Philippe. Check out our brand new watch arrivals here and popular pre-owned listings here.

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