How to Read a GMT Watch

How to Read a GMT Watch

Posted by Taizo Okagaki on

Unlock the secrets of your coveted GMT watch with our comprehensive guide on "How to Read a GMT Watch." Ideal for travelers, aviators, and watch enthusiasts, this article delves into the intricacies of interpreting a GMT watch, from identifying the GMT hand to mastering the adjustment procedure.

A quality GMT watch is a coveted wristwatch among travelers, aviators, and watch aficionados. It incorporates an extra hour hand that can be adjusted separately to display a different time zone, serving as a valuable instrument for monitoring time across various global regions. Nevertheless, comprehending the display of a GMT watch might initially pose some challenges. Hence, the approach to interpreting a GMT watch will be outlined in this article, encompassing its reading method, adjustment procedure, and practical utilization.

 Locating where is the GMT hand in a GMT watch

Step One: Identifying the GMT Hand

Perhaps the most important step of all is correctly identifying the GMT hand on the watchface. The GMT hand can typically be distinguished from the other hands because it is in the shape of an arrow, but other manufacturers also paint the GMT hand a distinctive color like blue or red to make it even easier to differentiate the hands with a single momentary glance. As an example, you can check this photo of the new automatic GMT watch - the Ranger IV Aka Fuji. To prevent the colors from clashing with one another, the designers have eschewed the blue or red color of most GMT hands, opting for a glistening silver that matches the theme of the watch.

Step Two: Setting the GMT Hand

Since the main purpose of a GMT watch is the ability to check the time of different time zones, it is important to have this setup before going on your first international trip with your new GMT watch. Most GMT watches have the following setup: Pull the crown to its first position and rotate clockwise (or counter-clockwise in some cases) until the GMT hand is on the desired hour. Please note that the setup of the GMT hand does differ for some watches, such as the earlier example of the Ranger IV Aka Fuji. For that particular watch, the GMT hand can only be adjusted by rotating it clockwise in the 1st position. For more information, you can consult the detailed instruction manual.

How to read a GMT watch: GMT Watch bezel 24 hour

Step Three: How to set the 2nd Time Zone by using the GMT hand


To accurately set the GMT hand to the designated hour, utilize the 24-hour bezel markers as reliable indicators for aligning your GMT hour hands. The main dial serves as your primary timezone, featuring standard hour and minute hands, along with 12-hour markers for precise timekeeping. The 3rd Long GMT hand utilizes the watch's bezel to indicate the secondary timezone.

Understanding the functionality of the 3rd GMT hand is crucial. This hand completes one rotation per day, emphasizing the importance of aligning it with the desired timezone's hour on the bezel. Due to the daily rotation of GMT hands, achieving exact time representation for the secondary timezone can be challenging. Therefore, a visual estimation becomes necessary to determine the corresponding time.

Ensure precise GMT hand adjustments by referencing the 24-hour bezel markers, providing a comprehensive solution for effectively managing multiple timezones. Mastering this process enhances the utility of your GMT watch, making it an invaluable tool for accurate timekeeping across different regions.


Wancher Watch Ranger IV Aka Fuji Automatic GMT Watch

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  • This article really makes me want to get a GMT Watch now that I finally know how to read one!

    Larik on

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