The Ultimate Travel Watch

The Ultimate Travel Watch

Posted by Taizo Okagaki on

For most people, traveling is often a once-a-year experience. For others, traveling may be a part of their professional careers. Whether you fall into one type or the other, there are a couple of things that are absolutely essential for any journey out of the country. A passport? Of course. Money? That would help. A watch? Perhaps more necessary than you might think. There was a time when a wristwatch was essential to daily life, but with the introduction of cellular devices that conveniently have a completely accurate time at all times, they have become less prevalent in daily life. 

 

However, a wristwatch still plays a role in travel, because when you’re in the middle of maximizing your vacation, you may not have the time to (re)charge your cellphone or smart watch. Will you rely on conveniently placed clocks? Well, considering there is a natural assumption that everyone has a cellphone with the time, clocks may not be as prevalent around the world as they used to be. Imagine your phone runs out of battery, and now you have no idea if you can make it in time for your train to Barcelona. While this is a purely hypothetical situation, it’s also why many people simply eliminate that possibility by wearing a Travel Watch. Even people who don’t wear a watch during their daily lives choose to wear a watch during their travels, because it automatically eliminates one potential obstacle in their journey of rest and relaxation. 


So, is there a specific type of watch meant for traveling? 


GMT Watches: Technically Perfect

A GMT watch (Greenwich Mean Time) allows people to not only see the time in their current location, but also the time of an entirely different time zone thanks to the GMT hand, and a 24 Hour bezel. There are some exceptions where the watch doesn’t rely on an outer bezel, and instead has secondary hour markers on the dial itself, but for the most part, the majority of GMT watches follow the classic look like in the image above. 


 

Potentially, the only hiccup with a GMT watch as your travel watch is that they tend to be bulkier than your average watch, in addition to being more expensive as a result of their GMT complication. Thanks to Seiko and Miyota, more and more affordable GMT watches are being released every month, but the price is certainly a factor. Additionally, certain GMT watches tend to be flashier and are designed to be homages of (arguably) the most famous GMT watch of all time. This may attract unwanted attention in certain areas, and as a tourist, you may already be a target for pickpockets. 


24 Hour Watch: Extremely Functional


A 24 Hour Watch is rarely seen on a day-to-basis. In fact, it has even inspired threads like ‘What 24 Hour Watch Are You Wearing Today’ on popular watch forums, because it’s simply not common anymore. However, this unique watch that allows you to determine if it’s morning or night with one glance at your wrist may be a great travel companion, even if it isn’t useful everyday. 

 

 

A normal watch typically doesn’t indicate if it’s morning or night, and while you can usually rely on looking up at the sky, this isn’t applicable in every situation, and when it comes to traveling, you want a watch that covers all your bases. Whether you’re traveling to a different city to spend all day in a windowless conference room, sailing on the Amalfi coast, or spelunking in Slovenia, a 24 Hour watch will work in every single situation. 


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For the best of both worlds, it is worth considering a 24 Hour Watch with a rotating 24-hour bezel or GMT bezel. While it doesn’t give a separate GMT hand such as a real GMT watch, the bezel will still enable its users to track a second time zone without any difficulty. 

Wancher Watch Astronaut 3 24 Hour Bezel Automatic Watch

In the end, there is no such thing as a perfect travel watch. It all depends on the preference of the wearer. A GMT watch, a 24 Hour watch, a Casio F91W, or just your smartphone’s time display. It’s simply important to take into account your use case, your travel destination, and what would be most convenient for you. 

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