The 10 Best GMT Watches Under $1,000

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Despite the fact we don’t really need GMT functions on our watches these days, it remains one of the most stylish and impressive complications available. That extra hand just oozes with cool factor and history. GMT trendsetters like Rolex may have you believe that skipping mortgage payments is necessary to obtain these sophisticated timepieces. The 10 best GMT watches under $1,000 we have here prove otherwise.

Though the design is often associated with cosmopolitan two-tone bezels (namely, the Pepsi bezel), GMTs actually come in a range of looks to suit all sorts of personal styles. From tool-centric pilot watches to playfully-colored designs, you’d be surprised at the variety you can find in the sub-1,000 category.

Baltic Aquascaphe GMT

Baltic Aquascaphe GMT

An icon in microbrand circles, the Baltic Aquascaphe GMT is immediately recognizable because of its glossy colorful bezel and its rubber strap that’s embossed with a weave-like texture. It combines the nautical qualities of a dive watch with several visual hat-tips to classic GMTs, including the two-tone bezel. In this case, it’s an eye-catching orange and blue. The Aquascaphe’s double domed sapphire provides clarity at every angle, while the 24-click bezel and Swiss automatic movement are durably reliable.

  • Price: $925+
  • Case Diameter: 39mm
  • Movement: Soprod C125 Swiss Automatic
Steinhart Ocean One Vintage GMT

Steinhart Ocean One Vintage GMT

The Ocean One Vintage GMT from Steinhart is a timelessly handsome military watch that seems to incorporate all of the best qualities of Rolex Explorer IIs throughout time. The squares and sticks that make up the indices have a radar-like aesthetic about them, while the perfectly-finished military-style bezel adds a tough yet sophisticated touch. Even the bezel numbers are flawlessly machined, offering looks, legibility, and a compelling value proposition. 

Functionally, this watch runs on the élaboré edition of an already reliable ETA movement. This version is adjusted for more accuracy, and provides that smooth second hand sweep we all love.

  • Price: $550+
  • Case Diameter: 42mm
  • Movement: ETA SW330 élaboré Swiss Automatic
Seiko 5 GMT Watch

Seiko 5 GMT Watch

The Seiko 5 GMT is a straight-forward and honest piece of gear, with the impressive shine and construction of any luxury sport watch. It’s inspired by the legendary SKX models, which are a widely available discontinued line that seems to become subtly more expensive everyday. This Seiko 5 features the same sporty dial, this time with a silky sheen, excellent finishing, and the signature five-link bracelet that adds extra lightplay.

In addition to the GMT hand, the upgraded 4R34 movement is a robust in-house automatic. Seiko’s Diashock system can handle several hard impacts, while the added hacking makes the watch easy to operate.

  • Price: $475
  • Case Diameter: 42.5mm
  • Movement: Seiko Caliber 4R34 Automatic
Hamilton Khaki Aviation X-Wind GMT Chrono Quartz

Hamilton Khaki Aviation X-Wind GMT Chrono Quartz

Hamilton’s Khaki Aviation X-Wind, as its name suggests, is both a GMT and a chronograph. In addition to being practical and highly-functional, this super-sized gadget would satisfy both science lovers and maximalists alike. It’s filled to the brim with features, giving it an adventurous character. And for those of you in the bigger-is-better set, its 46mm case can be seen from a mile away. It’s also fun to operate, which is the cherry on top of its exceedingly accurate quartz movement.

  • Price: $995
  • Case Diameter: 46mm
  • Movement: G10.962 Swiss Quartz
Alpina Seastrong Diver 300 GMT

Alpina Seastrong Diver 300 GMT

The Alpina Seastrong Diver 300 sports that authoritative all-black look to it, which is further leaned into with the speedy lines and compass-like cross in the middle of the dial. It basically looks like the screen on a submarine control panel. Grown-up action figure looks aside, the dial is effectively lumed, providing legibility in the darkest situations, and the rubber strap is as sophisticatedly textured as it is durable. It runs on the ever-practical AL-247 quartz movement, which has a whopping 25-month battery life, and flaunts 300 meters of water resistance.

  • Price: $895
  • Case Diameter: 44mm
  • Movement: AL-247 Quartz Movement
Certina DS Action GMT

Certina DS Action GMT

If you like the idea of a Pepsi bezel, but find most models are too, let’s say, lavish looking, may I direct you to the Certina DS Action GMT? It’s as sleek as any red-and-blue, but has a more contained, down-to-earth style. This is partly due to the fact the two-tone AM and PM ring is placed inside a clean, polished bezel. Still, this bezel, like the lugs, is stepped, offering more surfaces for light to hit so it doesn’t lack shine. It runs on Tissot’s famed Powermatic 80, which is a Swiss automatic movement known for its remarkable 80-hour power reserve.

  • Price: $900+
  • Case Diameter: 43.1mm
  • Movement: Powermatic 80 Swiss Automatic
Boldr Venture GMT

Boldr Venture GMT

The Venture GMT from Boldr has the bang-for-buck utility and collectibility of the popular Seiko SNK watches, but is leveled up in the charm factor with less standard, and more distinct field watch qualities. The outlined Arabic indices and syringe hands, orange accents, and the two-floor crown give a bold and fun aesthetic. The case is subtly unique, both in its gradual silhouette and in its titanium construction. This means it’s just as strong as stainless steel, way lighter, and has a fascinating shine that sits somewhere in between matte and polished. Overall, the Venture GMT effectively balances classic looks and uniqueness.

  • Price: $299
  • Case Diameter: 38mm
  • Movement: Ronda 515.24H Swiss Quartz
Lum-Tec Combat B45 GMT

Lum-Tec Combat B45 GMT

Taking the concept of the “remixed classic” to new places, the Lum-Tec Combat B45 GMT utilizes visual depth and unusual approaches to common templates. The result is a bold and distinguished tool watch. There’s a substantial dip from the top of the bezel and the dial face, plus a skeleton sword hand, both of which create dimensionality. Meanwhile, the all-Arabic hour markers seem to swell and shrink with the much larger cardinal numbers.

Construction-wise, the case boasts a gunmetal PVD hard coating for durability—it also adds a style factor with the bezel’s coiled spiral design. Notably, Lum-Tec also offers a lifetime of free battery replacements.

  • Price: $495
  • Case Diameter: 43mm
  • Movement: Ronda 515.24H Swiss Quartz
Victorinox FieldForce GMT

Victorinox FieldForce GMT

As with anything Victorniox does, the FieldForce GMT is military-level practical, and incidentally good-looking because of that. The red hand is counterweighted with a Swiss Army knife shape, which is a beloved signature in the brand’s watches, and also helps with the dial’s readability. The 24-hour ring creates a slightly complex sectioned-off look, but also helps highlight the generously-sized 12-hour markers. Basically, this watch is for the guy who cares more about function than looks, but somehow always ends up looking pretty great.

  • Price: $475
  • Case Diameter: 42mm
  • Movement: Ronda 515.24H Swiss Quartz
Linjer GMT Watch

Linjer GMT Watch

If you’re a minimalist who’s never considered a GMT watch (perhaps you think that the extra hand is one hand too many or maybe you’re turned off by all the two-tone bezels), the Linjer GMT is as clean-looking as any Scandinavian timepiece. Regardless, its sky blue and bright orange accents on the lacquered varnish dial add a lot of personality, ensuring it’s minimal but not sterile. Impressively, Linjer does a lot with very little. Moreover, the 9.35mm height of the case makes this timepiece sit beautifully and comfortably on most wrist sizes.

  • Price: $140+
  • Case Diameter: 41mm
  • Movement: Ronda 515.24H Swiss Quartz

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