Understanding the Differences between GMT and Dual Time Watches

There are many types of watches in the world right now. While most of them have similar features, some varieties exhibit different mechanisms and functionalities. You may pick one over the other, but you wouldn’t be able to ignore the ingenuity that each of them has in their arsenal.

Two of the most compared watch types in the market today are the Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) and dual time watches. They are both offered by different brands in various makes and models, but there will never be comparable timepieces other than those two. Yes, they also come in similar appearances and colours, but even those can be overlooked due to their main denominators—their features.

If you are curious about the main differences between a GMT and a dual time watch, there is no need to look further than the examples we have listed below. While some of them are indeed subtle, the others are more obvious and striking. 

Take note of the indicators so that you will have a reliable reference in the future, should you decide to invest in one of them:

  1. The Number of Time Zones That They Indicate

GMT watches only show one time zone, while dual time, as its name suggests, provides two time zones on its dial. While GMT may only offer one particular adjustable time zone, it doesn’t mean that it isn’t as useful as its dual counterpart. 

People often want simplicity in their timepieces, and GMT often provides that. Of course, that is not to say that no one prefers to have a dual time watch of their own, as travellers would often tell you, having that type of watch is necessary to keep track of their overall schedule.

  1. The Hour Scales on Both Watches

Aside from the number of time zones, they also differ in the hour scales that they indicate. GMT watches provide their time on a 24-hour scale, meaning that they do not rely on the usual 12-hour scale that dual time watches often come with. 

It may seem complicated to read the time on a much longer scale, but it actually helps people determine the time in another country, so long as they know the specific differences in hours. So even if a GMT does not have dual time zones, they may still help the watch owner tell a foreign location’s hours and minutes by mere calculation.

  1. The Number of Hands-on Each Watch Type

Most dual time watches have multiple hands since they need to indicate two time zones. They usually have four hands, two for each country that they are keeping track of. The styles, theme, and even the aesthetics may change, but the functionality remains the same. 

On the other hand, a GMT watch simply has two hands since the multiple time zone is already indicated and calculated on the dial rather than the hands.


GMT and dual time watches are both interesting types of watches, to say the least. They both have unique features and designs, yet somehow, they pride themselves on their glaring differences. One has a single time zone, while the other indicates two. One has two hands while the other has four. Even the scales of their hours are unmatched, with one going over as twice as their single counterpart.

Overall, they are both perfect examples of high-quality watches that no traveller or collector can ever deny having since they are reliable companions and timekeepers, regardless of time zones, location, and features.

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