Watches

The Best Travel Watches Free You From Mental Math

Crossing the globe, but don’t want to bother with the extra step of resetting your watch every time you skip ahead to another time zone? Here are a few that will do all the work (or at least make it easier) so that you won’t have to.
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Traveling is one of life’s great pleasures, but it does come with its own set of potential hassles and travails: incurring jet lag, getting victimized by scammers who prey upon hapless tourists, arguing with cab drivers, endless waiting in airport lines… and, well, if you’re a watch guy, there’s the tedium of having to reset your watch whenever you cross over into a new time zone—unless, of course, you’re wearing one of the models on this handy list of the best travel watches.  

Best Travel Watches

Yes, you could argue that it is just a minor inconvenience. But for those who don’t want to take that extra step, particularly if you a) travel pretty often; b) are in a long-distance relationship; or c) regularly check in with business partners or loved ones who are on the other side of the globe, it may be worth it to invest in a timepiece that has the ability to be in two (or more) places at once, so that you don’t have to bother with double-checking your phone or doing the mental math each time.  

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But even if you don’t fall under any of the above categories and the only distance you plan to traverse in the near future is the one between your kitchen and your couch in front of the TV, you might want to check these out anyway. Because, hey, we’re all citizens of the world at this point. Plus, they just plain look good.   

For the Aesthete: Louis Vuitton Escale Worldtime Blue

Photo by LOUIS VUITTON.
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Due to its sheer beauty and artistry alone, this masterful innovation produced by the brilliantly creative minds at the French luxury fashion house’s La Fabrique du Temps deserves a place on this list. The eye-catching rainbow-like dial was inspired by the customizable stripes, colors, and coats of arms that can be found on its legendary travel trunks, while the hands-free discs allow you to tell time in different global cities by aligning your location of choice to the yellow arrow found where the 12 o’clock marker would be.

Ingenious and oh-so-pretty, it’s guaranteed to start a conversation with your plane seatmate, so maybe introverts should steer clear. The deep blue shade also allows the brightness of the colors and numbers to pop out even more.     

For the Adventurer: Casio G-Shock Gravity Master GPS GPW-1000 

Photo by GSHOCK.
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When you’re so busy crisscrossing the globe that you can’t even be bothered to reset your watch, or when you, quite frankly, have no idea what city you’ve suddenly waken up in, this timepiece can do all the heavy lifting. At the touch of a button, it uses GPS Hybrid radio-controlled technology to communicate with six different time calibration signals around the world as well as GPS satellites to figure out what time zone you’re in, and will even adjust for Daylight Savings Time if necessary.

How cool is that? Just don’t tell your wife or girlfriend about this kind of technology, lest they start getting other ideas.   

For the Lazy: Seiko Astron 8x Series Dual Time SSE041J1  

Photo by SEIKO.
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Here’s another timepiece that takes all the labor out of manually adjusting or winding the time for you. The Seiko Astron 8x Series Dual Time uses GPS network satellite technology to automatically figure out where in the globe you are at the push of a button, and it holds the additional distinction of being the world’s first solar-powered GPS watch, which means you’ll never have to change the battery. That’s two things you’ll never have to do already!

The dual time zone feature allows you to keep track of both the local and home time, and the perpetual calendar should ensure you never lose your bearings, no matter how jet-lagged you may be. In hand-polished titanium, it’s also one of the sleekest, lightest, best travel watches out there.  

For the Minimalist: Nomos Zürich World Time 

Photo by NOMOS-GLASHUETTE.
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So, you’d like the ability to tell time in multiple time zones, but don’t want to be staring at a massively cluttered and confusing dial imprinted with a miniature map of the world while you’re at it. This is what Nomos, with its always clean, restrained, Bauhaus-influenced aesthetic, does best, and its take on the world timer is no exception.

Despite presenting you with the chance to go “around the globe in 24 clicks” at the push of a single button located right beside the crown, the white face and 40mm-by-11mm case doesn’t bear the dimensions of a chunky timepiece, while the rhodium-plated beveled hands betray the intense attention paid to legibility and detail. All of this just so you won’t have to think too hard when you’re looking at it, and instead will just appreciate the beauty in its simplicity.     

For the Classicist: Rolex GMT-Master II 

Photo by ROLEX.
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This has long been considered the ultimate out of all the best travel watches, and with good reason: It was originally developed with the most frequent of fliers, airline pilots, in mind, and was the official watch of Pan Am in air travel’s nostalgic glory days. In fact, it was the timepiece worn by pilots during the test flights of the Concordes in the 1960s. Supersonic commercial flight may now be a thing of the past, but the hype and fandom surrounding this watch has certainly lived on, and its ability to simultaneously display two time zones makes it a quintessential tool for anyone whose mind needs to be in two places at once.

The two-tone bidirectional bezel, meant to denote the difference between day and night, is another beloved design cue, with the classic blue and red earning it the nickname, “the Pepsi.” It comes in other colorways, too, but if you’re going to stick with a classic, might as well go all in.    

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Nana Caragay
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