8 Best Luxury Watches For Travel
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Gone are the days when the use of GMT watches are made exclusively for the professional use of Air Force personnel and those in the aviation industry. When Pan Am commissioned Rolex to develop a watch that could keep time across multiple time zones, it set the precedent for what is now commonly called GMT watches. Nowadays, with many people traversing the world for both business and leisure, wearing a decent timepiece designed for long haul travel has become a necessity. For most high end watch brands, the goal is far more than a simple task of keeping both local and home time. It has more to do with making a style statement, anytime and anywhere your journey may take you. As for me, I have three basic requirements in choosing which luxury watch would make the perfect travel companion. First, clarity and legibility is a must. I have to be able to read the time while running towards the departure gates at the airport. Also, sometimes I would find myself surreptitiously glancing at my watch to check the time in the middle of a conversation with a colleague. And the last thing I want is to squint at a mass of hands and markers for more than a quick second. Next, I would appreciate a waterproof rating of more than 30m. You never know when you find yourself exiting a plane and parachuting into the vast Indian Ocean. And lastly and the most important, it has to have a GMT, dual time, or world time complication. And oh, an alarm mechanism would be a nice addition too. Here, I present the top 8 selection from our beloved high end watch brands.
1. Rolex GMT Master II #RolexGMTMasterII
Let's start with the next of kin of the watch which started it all, the Rolex GMT Master II. In addition to an already impressive pedigree, this luxury timepiece is able to track three different time zones at once with the aid of its bidirectional rotating 24-hour graduated bezel. It has also never been easier to set the second time zone with its independent quick-set hour hand. No wonder this particular model is the airline pilots luxury travel watch of choice. Available in steel, 18k yellow or white gold as well as 2-tone, the watches have a case diameter of around 40mm and houses a self-winding mechanical movement with a power reserve of around 48 hours. Not bad at all. And the best part is, this keeper is water resistant up to 100m and with its ceramic bezel, you can be sure it'll survive just about any elements you expose it to. The fact that it looks super sleek and versatile, you can pretty much go from the boardroom to a touristy downtown without the need to swap watches.
2. Jaeger Le Coultre Amvox-3 #JaegerLeCoultreAmvox-3
Nothing ever says you're quite the time zone jumper than a Jaeger Le Coultre Amvox-3. Measuring 44mm in diameter, the watch has a rugged and masculine look with an all black ceramic casing with just the right amount of 18k rose gold here and there. It has a see through caseback reveals a beautiful self-winding mechanism with a 48 hour power reserve. Turn the watch over and you see a stunning one minute tourbillon at 6 o'clock with indicators displaying hours, minutes, seconds, and date. Naturally, the Jaeger Le Coultre Amvox-3 features a second time zone complication with a neat AM/PM sub-dial indicator. Definitely built to last, the watch is waterproof up to 50m and is complimented with a nicely perforated rubber strap. You won't see too many of this though as there are only 300 pieces scattered all over the world.
3. Perrelet Diver Seacraft GMT Dual Time Zone #PerreletDiverSeacraftGMTDualTimeZone
This is a hybrid and is ideal when you're planning to do some scuba diving in between shuffling from airport to airport. Crafted in stainless steel with a 42mm dimension, the watch has an impressive water depth rating of 777 meters and features a helium valve, interchangeable strap, and even a wetsuit extension making it an essential part of one's diving gear. Its bidirectional rotating bezel has 24 hour indications while the dial presents time, date, and second time zone with am/pm display. Driven by an automatic movement that generates reserved energy of about 42 hours, this luxury watch is designed to look elegant and sophisticated on land or out in the sea.
4. Breitling Emergency #BreitlingEmergency
I dare not offend the sensitivity of serious horology enthusiasts by failing to include a piece from the high end watch brand that revolutionized the aviation industry. Far more than that though, the Breitling Emergency is one serious travelers best friend. Lost in the middle of a dense Honduras jungle? No problem. This watch has an integrated transmitter that serves as a beacon to alert emergency response units. Pretty cool huh? Available in steel, gold, or titanium, this Quartz luxury timepiece impresses with a host of complications such as a chronograph, triple calendar, alarm, and stopwatch.
5. Patek Philippe World Time #PatekPhilippeWorldTime
One of the most successful collection from the legendary Swiss watchmaker, Patek Philippe World Timers have seen production since the 1930's and is now available in various materials and designs. What hasn't changed is its "holy grail" status amongst watch connoisseurs. Housing an automatic movement with an approximate power reserve of 48 hours, the Patek Philippe World Time allows the reading of time in 24 time zones, represented by cities, on-demand. These stunners are water resistant only up to 30m but I'm happy to make an exception given the fact that aesthetic and performance wise, this collection is second to none.
6. Jaeger Le Coultre Reverso Grande GMT #JaegerLeCoultreReversoGrande
This masterpiece from the Swiss manufacture is the only accessory one would ever need during conferences or meetings abroad. Not only does it look elegant and sophisticated but it also boasts of an array of features that every high end travel watch should have. Measuring 47mm in diameter, the Jaeger Le Coultre Reverso Grande GMT is crafted in stainless steel, 18k rose or white gold. Inside beats a manual winding mechanical movement that generates an impressive 8-day power reserve. Perhaps the handiest feature of this watch though is the fact that it offers two dials afforded by its iconic "reverso" design. Multiple functions that include hours, minutes, seconds, big date, second time zone that can be swiftly set by pushers, and a day/night indicator are shared between its black and silver dials. This luxury watch sure has come a long way from the old days when it exclusively graced the wrist of polo players.
7. Panerai Luminor GMT #PaneraiLuminor
For those who crave the unmistakable look and distinct character of a Panerai, the Luminor GMT would be your quintessential luxury travel watch. Presented in a luminor steel case measuring either 40mm or 44mm, the watch runs on automatic mechanical movement with a 42 hour power reserve. The dial is pretty straighforward as it indicate the hours, minutes, small seconds, date, and GMT. Bold and relentless, the Panerai Luminor GMT has a water resistance of 300m.
8. Girard Perregaux World Time #GirardPerregauxWorldTime
This high end traveler watches achieved an almost cult like status among Swiss watch aficionados. Over the years, it went through several dial interpretations and case materials. What has remained constant is its automatic movement and the world time function. Adapting to the rapid change and sometimes very specific requirements of modern day voyagers, the Girard Perregaux World Time now offers a multitude of complications ranging from the practical such as a day and night indicator, power reserve display, chronograph, and perpetual calendar to a function that would allow tracking of the global stock market. After all, Girard Perregaux recognizes that time is money.
No matter what your preferences are, you can never really go wrong with any of these high end travel watches. At the end of the day, it all comes down to which individual you wish to channel. A modern day Indiana Jones or the very icon of manliness himself -George Clooney.