Another Friday, another list! After last week’s compilation of this year’s 10 best chronographs, it’s time to move on to the best GMT watches. It’s a popular category and a personal favorite, as some of you will know. That’s why compiling a list of the best travel companions with the help of the other Fratello editors was great fun. We could have also picked dual-time watches and worldtimers, but we recently covered those in two separate articles. Additionally, when it comes to travel watches, a GMT is the obvious choice. That’s why we have created this list of our 10 favorite GMT watches of 2023. Let’s jump right in!

Rolex GMT-Master II 126713GRNR best GMT watches of 2023

Rolex GMT-Master II 126713GRNR/126718GRNR

It’s safe to say that the two new GMT-Master II models that Rolex released at Watches and Wonders are huge Fratello favorites. As Robert-Jan explained, the 126718GRNR in full yellow gold and the Rolesor 126713GRNR have that vintage sparkle that other GMT-Masters in the current collection don’t. Those look shiny and modern, while these two models offer the perfect mix of modern materials and old-school charm. This combination makes these two watches the best GMTs in our book.

Both watches have the familiar 40mm case that houses the chronometer-rated automatic caliber 3285. Both also come with a black dial with gold hands and a gray and black bezel insert. The 126713GRNR in Rolesor comes with a comfortable yellow gold and steel Jubilee bracelet, while the 126718GRNR comes with a full 18K yellow gold Jubilee bracelet. The vintage vibe that both these models have is a bit of a surprise. But that also easily makes them the best GMT watches of 2023. The new GMT-Master II in Rolesor comes in at €16,450, while the all-gold model can be yours for €38,800.

best GMT watches of 2023 Longines Spirit Zulu Time 39mm

Longines Spirit Zulu Time 39mm

Another hit this year was Longines’s new series of 39mm Spirit Zulu Time models. Last year, the brand introduced this collection of GMT watches in a 42mm size, and it was met with a lot of praise. The only point of criticism was that many people would have loved the case to be a bit smaller. This year, Longines answered that request with a quartet of 39mm versions that hit the sweet spot for many fans. Three models come in stainless steel, combining a blue bezel and dial, a black bezel and dial, and a green bezel and black dial with gold-tone elements. The fourth model is the two-tone model that we had in for review.

It reveals great charm and brings back the right vintage vibes of a classic traveler’s watch. All these models have a 100m-water-resistant case that measures 39mm wide, 13.5mm thick, and 47mm from lug to lug. Inside that case, you will find the COSC-certified Longines caliber L844.4. This flyer-style GMT caliber also powers the 42mm models and has a 72-hour power reserve and an antimagnetic silicon balance spring. The stainless steel models are €3,400 on a strap and €3,500 on a bracelet. The two-tone model is €4,700 on a strap and €4,800 on a bracelet. Finally, just a few weeks ago, Longines and Hodinkee released a full-titanium collaborative model for €4,200 that also shows the great allure of the Spirit Zulu Time.

best GMT watches of 2023 Tudor Black Bay GMT Opaline

Tudor Black Bay GMT “Opaline”

We also got a new Tudor Black Bay GMT this year. While a new dial color can often feel logical and underwhelming, this new opaline-dial version of the Black Bay GMT completely changes the vibe of Tudor’s popular GMT. The watch looks crisp and feels less classic than its black-dial counterpart. On top of that, it also shook the heavy Rolex GMT-Master vibes immediately. As a result, it is a smart new variant of the Black Bay GMT that quickly won over fans.

In terms of specs, nothing has changed. The watch has the familiar 41mm case that is 14.5mm thick and houses the Kenissi-produced caliber MT5652. This flyer-style GMT movement is a COSC-certified chronometer and has a 70-hour power reserve. The watch has the iconic blue and red “Pepsi” bezel, which contrasts nicely with the light dial. The opaline dial combines anthracite hands and hour markers with a stainless steel bracelet for €4,360 or a fabric strap for €4,040.

best GMT watches of 2023 Seiko Alpinist GMT

Seiko Prospex SPB377 and SPB379 Alpinist GMTs

Seiko had a big year when it came to GMT watches. The brand released several new models that stood out, including a new series of US-exclusive Seiko 5 Sports SKX-style GMTs, the Presage Style60’s GMTs, a duo of Seiko 5 Sports GMT field watches, and a brilliant trio of mechanical GMT divers based on the 1968 Diver. But we picked Seiko’s Alpinist GMTs for this list. Many fans of the Alpinist had been waiting for a new GMT version for a long time, and Seiko finally introduced the SPB377 with a blue dial and a blue leather strap and the SPB379 with a black dial and black leather strap. Both feature a 39.5mm case that is 13.6mm thick and measures 46.4mm from lug to lug.

The dials of both models feature Arabic numerals at 3, 6, 9, and 12 o’clock. It is a change from the regular Alpinist models, which have numerals for the even hours and indices for the odd ones. Additionally, the 24-hour GMT scale is integrated into the stainless steel bezel. The design feels balanced and fits the Alpinist aesthetic very well. Inside the case, Seiko uses its in-house caliber 6R54, a caller-style GMT movement that offers 72 hours of power reserve. Both models go for €1,200 and offer that recognizable Alpinist style, now with the added functionality of a GMT complication.

best GMT watches of 2023 Christopher Ward C65 Dune GMT

Christopher Ward C65 Dune GMT

I have written about the Christopher Ward C65 Dune GMT multiple times this year. Besides the fact that I fell in love with this watch, it is a proper display of what makes Christoper Ward so popular with an ever-growing crowd. I was deeply impressed by the overall build quality of the watch, the Oyster-style bracelet, and the oversized clasp. Together, they create a wearing experience that feels as if the C65 Dune GMT is a lot more expensive than its €1,610 price tag would suggest. It makes this watch the best-in-class GMT option for less than €2,000.

The C65 Dune GMT has a 38mm case that is 11.9mm thick and 43.7mm from lug to lug. The dial design features a 24-hour scale in black and sand tones on the dial’s periphery. It’s an element that might be a bit much for some, but I love that it spices up the dial along with bringing a functional element. The large red 24-hour hand and “GMT” wording on the dial give it a nice injection of color. The caller-style Sellita SW330-2 caliber powered the watch, offering 56 hours of power reserve. Despite not being a flyer-style GMT, this watch is impressive on all other levels. That’s why I will try to get my hands on a new version of this watch when it comes out early next year.

best GMT watches of 2023 Traska Venturer GMT mint

Traska Venturer GMT

When it came to affordable GMT watches, we saw more and more great options this year. On top of that, an increasing number of them were equipped with flyer-style GMT movements. A great example is the Traska Venturer GMT. Traska was one of the first brands to get its hands on the Miyota 9075, courtesy of the Citizen Group. This flyer GMT caliber is popular with brands looking to keep prices affordable while still offering the functionality of an independently adjustable 12-hour hand. And the Venturer GMT combines that with great looks and quality at its current US$720 price point.

In 2023, Traska introduced a beautiful (and now sold-out) mint-green version of its Venturer GMT that stood out immediately. It has a 38.5mm case that is 10mm thick (excluding the crystal) and measures 46mm from lug to lug. The watch features a gray internal rotating bezel that contrasts nicely with the Traska-signature mint green. Orange accents on the tip of the 24-hour hand and “GMT” text also work well with the aesthetic. As Vincent said in his review of the Traska Venturer GMT line, the style and finishing are impressively good, especially considering the price point. On top of that, the watch looks fantastic. Add the Miyota 9075, which has 42 hours of power reserve, and this is the full package for just over $700. You can still get the Traska Venturer GMT in Carbon Black, Arctic White, Steel Blue, and Bottle Green here.

best GMT watches of 2023 Serica 8315-2 GMT Chronomètre

Serica 8315-2 GMT Chronomètre

Another standout this year was the Serica 8315-2 GMT Chronomètre. Most noticeably, this new model introduces a new dial color that the brand calls Desert Red. It is the second model in the series after the initial black and white model that debuted last year. As we know from Serica, the watches combine an abundance of style with a COSC-certified movement. This new 8315-2 Desert Red comes with the same case as last year’s model, measuring 39mm wide, 13.2mm thick, and 46.5mm from lug to lug.

This is combined with a matte brown dial that features gilt-tone printing. The bezel is made of one piece of brown and white ceramic to match the dial and hands. A noteworthy addition to this model is the lug-gap “grills,” which spice up the overall look. Daan explained that they stay in place simply due to the pressure from the case and the strap. It’s a fun design feature that most definitely ups the charm even more. The COSC-certified Soprod C125 powers the watch, providing a 42-hour power reserve and an accuracy of +6/-4 seconds per day. This great GMT has a price of €1,890 (including VAT), and it is one of the most stylish GMTs of 2023.

best GMT watches of 2023 Grand Seiko SBGM253

Grand Seiko SBGM253

While I usually prefer GMT watches with an external 24-hour bezel, there are some great exceptions. The Christopher Ward C65 Dune GMT is one of them, and the Grand Seiko SBGM253 is another. This model came out back in August along with the SBGJ275 to celebrate 25 years of 9S movements. While the SBGJ275 has my preferred 24-hour bezel, the more classically styled SBGM253 won the spot on this list. I reviewed a version of this watch with a dark red dial a few months ago, and the overall charm of that case and dial combined with this ice-blue color makes for an absolute beauty of a watch.

As part of Grand Seiko’s Elegance collection, it features a 39.5mm × 13.7mm stainless steel case with a 3-bar water resistance rating. The case is fitted with two sapphire crystals, and the one on the back reveals the Grand Seiko caliber 9S66, which offers a 72-hour power reserve. It stands out immediately thanks to the anodized blue titanium rotor. With its crystallized texture and cutouts for viewing the movement, it provides a nice visual treat when you are not wearing the watch. The Grand Seiko SBGM253 was produced in a limited run of 1,700 pieces and costs €6,300. This watch has not sold out online yet, so if this is a GMT you love, you can still get your hands on one.

best GMT watches of 2023 Citizen Series 8 GMT

Citizen Series 8 GMT

A new family of watches that we haven’t reviewed here at Fratello is the Citizen Series 8 GMT. It consists of three new models, two of which are regular versions in stainless steel. The third is a limited edition of 1,300 pieces in two gold tones. I think that the two stainless steel models can potentially become great hits for the brand, while the limited edition is an acquired taste. All three feature a stainless steel case that is 41mm wide, 13.4mm thick, and 47.0mm from lug to lug. As you can see, the two non-plated stainless steel models are available in a “Pepsi” version with a blue dial and a “Batman” version with a black dial. The Tokyo skyline inspires the dial pattern for these two variants.

The ion-plated gold-tone model has “Root Beer” vibes. But its combination of yellow and rose gold tones and its special textured dial make for a highly distinctive version of this modern GMT. Inside the cases of all three models, you will find the Citizen in-house-produced caliber 9054. This automatic flyer-style GMT has a 50-hour power reserve and a standard accuracy of +20/-10 seconds per day. The two stainless steel models are widely available for €1,195. The gold-tone model might be harder to find and goes for €1,295. I can’t wait to take these modern GMTs for a spin in the new year.

best GMT watches of 2023 Unimatic Modello Uno U1S-C-GMT-H

Unimatic Modello Uno U1S-C-GMT-H

The last watch on this list of the 10 best GMTs of 2023 is part of the second collaboration between Unimatic and Hodinkee. The first collaboration was special because one of the three watches was Unimatic’s first Modello Uno GMT. For their next collaboration, the partners worked on two watches. They hail from the Modello Uno and Modello Quattro lines, and what makes them special is that they both feature a case made of forged carbon fiber. As a result, the 40mm case of the Modello Uno U1S Carbon GMT for Hodinkee looks quite striking with its distinct pattern. It measures 11.6mm thick (excluding the domed crystal), while the carbon fiber bezel with the black insert is 41.5mm across.

Once again, the Unimatic guys show a great eye for design by making the case the center of attention. The simple black dial, bezel, and strap ensure that the forged carbon material is the showstopper here. The white luminous hour markers and lume-treated hands contrast perfectly with the black backdrop, creating a seemingly simple watch. But it’s all about the case, which has enough intricacies to stand out. Housed within it is a titanium inner case for better shock resistance. Inside that, Unimatic uses the automatic ETA 2893-2 caliber with a 42-hour power reserve. This lightweight GMT is a limited edition of 250 pieces at US$2,900 that, surprisingly, you can still get. If you ask me, it’s the perfect closer to this list.

Final thoughts on the best GMT watches of 2023

There you have it — our top 10 picks for the best GMT watches in 2023. As always, with only 10 slots, this list is limited in its scope. We could have picked various other models, but we feel these are the best. Still, I’d like to pass the question over to you. What are your favorite GMTs that came out this year? Let us know your picks in the comments section, and we will see you next week for the final best-of-2023 list of the year!