Hamilton GMT watch

How to Use GMT Watch – Every Travelers Guide 2024

Interested to know How to Use GMT Watch, then this 2024 guide will help you get acquainted with the GMT functionality.

The Rolex GMT is among the most popular timepieces ever to grace the watch industry.

With demand for this impressive watch soaring sky-high, we thought it wise to bring GMT lovers up to speed on how it functions.

In today’s post, we will take a minute to highlight some of the incredible potentials of the Rolex GMT watch, some basics you should have up your sleeves about time while travelling, and how to get the most out of it.

Let’s get started, shall we?

A glance at the Rolex GMT

The Rolex GMT features a powerful crown.

And if you know anything about a watch’s crown, you’ll know that this is the master control unit.

When the crown is in position 0, it means it is in a fully-screwed position.

Plus, this is usually where the crown should be anytime you aren’t winding or setting your timepiece.

When the crown is set at position 1 upon screwing, you should be able to manually wind the movement of the Rolex GMT.

The next unit, position 2, allows you to tweak the hour and date.

The last unit, position 3, gives you seamless control over the minute hand as well as the 24-hour GMT hand.

Out of all the Rolex GMT’s four hands, this watch features a GMT hand with distinct red or orange colour.

This is further highlighted by a unique triangular tip.

This helps differentiate it from other hands, particularly the seconds hand, which has a unique lollipop shape.

Most Rolex GMT watches feature a Mercedes style hand.

Nevertheless, regardless of what GMT watch you opt for, the hands will be nicely differentiated to make things easy for you.

Winding the Rolex GMT and setting the time

To wind the Rolex GMT, you’ll need to first unscrew the crown from position 0 and turn it towards you.

If you did that right, the crown should now be in position 1.

Once you’re in this position, simply winding the crown by turning it away from you.

Once you feel the resistance along with crisp clicking sounds, you should know that the winding action is working.

To manually charge your Rolex GMT, wind the crown by 20 rotations.

Tweaking the GMT hand

After winding your Rolex GMT, the next thing on your to-do list is setting the GMT hand.

And this isn’t rocket science as the process is super easy.

To set the GMT hand, all you’ll need to do is pull the crown until the seconds hand stops moving.

We always recommend starting with the position 3 setting as it is always easy to tell if you have fully pulled out the crown to position 3.

The thing is, getting from position 1 to 2 is a fairly narrow window, compared to pushing it into position two after finishing with 3.

With the crown adjusted to set the GMT hand, gently turn the crown to tweak the GMT hand.

And just so you know, the minute hand sweeps a little quicker than the GMT hand.

Most watch experts usually recommend tweaking the GMT hand to Greenwich Mean Time.

With this setting, it should be 10 PM Greenwich, London, when it is 5 PM in New York.

To get this timing on a watch’s bezel, you’ll need to set the GMT hand to 22:00.

Another thing you can do is tweak the GMT hand to your city’s local time.

After you must have done that, you can always rotate the bezel to switch to a different time zone.

Let’s say you live in New York and the local time in your city is 6 PM, you’d need to tweak the GMT hand to 18:00.

To set a second-time zone to a city, let’s Los Angeles, you only need to rotate the bezel so that the GMT hand is now pointing at 3 PM or 15:00.

With this setting, your Rolex GMT should be displaying the local time in New York while the GMT hand will be showing LA time.

cllose up of a Rolex GMT submariner black and blue face watch

Tweaking your Rolex GMT for time and date

Once you’re done with position 3, the next thing to do is push the crown to position 2.

This position allows you to set the hour and date.

As always, we recommend setting the hour hand to the local time.

While setting, keep in mind that the date changes every time the hour hand moves past the 12 o’clock position.

So If you’re moving clockwise, the date window should move forward a day.

On the flip side, if you decide to go anti-clockwise, it will go back a day.

Let’s say today is the 29th and your local time is 5 PM; ensure you do a complete second lap with the hour hand.

If you don’t do this, the Rolex GMT will read it as 5 AM.

For instance, let’s say today is the 29th, but the date on your Rolex GMT is displaying 28th; all you have to do is rotate the hour hand over the 12 o’clock point twice to tweak it to the 29th.

Finally, rotate it one more time to arrive at the PM realm before setting your local time to the 5 o’clock position.

And before we wrap up, let us tell you right away that the Rolex GMT was among the first Rolex watches to feature a 24-hour hand that is distinct and independent of its traditional hour hand.

So before 1983, setting a Rolex GMT was super complicated.

Frequently asked questions

What does GMT on a timepiece mean?

For starters, a GMT watch is a brilliant timepiece that spots a 24-hour format hand.

In addition to other hands, the GMT hour hand indicates a second-time zone.

How do you wind a Rolex GMT?

Winding a Rolex GMT isn’t all that difficult.

To get it spot on, you’ll need to unscrew the winding crown completely and proceed to turn it multiple times clockwise.

Winding in the opposite direction has no effect.

For optimum winding, we always recommend winding for at least 25 turns.

What does 2000 mean on a GMT watch?

The number 2000 indicates 20:00 Greenwich Mean Time (GMT).


GMT watches are an absolute classic.

And that’s because of their brilliant functionality.

With the ability to tell local time as well as a second time zone, it’s easy to see why these tool watches are loved by professionals who travel now and then.

With a GMT watch gracing your wrist, there is no stopping you.