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Head to Head: Sporty vs Dressy GMT Watches
Words by Windup Watch Shop

The traveler’s watch. The last truly useful sport watch today. The GMT watch has, as much as its sibling the dive watch, remained a cultural icon and a best-seller for brands both big and small. Every collector wants – or at least has considered – a GMT watch of some kind. There is good and bad news to that end. The good news is that watch brands have labored to create GMT watches of all sorts to appeal to every breed of watch enthusiast. The bad news is that money doesn’t grow on trees. Of all the classic watch archetypes, the GMT has always straddled that line between ritzy and rough, and we can separate them into two stylistic buckets: dressy and sporty. While the line between the two is often blurred and the definitions themselves somewhat subjective, we thought it would be fun to see how this useful complication has found its way into watches of all kinds. So without further ado, this is your Sunday Smackdown: GMT Edition.

Sporty GMT: BOLDR x Worn & Wound 3xt GMT Limited Edition

Let’s kick things off with our first sporty option. Of all the watches in this list, this limited edition from BOLDR and Worn & Wound is probably the most rugged. It is 41mm of brushed stainless steel and comes paired with a matching nylon strap. Available in both blue and gray color combos, the 3xt GMT is openly influenced by techy outdoor gear and sports equipment. At a price point well under $1,000 it emphasizes the joy of owning and wearing a capable watch at a price that won’t break the bank.

Dressy GMT: Zodiac Super Sea Wolf World Time Limited Edition

Our first dressier GMT contender is a good one. We travel decades back in time for the Zodiac World Time, a watch that takes its design cues from the mid century. While not a “dress watch” by the traditional definition, this Zodiac features several design elements that differentiate it from the sportier options on this list like the vintage-inspired cursive text on the dial and elegant tapering riveted bracelet. The star of the show is the world timer bezel, which can be configured in scarlet or black. The black bezel, gray dial combination is relatively dressy and toned down. As a whole, the Zodiac Super Sea Wolf World Time LE is just as capable as any watch here, spec for spec, but takes a more old-school approach.

Sporty GMT: Bulova Oceangrapher GMT

Back to a sporty pick. The Oceangrapher GMT is almost what you would imagine in your mind’s eye when hearing the term “sport watch”: Big legible hands, rubber strap, prominent hour markers and bezel – you’ve got them all here. Dive-GMT watches have become more popular over time, and why shoudln’t they bet? Combining the two most popular sport watch categories into one capable timepiece seems like an obvious win. This Oceangrapher GMT cleverly integrates the 24-hour scale into the dial while still maintaining supreme legibility as a bonafide dive watch.

Dressy GMT: Seiko Presage GMT

Our final dressy option is a real crowd-pleaser. You simply can’t have a list like this without at least one Seiko. The Presage line offers more everyday dress and dress-adjacent watches compared to Prospex, and this Style60s GMT SSK is a prime example. The elegant blue dial, compact case size, and smaller bezel make for a timepiece that’s far more subdued than your typical GMT. Of all the watches in this head-to-head battle, this may be the top choice as a daily wearer.

Honorable Mention: Zodiac Super Sea Wolf GMT

For those who simply can’t decide between dressy or sporty and want to say, “Porque No los Dos?”, this is the watch for you. Behold: the Zodiac Super Sea Wolf GMT in Two Tone. Split the difference by adding a little gold to your life. Find all these watches, and more, right here in the Windup Watch Shop.