De Grisogono Instrumento N° Uno De Grisogono Instrumento N° Uno

4 of the best watches for travellers

GMT watches are forever popular amongst frequent fliers

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06 October 2014

You wake up in your suite, somewhere on the other side of the world. You'd love to call home and find out how everyone is, but what time is it there? You don't want to wake anyone up in the middle of the night. This is where your GMT watch can make the difference. It's one of the few genuinely useful watch complications, and watchmakers handle it in many different ways.

   The Luminor 1950 3 days GMT 24H by Panerai

The Luminor 1950 3 Days GMT 24H by Panerai is very practical, as well has possessing the unmistakable Panerai DNA in its cushion-shaped bezel, and the sandwich dial with luminescent coating between the layers. The time in the second time zone is indicated by a 24-hour scale, so that there is no problem about knowing whether it's day or night over there.

  TimeWalker World-Time, Southern & Northern Hemisphere Versions

Montblanc's TimeWalker World-Time Hemispheres gives the GMT concept a totally different look, with a powerful design twist that makes it sporty and contemporary. It is also competitively priced, starting at €3,790. In this watch, the 24-hour disc is placed at the centre of the dial, and it rotates so that you can see the time all over the world, with a map of the northern hemisphere seen from above the north pole. On the caseback, there is an engraving of the south pole, with the respective UMT time corrections.

Instrumento N° Uno is a watch by de Grisogono dating back to 1999, and this year, to mark its 15th anniversary, the brand has launched a special series inspired by the film The Expendables 3 (title image). At the Cannes film festival, actors starring in the film, including Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Harrison Ford, wore it on the Croisette, displaying its original design. In steel with black PVD finish, it has a dial with the second time zone at the bottom, a large date display, and a dramatic colour scheme in black and red, which extends to the black alligator strap with red leather lining. The oscillating weight driving the mechanical movement can be seen through the sapphire caseback. This anniversary edition is autographed 'Fawaz' (Fawaz Gruosi, founder of de Grisogono), and it is limited to 100 watches.

  Rado: The HyperChrome Ceramic Touch Dual Timer

Rado has a vast heritage of experience in making watches from ceramics, and so their Rado HyperChrome Ceramic Touch Dual Timer is a timepiece hallmarked by the smooth, minimalist gloss offered by this material. The dual time zone is shown on a subdial at 6 o'clock, with its own separate hour and minute hands. Unusually, this watch has no crown. The ceramic case has sensors hidden just below its surface, that are capable of 'feeling' the touch of a finger.

When you touch the case at the right place, in the right way, you put the watch into adjustment mode, and then you can make the settings with a caress on the other side of the case. The really attractive function is swapping time zones: the hands on the two dials perform a little dance and then take up their allotted positions. And a Rado ceramic touch watch has another advantage: you don't have to take it off to get through airport security!