It feels weird to say “the GMT is having a moment right now” seeing as the complication has been around for decades. But, well, the GMT is having a moment right now. It wasn’t so long ago that it felt like there was a dearth of accessibly-priced mechanical GMT’s and now it feels like we’re swimming in them. Meanwhile, Tudor and Rolex’s Pepsi bezel GMT’s at Baselworld have sparked more love for the simple travel complication. Now seems like a good time, then, to remind you that you can snag some pretty kickass vintage GMTs at reasonable prices. That is until GMT-mania fully sets in and prices all vintage GMTs skyrocket…which probably won’t be for much longer.
Zodiac Aerospace GMT
What we like: Just as the Rolex GMT followed the Submariner, the Zodiac Aerospace GMT followed the Sea Wolf. The Zodiac GMT, similarly, was one of the earliest GMT watches to hit the scene when it arrived in the early 1960s and it kept much of the same design aesthetic that made the original Sea Wolf a favorite. This model features a handsome black-and-gray bezel and its original bracelet.
From the seller: Glossy black original dial with luminous hands and red 24-hour hand. Self-winding movement with sweep seconds and date, and signed Zodiac crown. Original rice link bracelet with Zodiac signed deployment clasp. Offered with our one year warranty of accurate timekeeping and operation.
Enicar Sherpa Guide
What we like: Enicar is one of those wonderful, forgotten brands that you don’t fully appreciate until you dip into its illustrious history of tool watches, of which the Sherpa Guide is one. One of the many GMT watches the Swiss watchmaker produced during the 1960s, this version comes in at a massive (for the time) 43mm but accommodates a rotating world timer bezel and an inner 24 hour GMT bezel. This is to say nothing of fun little details like the lance-style seconds hand, the black-and-red checkered GMT hand, and a logo that makes you think of Pizza Planet (but like, in a good way).
From the seller: The factory original (non-refurbished) dial is in nearly perfect condition. The case has some signs of wear. The bezel and inner ring are well preserved at this model. Last Service in 2017. The movement works perfectly. The crown moves smoothly. The watch starts running immediately and is keeping time well. The balance wheel oscillates vigorously and regularly. It has been regulated by our watchmaker.
Rolex GMT Master-II Ref. 16700
What we like: I have good news: Rolex made a new steel Pepsi GMT. I have bad news: you aren’t getting it for MSRP. The solution? You could buy one of the previous versions of the Pepsi-bezel GMT, the reference 16700 which The Crown made from 1988 to 1999. This happens to be from the very last year of the model’s run, presumably making it the newest possible GMT you can buy right now for under $10,000.
From the seller: Excellent case that shows light wear from use. Comes with an excellent “Pepsi” bezel insert. Comes with box and papers. Running at COSC spec.