Movements with quick-set GMT hand vs quick-set hour hand, which one is true GMT ?
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  1. #1
    lvt
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    Lightbulb Movements with quick-set GMT hand vs quick-set hour hand, which one is true GMT ?

    The Rolex 3186 caliber has the quick-set hour hand, so some people say it's the true GMT watch.

    The ETA 2893-2 caliber has the quick-set GMT hand, so other people say it's the true GMT watch.

    I'm lost... which one is the true GMT watch ?

    Can someone please enlighten me on this matter with historical and technical facts, or maybe share your real life stories of using this specific function during your mission / journey ?
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    Movements with quick-set GMT hand vs quick-set hour hand, which one is true GMT ?

    I don't have any missions or facts but common sense tells me the hour hand should be quick set, and adjusted to the local changing timezones.

    The GMT hand is GMT not only to show the home time but also if its night/day at home. Polar regions aside, you don't need a watch to know if it's night or day in the location you are currently in.

    So once the GMT hand is set to home time, it is not tampered with further, and hence doesnt need a quickset.


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    Last edited by DrDavid90; June 18th, 2017 at 08:35.
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    Re: Movements with quick-set GMT hand vs quick-set hour hand, which one is true GMT ?

    GMT time doesn't change as a function of your location, but your local time does, so it makes sense for a "true GMT" watch to have a quickset on the main hour hand.
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    Movements with quick-set GMT hand vs quick-set hour hand, which one is true GMT ?

    I've had both. The quick set hour hand is the one you want.


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    Re: Movements with quick-set GMT hand vs quick-set hour hand, which one is true GMT ?

    The quickset hour is way better for traveling. No doubt. And that's what most GMTs ought to be. Alas, the ETA does it backwards and so we've ended up with too many quickset GMT hands out there.

    Now, to be fair, the quickset GMT is probably better if you are staying in one place but want to more easily track a couple timezones elsewhere. I assume that is a much less common practice though and thus, again, most GMTs ought to have a quickset hour hand.


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    Re: Movements with quick-set GMT hand vs quick-set hour hand, which one is true GMT ?

    Quote Originally Posted by lvt View Post
    The Rolex 3186 caliber has the quick-set hour hand, so some people say it's the true GMT watch.

    The ETA 2893-2 caliber has the quick-set GMT hand, so other people say it's the true GMT watch.

    I'm lost... which one is the true GMT watch ?

    Can someone please enlighten me on this matter with historical and technical facts, or maybe share your real life stories of using this specific function during your mission / journey ?
    Neither. None can handle half hour zones which doesn't make them a "troooo gmteeee" (surely one of wisworld's most irritating clichés) at all.
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    Movements with quick-set GMT hand vs quick-set hour hand, which one is true GMT ?

    Quote Originally Posted by publandlord View Post
    Neither. None can handle half hour zones which doesn't make them a "troooo gmteeee" (surely one of wisworld's most irritating clichés) at all.
    Indeed, since work sometimes brings me to Mumbai (30' offset), and Katmandu (15' offset), my ideal travel watch is actually this one of mine - though it doesn't look business.



    Pull out the crown, turn the seconds hand to your timezone, push the crown back in, and the hands will automagically go to the local position.
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    Re: Movements with quick-set GMT hand vs quick-set hour hand, which one is true GMT ?

    For me the quick set hour hand is useful and makes more sense.
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    Re: Movements with quick-set GMT hand vs quick-set hour hand, which one is true GMT ?

    I have a vintage GMT Rolex master and there is no quick set on the date or hour hands and it is a mild pain on oceanic flights to adjust. Especially if you go past the date.
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    Re: Movements with quick-set GMT hand vs quick-set hour hand, which one is true GMT ?

    Because I don't travel much (anymore) and I might want to see the times in different parts of the world (possible), it'd make more sense to have a quickset "GMT hand" -- which, truthfully, should be called an "independently-adjustable 24-hour hand".

    Let's backtrack a bit...

    Wasn't the story behind Rolex's GMT Master about how it was useful for pilots because they could leave the 24-hr hand on GMT/Zulu time (which is how flight plans were made) while easily resetting the 12-hour hand to local time? And, as a bonus, the bidirectional bezel could track a third time zone (home, or destination, or whatever).

    But not everybody's an international-route pilot, either. So which secondary time zone do they need to track? Maybe it's distant relatives (true for me), or the overseas office, or the corporate computer server that always displays errors in Zulu time (also true for me). In these cases, it can make more sense to put the quickset function on the 24-hour hand, right?

    What's disappointing is that, for mechanical watches, I only know of three brands off the top of my head who make their "GMT" watches with independent 12-hr hands: Rolex, Omega, and Seiko. Pricey, pricey, and kinda-pricey -- all more expensive than the ETA-based "GMT" watches.
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