If you’re a dive watch owner and don’t know how to use a dive watch as a GMT (secondary time zone), then this blog is for you. Most dual time rated dive watches have a rotating bezel with minute markers on it but a GMT watch is generally more expensive than a standard dive watch, so what do we do? We use the bezel. In this post I will teach you the basics on how to use a non-GMT dive watch as a GMT and set a second timezone using just the bezel.
A lot of people might not think that there are any “real world” applications for diving watches but they can come in handy if you find yourself traveling overseas frequently or even if it’s just during daylight savings time when we switch our clocks back an hour. I use mine for this and also as a timer but that is for another article.
Ok, let’s get to why you are here.
How to set your watch to the correct secondary time zone
Let’s use this simple example, I am on the west coast and my clients are on the east coast. The east coast local time is 8:45pm and my west coast local time is 5:45pm. My watch will read 5:45pm.
So there are 3 hours difference between my local time and the secondary time. This means I need to rotate my bezel so the pip moves backwards 3 hours – from 12 to 9.
The 9 marker will now indicate the new 12 O’clock for secondary time (if we rotate the angle of the watch).
Now if you rotate your watch angle so that the pip is facing straight ahead or at “12 o’clock” then you will see that while the hour hand is still at 5 local time, it will look like it’s at 8 for secondary time.
You only need to focus on the hour marker as minutes past the hour will usually remain the same (that is, if it is 5:45pm here, it will most likely be 45 min past the hour somewhere else.)
This way your local time is told using the normal time as you see it on your watch, and the secondary time is used by the bezel. As they say a picture tells a thousand words so let’s have a look at the infographic for How to use a Dive Watch as a GMT below as I believe it explains this much easier.
Why should you use a dive watch as your gmt
With a dive watch you can have a second time zone simply by using your rotating bezel.
The other thing you’ll notice is the cost. While a standard dive watch can set you back anywhere from $300 to $2,500 dollars or more, a good GMT model can add hundreds more to the basic cost.
This means for many buyers who can’t afford a GMT watch or two watches then a dive watch is a cheaper and easier option that can handle the dual time zone needs with only minimal training and know-how.
Pros and cons of using a dive watch for GMT
There are a few pros and cons to using a dive watch to tell dual time . First lets talk about the pros.
1. The dual time is easy to read once you have it set correctly (once you get use to using the bezel). All the information is right there and doesn’t require any math or conversion tables on your part.
2. A dive watch is considerably cheaper than a GMT watch . If you want a dual time watch, but don’t want to pay the high price of a dual time watch then a dive watch is a good option.
3. You can adjust for dual time without using your hands . That means no light and no moving parts .
Now for the cons of using a dive watch bezel to tell dual time,
I recently had a discussion on the benefits of using a GMT watch as opposed to wearing dual time bezel on dive watches. The majority of the comments favored GMT as it was built for purpose and it there was less of a risk for error if the bezel was knocked or moved.
Plus, a dive watch is more suited to timekeeping for diving. For those that use dual time watches – dual bezels or dual dials, there is less chance of making a mistake in setting up and reading the dual time.
How to use a Dive Watch as a GMT – Wrap Up
I hope this post How to use a Dive Watch as a GMT has helped you learn more about dive watches, and if so we would love to hear feedback. If there are any questions or thoughts that need clarification, please drop me a message in the Contact Us page!
I know I was really confused when I first tried this out as I couldn’t wrap my head around the minute hand not lining up to the secondary time, but once I trained myself to focus just on the hour hand then it became easy.
When it comes to managing dual time zones with a dive watch, your rotating bezel can help show two different times at once by allowing you to rotate one of the hands on the face clockwise for an hour as well as turn the minute hand counterclockwise without altering its position.
With a little practice (and our helpful guide), anyone can use their new-found knowledge of how diving watches work to manage multiple time zones like never before.
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Joseph Colella (also known as Joe Colella) is the Chief Wasted Talent at WastedTalentInc & ExpertDiveWatch
Meet the Chief Wasted Talent and ultimate dive watch enthusiast behind WastedTalentInc.com and ExpertDiveWatch.com, whose love for timepieces runs as deep as the ocean. Having amassed a wealth of knowledge about dive watches and dive computers over the years, he decided to share his passion and expertise with a wider audience.
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