How to Set a GMT, Dual Time, and World Time Watch

Do you know what winter travel, spring travel and summer travel have in common? They require a reliable watch! Biases aside, bringing along a trusty watch might come in handy, especially if your phone conveniently dies while you’re in a new city or country. Or if you want to quickly find out what time it is back home or the time at your next destination. We’ve receive a lot of questions from everyone regarding our Dual Time, GMT, and World Time watches, so this week we’re discussing what they are, how they work, and how to set them.

Before we start with GMT and Dual time watches, we bet you’ve been wondering if there’s a difference between them. The answer may not surprise you: there isn’t a difference, so long that they display time in a 24-hour scale. In fact, the fourth hand on a watch is usually referred to as the “GMT Hand”. If you'd like to see a copy of the official Orient manual for these watches, click here.

Setting a GMT watch (like our Polaris GMT)

As we mentioned before, a GMT watch will usually have a fourth hand that can be independently adjusted. Here’s how we’d set ours:

1. Determine which time zone you would like to set the GMT hand to. For this example, let’s say we’re living in Los Angeles (currently at GMT-7), and want to set the second time zone to Tokyo, Japan (GMT+9).

2. We would set the time of the watch to 12AM.

3. At the time of writing, Los Angeles is currently in Daylight Savings Time which means that Tokyo is only 16 hours ahead. Knowing this, we would point our GMT hand to the “16” on the chapter ring. You can adjust the GMT hand by pulling out the crown to its first position and turning it counter-clockwise.

4. Then, we would set the time and date of our watch. You’ll notice that the fourth hand will rotate in unison with the hour and minute hand, and is constantly set 16 hours ahead of the current time.

Setting a Dual Time Watch (like the Explorer or Voyager)

These particular watches feature a cut out on the left side of the dial which depicts a 24-hour wheel. The concept of setting the second time zone is nearly identical to the GMT watch:

1. Determine which time zone you would like to set the second time zone to. For this example, let’s say we’re living in Los Angeles (currently at GMT-7), and want to set the second time zone to Tokyo, Japan (GMT+9).

2. We would set the time of the watch to 12AM.

3. At the time of writing, Los Angeles is currently in Daylight Savings Time which means that Tokyo is only 16 hours ahead. Knowing this, we would make sure that the red arrow is pointed to“16”. You can adjust dual time ring by pulling out the crown to its first position and turning it counter-clockwise.

4. Then, we would set the time and date of our watch. The Dual Time ring will also rotate in unison with the hour and minute hand, and is constantly set 16 hours ahead of the current time.

Just as the name suggests, World Time watches display the time for cities around the world, one for each time zone (24 to be exact). Our World Time watches feature the cities around the outer portion of the dial, along with a 24-hour wheel. We offer two different kinds of world time watches: one where you can only independently adjust the 24 hour wheel (like the Adventurer), and another where you can only rotate the cities (like the Orient Star World Time). Setting the time on these is very similar, but we’ll go through both. It’s highly important to note that while your country may use Daylight Savings, others may not. This will affect time differences , and needs to be taken into account when using a World Time watch. Here’s a list of countries that do utilize Daylight Savings.

Rotating the 24 hour wheel only:

(The Adventurer allows for the alteration of both the cities and hours, but for this example we’ll only use the hour wheel.)

1. Set the time to 12AM.

2. Find your city (or nearby city within the same time zone) along the outer edge of the watch. If you need help deciphering the city abbreviations, turn to page 17 in your K3 manual, or click here for a PDF copy.

3. Rotate the 24 hour wheel so that “24” aligns with the city/time zone that you’re in, since the time you set on your watch is midnight.

4. Now, set the time and date of your watch. The 24 hour wheel will turn as time goes by, and you should be able to identify the time in another city by finding it on the dial with its corresponding hour.

Rotating city names only:

1. Set the time to 12AM.

2. Find your city (or nearby city within the same time zone) along the outer edge of the watch.

3. Rotate the city wheel so that “24” is aligned with the city/time zone that you’re in, since the time you set on your watch is midnight.

4. Now, set the time and date of your watch. The city hour wheel will turn as time goes by, and you should be able to identify the time in another city by finding it on the dial with its corresponding hour.


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