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Your ‘Business Traveler’ Guide to the Best Travel Watches

These five pieces are perfect for life on the road

September 28, 2022

Which watch works best for you while traveling? That depends on the traveler, says Nora Taylor, deputy editor at Hodinkee, the New York-based editorial and e-commerce website that has been a game changer for the watch industry. “Knowing how you like to travel is the first and most important step in choosing the correct watch,” Taylor says. “If it is important to track two time zones at once, a GMT is a great travel watch. If you want something that’s easy to read and set, a digital watch is a great option.” We asked Taylor to select five pieces perfect for life on the road—her choices, in both price and styling, might surprise you.

Cartier Tank Louis Cartier

“It’s my personal choice for travel. The Tank Louis Cartier is beautiful, iconic and subtle. You can wear it just about anywhere and with anything, without drawing too much attention to your wrist. I love everything about the styling and classic design. The rectangular case, Roman numerals and sapphire crown are standouts.”
Tank Louis Cartier large-model watch featuring a case in 18-karat yellow gold, grained silvered dial and beaded crown set with a sapphire by Cartier; $10,700, at

Parmigiani Fleurier Tonda PF GMT Rattrapante Steel Platinum

“This watch is the perfect blend of form and function, from the capability to tell the time in two time zones to its stunning design and broad appeal of its steel bracelet. It’s a stealth GMT, perfect for those who want something on the minimalist side but appreciate the capability. Parmigiani is also a watch lover’s brand, so it’s a great choice for those who want a piece that won’t be on a ton of other wrists. Even if you don’t want or need the GMT function, the Rattrapante is a nice blend of sport and dress. It’s also an automatic with about two days of power reserve, so you can set it, wear it and basically forget about it.”
Tonda PF GMT Rattrapante Steel Platinum watch featuring a Milano blue dial with split GMT function in a 40mm steel case with bracelet by Parmigiani Fleurier; $27,700, at

Rado Captain Cook Over-Pole Limited Edition

“Released last spring, this watch is a limited-edition extension of the brand’s popular Captain Cook line. It’s a worldtimer, which allows the wearer to know what time it is in major cities all over the globe. But rather than rotating the hands for the setting, you shift the bezel, which is great for folks who aren’t as keen on setting and resetting the hands on a standard worldtimer. And while there’s a lot of information on this watch, the placement of the text and generous blank space on the dial keep it from feeling busy. Ultimately it recalls the mid-century styling of the original without feeling too stuck in the past.”
Captain Cook Over-Pole Limited Edition worldtimer with silver-to-black gradient dial in a stainless-steel case by Rado; $2,400, exclusively available at

Seiko 5 Sports SKX Sports Style GMT

“This design is a cult classic for a reason. It’s also a new style of an existing model, a natural and welcome evolution of a line of watches that work for every type of wearer, from the novice to the seasoned collector. The overall style of this GMT makes it great for travel, and you also get a lot of functionality for not a lot of money. You don’t have to worry about banging it up or leaving it behind in the TSA line (don’t do that, though).”
5 Sports SKX Sports Style GMT featuring an automatic GMT function with manual-winding capability in a 42.5mm stainless-steel case with bracelet by Seiko; $475, at

Timex T80 34mm Stainless Steel Bracelet Watch

“This digital watch is a super travel-friendly option for those who want something no-fuss and accurate. It’s easy to set the clock, alarm, date and Indiglo light-up dial. This is the watch I think of when I hear ‘digital watch.’ It’s a classic, and the wrist-friendly 34mm sizing and multiple colorways (it’s also available in silver or black) make it a watch that works for just about anybody.”
T80 34mm Stainless Steel Bracelet Watch featuring a customizable daily alarm, month, day and date display, digital chronograph function and Indiglo light-up dial by Timex; $65, at