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How to set a Rolex GMT-Master II for 3 Timezones

How to set a Rolex GMT-Master II for 3 Timezones is the first in a series of videos created for Global Watch Shop's You tube channel. Each video will be produced as a standalone piece supported by a blog article so you can use the video by itself, use the video & the blog article together or the blog article by itself. Please visit our You Tube channel and subscribe to ensure you see all future video features. We hope you enjoy and find the series useful.

How to set a Rolex GMT-Master II for 3 Timezones

Today we're looking at how to set the Rolex GMT-Master II to 2 timeszones, and how to read a 3rd timezone using the rotating bezel.

The version of the GMT we are using is the stainless steel BLNR, it’s got a distinctive 2 colour bezel, blue marking the hours of day and black marking the hours of night which makes it a little bit easier to read the GMT. A very very popular watch often referred to as the Batman or the Bruiser. Very difficult to acquire and very popular, one of the most difficult Rolex’s to come by.

Before we set the watch we need to understand the concept of ‘Home’ time and ‘Current’ time. Home time is the time of your home city, so for me that’s London. My current time may be set to London if that’s where I am, but if I go abroad, to Sydney for example, then I’m going to set my current time to Sydney. That way at a glance I can read either the time in London or the time in Sydney, and that’s how we are going to be setting the watch in this example.

Crown Positions

Any changes to settings on a Rolex watch are made via the crown. There are 3 different crown positions for setting the watch.

Position 0 is how we would wear the watch when it’s on our wrist. Making sure the crown is fully closed prevents any water getting into the movement.

Position 1 is where we wind the watch.

Position 2 allows us to adjust the hour hand on a GMT, which is different from other Rolex models. It also allows us to change the date, but we’ll come onto that in a minute.

Position 3 allows us to adjust the minute hand, and the blue GMT hand.

Step 1: Setting Home Time

The time in London is 15:30, this is our home time. With the crown pulled out to position 3 we're going to set the blue GMT hand  to 15:00 using the large numerals on the bezel. Next we'll set the minute hand to half past on the dial. The GMT hand you can see is between 15 & 16 on the bezel, and the minute hand set to half past on the dial, that’s home time set to 15:30.

Rolex GMT-Master II Setting Home Time

Step 2: Setting Current Time

To set current time we move the crown in one position to position 2. I’m in London so my current time is also 15:30 but the first thing we need to do is set the date. We do this by moving the hour hand round until the date changes to the date that we want. Once we have the date set to the 18th we need to keep moving the hour hand round until we pass 12 o'clock again so we're setting the time for PM. Once we pass midday we continue to 3 o'clock so we are set at 15:30 on the 18th May as home time and current time.

Rolex GMT-Master II Setting Current Time

Step 3: Adjusting Current Time

Normally we’d just re-secure the crown back into position 0, and we’re ready to wear the watch, but lets say for example we're on a flight and going to Sydney. Sydney is 9hrs ahead of London. We need to unscrew the crown again, and put it in to position 2 to adjust our current time. Home time will remain the same, as the time in London will still be the same. Now we move the hour hand forward 9hrs to 12:30 am to reflect the time in Sydney, and you can see the date has also changed to the 19th. The Rolex GMT-Master II now reads current time in Sydney at 12:30 am on the 19th May, and home time back in London at 15:30, on the 18th. So if we re-secure the crown the GMT is set and ready to wear.

Rolex GMT-Master II Adjusting Current time

Step 4: Setting the 3rd Timezone

Two timezones are set, current time in Sydney at 12:30am (on the hour hand) which is 9hrs ahead of London where we have home time set at 15:30 (on the GMT hand). Now lets just say we need to give someone a call who is in New York, we need to know what the is time there so we're not waking them up in the middle of the night. We know New York is 5hrs behind London, so we need to move the rotating bezel 5 clicks clockwise. Now we can read the time in New York with the GMT hand at 10 against the numerals on the bezel and the minute hand at half past on the dial. So that’s it, 3 different timezones on a Rolex GMT-Master II.

Rolex GMT-Master II Setting the 3rd Timezone

Hopefully you found this article and video helpful, it’s the first in a series that we’re going to be doing at Global Watch Shop. If you did find it useful please share this article. If you have any requests for more videos, if there’s something you’d like to know how to do, or any particular watches you’d like to see please get in touch and please subscribe to the You Tube channel for all future videos.