The GMT (Greenwich Mean Time) watch has its origins in the need for a timepiece that could display multiple time zones simultaneously. It was initially developed for aviation purposes, particularly for pilots who frequently traveled across different time zones.
The concept of GMT itself stems from the establishment of a standard reference time at the Royal Observatory in Greenwich, London, known as Greenwich Mean Time. GMT was adopted as the international time standard at the International Meridian Conference in 1884. It serves as a reference point for timekeeping worldwide.
The first GMT watch was introduced by Rolex in the 1950s. It was specifically designed for Pan American World Airways pilots who were facing the challenges of long-haul flights and navigating through various time zones. Rolex collaborated with Pan Am to create a watch that would allow pilots to keep track of both their home time and the time at their destination.
The key feature of a GMT watch is an additional hand, usually in a different color, on the dial that makes one full rotation every 24 hours. This hand is calibrated to display a second time zone in conjunction with a 24-hour bezel or an additional dial. The main hour hand indicates the local time, while the GMT hand can be independently set to track a different time zone.
To use a GMT watch effectively, follow these steps:
1. Set the local time: Adjust the main hour hand to match the current time in your current location. This can be done by pulling out the crown (the knob on the side of the watch) and turning it clockwise or anticlockwise.
2. Set the GMT hand: Determine the time zone you want to track using the GMT hand. Pull the crown out to the first or second position (depending on the watch) and set the GMT hand to the corresponding hour for that time zone.
3. Read the time: The main hour hand indicates the local time, while the GMT hand displays the time in the second time zone. The 24-hour bezel or an additional dial can be used to track the third time zone if available.
Remember to account for any Daylight Saving Time adjustments or changes in time zones when setting and reading the GMT watch.
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