Which Rolex Watch is the Best for Frequent Flyers?

October 27, 2016

If your career or lifestyle makes you a regular at international airports across the world, you may be interested in a watch that can help you keep track of what timezone you're in and what time it is back home. While smartphones have facilitated timekeeping for the modern traveler, there are instances when you can't access your smartphone - especially if you had the misfortune of buying a Galaxy Note 7. But regardless of your smartphone status, a watch with a GMT complication can still come in handy. After all, glancing at your watch is far more discrete than pulling out your mobile device at the dinner table in front of potential clients. I have listed my choices for the best Rolex for frequent flyers below, compared based on pricing, aesthetic and utility. 

Rolex GMT-Master II BLNR (photo: Rolex/Kychan)
The most logical model to make it on this list would be the GMT-Master II BLNR, or Batman as it is known by Rolex enthusiasts. It has the most straightforward GMT complication, combining a bi-directional rotatable 24-hour bezel with a GMT hand to allow the wearer to easily jump from timezone to timezone by rotating the bezel. The 2016 configuration shown above (Reference # 116710BLNR) for 8,500 Swiss Francs or $8,915 US, however, availability can be an issue with this model, as Authorized Dealers usually don't have them in stock due to the model's popularity.

White Gold Rolex Sky-Dweller (photo: Rolex/Ashim D'Silva)
For those who prefer a dressier precious metal configuration, the Sky-Dweller model would be a good fit. Shown in the photo above in white gold (Reference # 326939), it features an annual calendar function that displays the month in apertures above the roman numeral hour markers. Instead of a 24-hour bezel, it features a 24-hour sub-dial that is adjustable using the Ring Command bezel. At approximately $48,850 US, this timepiece is ideal for someone who wants a watch with a useful complication with an elegant aesthetic. The fluted bezel and materials used on the Sky-Dweller give it a sophisticated look that is only equalled by the usefulness of its complications.

Polar Rolex Explorer II (photo: Rolex/Brenda Mendoça)
With a retail price of approximately $8,076 US, the stainless steel Explorer II model is the most affordable of Rolex's models with a 24-hour hand. It doesn't come with the bells and whistles that the GMT-Master II and Sky-Dweller come with, but the Explorer II (Reference # 216570) offers a rough and tumble alternative that can truly go with you anywhere. It features a 24-hour hand and 24-hour display on the brushed steel bezel, allowing you to keep track of the time in two different timezones. While it is not as prestigious as the Sky-Dweller or the BLNR, you don't have to worry about the Explorer II when you travel as much as you would worry about the other models. It is less flashy and can weather the dings and scratches that may come from outdoor activities.

I would argue that a GMT function is one of the most useful complications for the average person. After all, we can't all be deep sea divers or race car drivers. That may be why Rolex offers so many models with a 24-hour hand. Each of the models above have their own legacy and legions of fans around the world, making any of them a wonderful choice. The choice ultimately comes down to what kind of travel you do and how much you would like to spend. Adventurers will likely choose an Explorer II while corporate executives may prefer the Sky-Dweller or GMT-Master II. For more information on these watches, visit rolex.com or check out the Rolex Models page on this site.


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