Time Changers: A Closer Look at the New Wilton Automatic GMT from Bulova
This handsome new dual-timer is the perfect watch for keeping track of our current, complicated timeline.
Both are beautiful but in very different ways. And the Wilton makes a strong argument that GMT is the tool watch for our times.
Ticket to Ride
With an aesthetic that is both futuristic and traditional, the luxurious and low-key Wilton Automatic GMT hits all the right emotional notes.
If I were to play amateur psychologist, I would say that GMTs are becoming more popular because they recall the golden age of relatively unrestricted travel (we miss you 2019, with your budget airlines and seemingly unlimited flight schedules).
The less glamorous but equally comforting reality is that a watch that tells you what time it is halfway around the world is an invaluable tool for our current situation when it comes to scheduling intercontinental zoom meetings.
Another reassuring element is that Bulova is a brand that’s been around for almost 150 years. It has weathered wars, depressions, and recessions. It also knows how to be resilient when fortune changes. As far as function goes, the Wilton Automatic GMT can shapeshift into the watch you need it to be.
If it’s the emotional appeal you’re looking for, the face of the Wilton Automatic GMT recalls the sleekness of space-age design. In particular, the groove textured world map that decorates the dial wouldn’t look out of place in the neo-futurist, Eero Saarinen-designed TWA lounge at JFK International Airport (with latitude and longitude coordinates laid on top of this map for extra detail).
GMT is an acronym for Greenwich Mean Time, the “0” point on the 24-hour international time zone scale. In the 1950s – the most glamorous time for travel because mere mortals were able to traverse across time zones – pilots needed to be able to track time between departure and destination. And that’s how the GMT or travel watch was born.
The world has changed a lot since those halcyon days. And GMTs aren’t just for physical voyages anymore.
Society has become more globalized. You may be tracking the stock market in London. Or you may be a professional streamer on Twitch broadcasting to an audience across the country. Having the ability to track a second-time zone is a very modern concern.
Another present-day preoccupation is value for money. But outside of digital watches, it is rare that quality travel watches retail for under a grand. Luckily in the last year, it seems like manufacturers have recognized the demand for GMTs and begun supplying enthusiasts with attractive and accessibly priced timepieces.
The Wilton Automatic GMT Wilton GMT is powered by a premium Miyota 9075 Calibre, 24 jewel, self-winding movement, which is accurate to -10 seconds to +30 seconds a day and has a 42-hour power reserve. Interestingly, the 9075 is a 4-hand GMT movement, which is a first for Miyota.
While it’s not quite an in-house movement, Bulova and Miyota are part of the Citizen group, so the calibre is still part of the family and keeps the costs down, which makes the quality competitive with other high-end GMTs.
The mechanism is robust, but the execution is what makes it especially appealing. The dual-time can be read at a glance as the Winton features the previously mentioned fourth GMT hand with a luminous tip outlined in red to match the printing of the acronym GMT on the dial. This hand works with the bi-colored dial ring with 24-hour markings to indicate the second time zone.
There are also other features that increase legibility, like the Roman numerals, a date window at three o’clock, and the anti-reflective and domed sapphire crystal. Plus, it has 30 meters of water resistance.
This mechanism is housed in a 43mm stainless steel case and available in two iterations – silver tone with a navy-blue dial and black embossed alligator leather strap or gold tone with white dial and brown embossed alligator leather strap.
Pricing & Availability
These luxurious touches project a lot of elegance (more so than the sportier Seiko 5), so if business travel is your thing, the Wilton GMT is the watch for you.
(Images © Bulova)