How to setup and use the GMT Apple Watch face

Apple Watch GMT Watch face

Apple released a new set of Watch faces with the release of Apple Watch Series 6. These include the GMT, Countup, Chronograph Pro, Typography, Artist, Memoji, and Stripe faces. Not all of these faces are available on all the Apple Watch models.

The GTM watch face shows two dials: a 12-hour inner dial that displays your current local time and a 24-hour outer dial that shows a different, user-defined time zone. 

And that’s why the GTM watch face is a popular option for folks with family (or close friends) living in different time zones! With this watch face, it’s easy to know what time it is for loved ones that are elsewhere.

Related reading:

Does your Apple Watch model support your favorite watch face?

According to Apple, the Stripes, Typograph, Memoji, GMT, Chronograph Pro, and Count Up watch faces are limited to the Series 4, Series 5, and Series 6 Apple Watch models, along with the ‌Apple Watch SE‌.

In this short article, we try and explain the ideas around the new GMT Watch Face and how you can customize and use it on your Apple Watch.

New GMT Apple Watch face  

The new GMT face shows multiple time zones at once while also taking into account your physical location.

The outer dial is set to display 24-hour time, and the inner dial shows you the 12-hour local time.

You can use this Apple Watch face to not only track your own local time but also check the time in other cities or locations.

The GMT Apple Watch face only available only on Apple Watch SE and Apple Watch Series 4 and later.

How do you change the time on the GMT Watch face?

This issue has puzzled many Apple Watch users who are trying out the new GMT Watch face.

When you tap on the Watch face, it is set to your current location. However, you can easily change the location and set time zone. To do so,

Tap on the watch face and then use the crown to select the time zone.

Essentially, you have to use the crown to select the time zone, then tap the checkmark.

If you want to include a location in the GMT watch face’s list of locations that aren’t already on the list, be sure to add it to the World Clock section of your iPhone’s Clock app. 

What is the purpose of the Red pointer on the GMT Watch face?

This red pointer on the GMT watch face has also been a confusing element for the uninitiated.

This has been put in place to show the time relevant for the outer 24-hour dial for the secondary location that you have chosen.

It tells you the time based on a 24-hour clock. If you examine the red outer band, you will see the time.Purpose of the Red hand on GMT Watch Face

So in this example, the red hand on the watch face points to 10 AM at the location.

If you change your secondary city’s location by using your digital crown, you will find the red pointer move to a new position indicating the time in that location. 

What are the complications that you can add to the GMT Watch face?

As per Apple, there is a long list of complications that can use used along with the GMT Watch face.

Some of these complications depend upon the Apple Watch model that you are using. For example, ECG complications will not be available in all regions.

Elevation data is only available on the new Apple Watch Series 6 and SE models.

Available complications: Activity • Alarm • Air Quality • Audiobooks • Battery • Blood Oxygen (Apple Watch Series 6 only, not available in all regions) • Breathe • Calculator • Calendar • Camera Remote • Cellular (cellular models only) • Compass • Cycle Tracking • Date • ECG (not available in all regions or on Apple Watch Series 3 or Apple Watch SE) • Elevation (Apple Watch SE and Apple Watch Series 6 only) • Favorite Contacts • Find People • Heart Rate • Home • Mail • Maps • Messages • Moon Phase • Music • News • Noise • Phone • Podcasts • Radio • Rain • Reminders • Remote • Shortcuts • Sleep • Stocks • Sunrise/Sunset • Timer • UV Index • Voice Memos • Walkie-Talkie (not available in all regions) • Weather • Weather Conditions • Wind • Workout • World Clock.

We hope that this post on the new GMT Watch face was somewhat useful in introducing the concept.

What are your favorite Apple Watch faces, and which complications do you regularly use on your watch face?

I am a technologist with years of experience with Apple and wearOS products and have a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science. In my day job, I advise fortune 500 companies with their digital transformation strategies and also consult with numerous digital health startups in an advisory capacity. I'm VERY interested in exploring the digital health&fitness-tech evolution and keep a close eye on patents, FDA approvals, strategic partnerships and developments happening in the wearables and digital health sector. When I'm not writing or presenting, I run with my Apple Watch or Fossil Gen 5 LTE and keep a close eye on my HRV and other recovery metrics.


  1. When I set the outer dial time zone to current location, the time is correct, but day/night is not correct. When I set it to the correct time zone it works. Any ideas? Map, weather are correct and know current location.

  2. When I set the GMT to ‘current location’ the red and blue of the 24 hour ring change to match the sunrise and sunset. Since it’s winter right now the red (daylight) part of the dial is much smaller than the blue (nighttime) band. I can easily see that there are about 15 hours of night and 9 hours of day.

  3. Funny… I don’t use the red color for daytime, but I use yellow (sun-color) and what happens… yellow shows the nighttime. :doh: It seems impossible to change this to the other half of the dial.


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