How to setup and use the GMT Apple Watch face

Apple Watch GMT Watch face

One of the most popular Apple Watch faces is the GMT (Greenwich Mean Time) which displays both a 24-hour and a 12-hour timescale.

The GMT watch face has two dials: a 12-hour inner dial that displays the local time and a 24-hour outer dial that lets you track a second-time zone anywhere in the world. 

And that’s why the GTM watch face is a favorite 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 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+ Apple Watch models and the ‌Apple Watch SE‌.

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

The GMT Apple Watch face  

The GMT face shows multiple time zones at once while also considering your physical location.

The outer dial displays 24-hour time, and the inner dial shows you the 12-hour local time.

You can use this Apple Watch face to track your local time and check the time in other cities or locations.

The GMT Apple Watch face is 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 trying out the 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 the 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? GMT watch face Apple Watch

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.

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 using your digital crown, you will find the red pointer moves 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 Apple Watch Series 6+ and SE models.

Customizable features: Color

Available complications: Activity • Alarms • Astronomy (Moon) • Audiobooks • Blood Oxygen • Calculator • Calendar (Today’s Date, Your Schedule) • Camera Remote • Compass (Compass, Elevation) • Contacts • Controls (Battery, Cellular) • Cycle Tracking • ECG • Find Devices • Find Items • Find People • Heart Rate • Home • Mail • Maps (Maps, Nearby Transit) • Messages • Mindfulness • Music • News • Noise (Sound Levels) • Phone • Podcasts • Reminders • Remote • Shortcuts • Sleep • Stocks • Stopwatch • Timer • Tips • Voice Memos • Walkie-Talkie • Weather • Workout • World Clock (Sunrise/Sunset)

We hope this post on Apple’s GMT Watch face helped introduce the concept.

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


    • With the GMT watch face, there are two time zone dials—an inner and an outer. The inner dial will always show the local time based on your current location. The outer dial is set up in the 24 hour clock and shows you the time in hours only (not hours and minutes.)

      To set your outer dial with Pacific time, tap the GMT watch face and turn the Digital Crown and choose Pacific time zone. Confirm it and go back to the GMT watch face. Look at the outer ring and at where the red hand is positioned to show you the current hour in Pacific time zone. Remember that the outer ring is always a 24 hour clock.

  1. 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.

  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. 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.


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