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Difference Between GMT Master and Submariner

What is the difference between GMT Master and Submariner? Continue reading to learn more about the distinctions between the two.

Rolex watches are some of the market’s most popular and recognizable watches. There are many different Rolex models, but two of the best-known are the GMT Master and the Submariner. These watches are incredibly versatile and can be used for various purposes.

When it became easier and more common to travel between continents, Rolex made the GMT Master for pilots who fly through more than one time zone. Rolex made the Submariner a year before sea exploration, and diving became famous worldwide.

In the early 1950s, the first versions of the GMT Master and Submariner came out. Since then, both models have become symbols of the Rolex brand and the company’s mainstays. They can be used as both practical tool watches and everyday fashion watches. But in the 1980s, Rolex changed the GMT Master in a big way, and the GMT Master II was born. Here, you can see the difference between GMT Master and Submariner.

Difference between GMT Master and Submariner

Difference between GMT Master and Submariner

The following is a list of the most significant distinctions between the Rolex GMT Master and the Submariner:

GMT MasterSubmariner
Bezel DesignA 24-hour scale on the bezelA 60-minute scale on the bezel
HandsA fourth GMT hand to show the second time zoneHas the classic three hands
The MovementHas a Caliber 3186 movementHas a Caliber 3135 movement
Depth RatingCan be worn up to 100 meters deepCan be worn up to 300 meters deep
BraceletHas the standard Oyster bracelet from RolexHas the Glidelock extension system from Rolex

Similarities between GMT Master and Submariner

GMT Master and Submariner share a lot of similarities. Rolex designed both watches, known for their high quality and precision. They are also versatile watches that can be worn in various situations. 

Here are the Key similarities between GMT Master and Submariner:

  • Both watches are high-end watches. 
  • Both watches are housed in a so-called “super case” with a ceramic or Cerachrom bezel insert that is 40mm in diameter. 
  • Both watches have an Oyster bracelet that you can use to fasten them to your wrist. 
  • Both watches have COSC-certified chronometer movements.

Overall, the GMT Master and the Submariner share many similarities that make them perfect choices for those looking for a high-quality watch that can be used in various situations.

Read: Does Rolex Submariner Glow in the Dark?

Submariner vs GMT Master

Now, let’s compare the Submariner and the GMT Master side by side. 


In the past, these two watch models have been very different. But as the GMT Master has changed and the Submariner has been brought up to date, they’ve become more and more alike. For instance, the Submariner Reference 116610 and the GMT Master II Reference 116710, two of the newest models, have more features in common than ever before.


Difference between GMT Master and Submariner

Both models have a super case that is 40mm. The lugs and crown guards on this super case are more prominent. Both models also have a winding crown with three locks. This feature has been standard on Submariner models for years, but it is new to the GMT Master. Plus, both models are 904L Oystersteel and have 48-hour power reserves.

Even though the Submariner and GMT Master are similar in some ways, there are still a few key differences between the two. Each watch has a unique bezel design. The dive watch bezel on the Submariner has a 60-minute scale that can be used as a dive timer. On the other hand, the GMT Master has a 24-hour scale that can be used with the GMT hand. 

The watch hands are the next big difference. The Submariner is a standard watch with three indicators showing time, minutes, and seconds. The GMT Master has a 24-hour hand instead of a third one to show the different time zones.

Both models have Rolex’s famous Oyster bracelet, but only the Submariner has the Glidelock extension system. This is helpful for divers who need to put the watch on over their wetsuits.


The way the two models move is an essential difference between them. The well-known Caliber 3135 movement is inside the Submariner. Since 1988, 3135 has been a crucial part of the brand. It is a standard automatic movement with three hands. 

On the other hand, the brand’s Caliber 3186 is inside the GMT Master II. 


The last two essential differences between the GMT Master and the Submariner are less noticeable. Modern versions of the Submariner can go as deep as 300 meters, while the GMT Master can only go as deep as 100 meters. 


The GMT Master is a sport watch weighing 160 grams, while the Submariner weighs 153 grams.

Submariner vs GMT Master: Price 

A Submariner costs anywhere from $8,950 to $37,950. The most common Rolex Submariner models are the 124060 and 126610LN, which sell for $8,950 and $10,100, respectively. While GMT Master costs anywhere from $14,000 to $18,000.

Submariner vs GMT Master: Resale value  

These two timepieces are some of the most iconic and highly respected on the market, reflecting their resale values. Both watches are highly sought after by collectors, but which one commands a higher resale value?

Most of the time, a GMT watch will sell for more than a similar Submariner model. Why? Since demand for both should be about the same, the best guess is that a GMT movement is more complicated and more expensive to make. 

Remember, you’ll have to pay a lot, no matter which one you choose, but you’ll get one of the best watches on the market.

Which one should you go for, GMT Master or Submariner?

Difference between GMT Master and Submariner

There is no single answer to this question as it depends on your individual needs and preferences. However, if you’re looking for a timepiece that can handle both professional and recreational use, the GMT Master or Submariner are excellent options.

Consider the following while deciding between these two legendary models 

Does one seem appealing? The Hulk Submariner, Batman GMT Master, or another model. If so, trust your instincts.

Do you like GMT? Impressive diving skills? Choose a watch that suits you.

If these two variables don’t help to choose between GMT Master and Submariner, you may go for a cheaper choice. Here are some models of Seiko Rolex that look alike, and if you want something cheaper you can check dive watches under $200.

Sarah Salimah

Sarah has been interested in watches for as long as she can remember. She loves watches and writing about them and enjoys experiencing the feeling of high-end models. She was born in Ohio, went to school for art history, and has a genuine enthusiasm for reading literature, walking, and sometimes playing padel.

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