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Can someone please explain to me the purpose of a 24 hour rotating bezel on a watch with a 12 hour dial and movement? It makes perfect sense if the watch had a separate 24 hour GMT hand like the Bulova/Accutron Astronaut, but without that, and on a 12 movement, it seems kinda useless. What am I missing?
 

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Um, maybe I'm missing something, but wouldn't it simply be so you could read off time based off either indexees? Also, with the 24-hour time on the bezel, you could rotate it to help represent Zulu time.
 

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Um, maybe I'm missing something, but wouldn't it simply be so you could read off time based off either indexees? Also, with the 24-hour time on the bezel, you could rotate it to help represent Zulu time.
But then three hours of elapsed time on the dial would represent six hours on the bezel.
 

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But then three hours of elapsed time on the dial would represent six hours on the bezel.
Yeah you're right. It was hard to visualize without having it in front of me. It's definitely a brain teaser if there is a good reason for it.

As noted by mrnvgtr, you can represent a 2nd time zone on the bezel without the added cost of a GMT movement.
I think DiverDoc's point above would make this false as well. The dial and movement would have to be 24-hr for this to work.
 

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I think the idea is to rotate the bezal to compensate for the offset to your local time. If GMT is -3 to your location, you put the bezel pip at the 9 o'clock position. Then when you what to know what GMT is you look at the hand positions in relation to the bezel markings and, voila, you have GMT.
 

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As has been said, it's a poor mans GMT. Rather than use the bezel for elapsed time, as on a diver, you adjust it so that the time indicated by the bezel matches your second timezone. So if I live in New York (GMT -5) and have the watch set on home time, you could rotate the bezel by 5 hours so when my hour hand points at 12 on the dial, it's pointing at 5 on the bezel.
 

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Can someone please explain to me the purpose of a 24 hour rotating bezel on a watch with a 12 hour dial and movement? It makes perfect sense if the watch had a separate 24 hour GMT hand like the Bulova/Accutron Astronaut, but without that, and on a 12 movement, it seems kinda useless. What am I missing?
You're not missing anything. It IS useless, without a 24 hour hand. A 12 hour bezel can make a good poor man's GMT with a 12 hour movement, but to make 24-hour bezel work, you need a hand which rotates once every 24 hours.
 

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You're not missing anything. It IS useless, without a 24 hour hand. A 12 hour bezel can make a good poor man's GMT with a 12 hour movement, but to make 24-hour bezel work, you need a hand which rotates once every 24 hours.
So do GMT hands normally rotate in this manner? I'm new to the GMT concept. What I mean to say is I understand the concept, but have no experience of the actual mechanics of using one.
 

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Yeah, a 24 hour bezel on a 12 hour moment is absolutely useless. Here's a watch with a GMT hand:

d98bbfd9f1b9ec6142f23a3325478887.jpg

The GMT hand (the thin, red-tipped one) takes 24 hours to go around the dial, and there are corresponding 24-hour indices on the dial. The arrow-tipped hour hand rotates once every twelve hours like almost every other watch. The bezel is also marked in 24 hourly increments, and can be rotated to indicate a second or third timezone. I have my GMT hand set as a 24 hour local time indicator (so it's 9:12 am in the photo, if it were 9:12 pm the GMT hand would be just past the "21" on the dial), and the bezel is set so the GMT hand indicates...well...GMT.

A 12 hour bezel can indeed be the "poor man's GMT," but obviously not indicating if it's am or pm. Here it's 7:18 (can't tell if it's morning or evening), and the GMT offset is 4 hours (Daylight Savings Time in the Eastern US, normally GMT-5). One still needs to do a bit of mental math and add 12 hours if it's after noon (7:18 am EDT is 1118 GMT, 7:18 pm is 2318 GMT), but it helps keep track.

0a6fec775ef4487ed293b4798eb1c0d4.jpg

A 24 hour bezel on a 12 hour watch? Pointless tacticool poppycock..
 

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I used to have an Airman with a 24hr dial but 12hr movement (albeit with the GMT). It was impossible to read the time.
 
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