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The Good Life

Moon-Phase Calendar Watches

| By Laurie Kahle | From David Harbour, September/October 2020
Moon-Phase Calendar Watches

Some of watchmaking’s most stylish and practical examples are the calendar watches that unite not only day and date (and sometimes month), but display a moon phase disc. They can range from the resolutely retro to the classic with a contemporary twist and offer state-of-the-art movements.

Jaeger-LeCoultre’s Master Control line was introduced in 1992, but pays homage to the brand’s elegant, round automatic watches from the 1940s and ’50s. The name comes from a dynamic 1,000-hour testing process. This year’s 40-mm Master Control Calendar (above, right, $11,000 in steel; $22,500 in rose gold) channels the aesthetic spirit of its ancestors with a classical dial layout, under which beats an advanced movement with enhanced reliability and a 70-hour power reserve. The date hand makes an extended leap from the 15th to the 16th so as not to obscure the high-precision moon phase display at 6 o’clock.

Baume & Mercier’s new 42-mm Clifton Automatic Day Date Moon Phase (bottom right, $4,400 in stainless steel; $12,200 in 18K rose gold) sports a minimalist, vertical dial layout with the days at 12 o’clock and the pointer date display and moon phase combined in a sub-dial at 6 o’clock. 

Visible through the sapphire crystal case back, the beautiful Baumatic BM14 in-house movement, appointed with an open-worked bidirectional winding rotor, is endowed with a silicon hairspring and a five-day power reserve. 

When Vacheron Constantin launched its Fiftysix collection in 2018, it blended the vintage character of a 1956 model with a streamlined contemporary silhouette. This year’s, 40-mm Fiftysix Complete Calendar in 18K pink gold (left, $33,700) has paired a tobacco-colored dial with a calfskin leather strap. 

The striking sector dial design combines opaline, sunburst and snailed finishes. Day and month displays are paired in apertures at the center, and a pointer date display with Arabic numerals encircles the perimeter. The gold hour markers are coated with a glow-in-the-dark material. The 18K pink-gold, moon-phase display at 6 o’clock is so accurate it could theoretically run for 122 years without adjustment.

Time

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