Recommendations watches with Annual Calendars, the new 2023 edition

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The Annual Calendar, invented by Patek Philippe made its World Premiere in 1997, with the now iconic Ref. 5035. Our fist listicle on Annual Calendars was back in 2015, and we updated the list in 2019. Today, we update it yet again.

Recommendations watches with Annual Calendars, the new 2023 edition

The Annual Calendar

Patek Philippe’s initial intent was to create a calendar which is less complicated to make than a Perpetual Calendar. Though simpler to construct and adjust, the debut movement, the Caliber 315 S-QA Annual Calendar movement has more parts than a comparable (Patek) perpetual calendar: 316 to the perpetual’s 275. The increase is in part due to a re-designed calendar plate that employs a series of cams and common pinions as opposed to the more lever-dependant perpetual construction. Though, it has been demonstrated by Ludwig Oeschlin and Paul Gerber that it can be constructed with as few as 9 moving parts over a Valjoux 7750 base movement, so you get a chronograph as a bonus. The original watch was introduced as the MIH (Musée International d’Horlogerie) in 2005, and a revised version rebranded as the Mechanik2 in 2020.

The parts of which make up the Patek Philippe Annual Calendar. 

The annual calendar’s display is simpler as it does not have a leap year indicator nor the ability to account for the short month of February. Hence the name Annual Calendar, as it needs to be reset once every year. This reset has to occur at the end of every February, while the Perpetual Calendar continues to show correct dates even for leap years; most requiring a one day reset once every century.  

Other than Patek, there are not many new releases of Annual Calendars in the years that have ensued after our second recommendation. So we find two Patek Philippes as a nod to their invention, and also one repeats. So with this background firmly established, let the list begin!

Patek Philippe Aquanaut Luce Annual Calendar Ref. 5261R-001

We begin at the beginning, with Patek Philippe. For Watches & Wonders 2023, they released their Aquanaut Luce Annual Calendar. This is a mid-sized watch, intended for a unisex audience. The case measures a rather petite 39.9 mm x 10.9 mm. But it is no means diminutive. The watch is still going to look perfectly proportionate on the average male wrist as much as on an elegant lady’s. 

The Aquanaut Luce Annual Calendar presents an excellent proposition as a charming companion on the wrist. Both its colour scheme and calendar display are fairly atypical coming from Patek Philippe and therefore refreshing. And clocking in at SGD 81,900, it can be argued to be fairly priced. Coupled with the fact that this is the first Aquanaut model with annual calendar functionality, you have an all-round interesting debutant from one of Geneva’s most prestigious watchmakers.

Patek Philippe Annual Calendar Travel Time Ref. 5326G

Our second nomination from Patek Philippe is not only equipped with the Annual Calendar but also with the two timezone travel time complication. The Ref. 5326G is the brand’s first annual calendar travel time wristwatch, uniting two highly practical complications under one dial.

The Ref. 5326 contains the codes for a new design language for Patek. The case sides are now decorated with the Clous de Paris pattern usually found on their bezels. And the use of the highly textured dial. The dial has a unique grainy surface texture of old-timer cameras which was intended to improve grip. For added dramatic effect, the charcoal grey dial gradates from darker on the periphery to lighter in the centre. In a case easuring 41 mm in diameter and 11.07 mm in height, it is neither too large nor petite. The Ref. 5325G retails at SGD 104,700.

Laurent Ferrier École Annual Calendar Navy

The Laurent Ferrier Galet École Annual Calendar was first introduced in Baselworld 2018, as a steel watch in a new (to LF) case. The 2018 release comprise of 2 case variations in either pale yellow gold or white gold, as well as in stainless steel. The series was limited to 50 movements in total. Our pick is a later model, released in 2021, with a beautiful navy blue dial, limited edition of only 10 pieces in a steel case, coupled with a brilliant orange strap.

Laurent Ferrier won the Men’s Complication prize at the 2018 GPHG. Priced at CHF 50k, it seems to be a rather reasonable ransom for a complicated watch in a small series from an independent maker.

Omega Constellation Globemaster Annual Calendar 

Part of Omega’s popular Constellation collection, the Globemaster Annual Calendar looks classic, but with overtones which speak of its sporty nature. The case is mostly brushed, and even the fluted bezel has a matte finish, offering an understated look, with a subtle show of force in its beautifully polished black dial. The dial design is a considered effort to keep the centre dial mostly clear. 

The month indicators are kept to the periphery, between the hour markers, and selected via a pointer. This is a simple solution to avoid the use of a subdial. The layout means that the Globemaster Annual Calendar has one of the neatest dial designs in the category without the need for many display windows or sub-dials. It has a relatively slim case profile which adds a plus to comfort and wearability with its 41 mm case size. And the retail price of SGD 13,300 has a lot going for it.

A. Lange & Söhne 1815 Annual Calendar

Though first released in 2017, the Ref. 238 is still listed in the Lange catalog in both pink gold and white gold, both retailing at SGD 76,000. We also featured this watch in our 2019 list. This is only the second Lange watch with an annual calendar, the first being the Saxonia Annual Calendar which debuted in 2010. The Saxonia AC was automatic winding with a micro-rotor, and the 1815 AC handwound.

The case measures 40 mm in diameter and 10.1 mm in thickness is a nice size for a dressy yet complicated watch. And the dial layout is very classical in its design. The 1815 dial style suits the annual calendar very well, and though there are quite a few data elements to display, the dial remains clean and legible. Flip the watch over, and one is confronted, yes confronted, by the beauty of the calibre L051.3. Movement layout and finishing is exemplary.

Panerai Radiomir Annual Calendar

And perhaps late to the game, but better than never is Panerai. For 2023, they released an Annual Calendar version to their Radiomir collection. It sports a new automatic movement: the Panerai P.9010/AC calibre. Available in either Goldtech with a blue sun-brushed dial (SGD 57,100) or in Platinum Experience Edition in a green or red sun-brushed dial (SGD 128,400). The Experience Editions are limited to 24 pieces each, and includes a journey to historical sites participating in events to experience culture and art.

The dial layout is quite clean, with the months indications on the outside of the hour indices, and the month and date indication via two apertures on the dial. Otherwise, the dial looks like a standard Radiomir dial with a coloured fumé finish – darker in the peripheral than the center. The large 45mm case size helps.

Concluding thoughts

Thus we conclude another roundup of annual calendars. What do you think? What would you have picked?



  1. Great article Peter.

    My favourite here is the Lange 1815 Annual Calendar. It is such a beautiful timepiece, and also among the most beautiful Lange in current catalogue.

    I know Patek is King of this complication, but both the ones here do not speak to me. Maybe when I see them in the flesh I will change my mind.

  2. I chose the Blancpain Villeret QA GMT with its easy to read three window date configuration. Got it second hand at quite a discount.

    For a more “affordable” QA I would look at the Omega DeVille Hour Vision Annual Calendar on bracelet, for about $5500 on C24.

  3. J. Quincy Magoo on

    Interesting that you list annual calendars costing upper echelon prices while not having at least one with a more affordable and value oriented price point. AND they’re out there. More affordable, and still with quality in their presentation. And yet, you leave any of them off this list. I can just hear you now, saying there are many annual calendars and this is only a partial list and whatever other rationalization you can come up with, but the fact remains that not one of them is included here. I can think of a couple of them off the top of my head right now, but I don’t want to advertise for them as you are doing for the expensively priced ones here. I just wish you had included them in a more equitable and diverse listing. These more value oriented annual calendars deserve better. I’m not speaking about some inexpensive, cheaply made thing. I’m talking about something (well, here I go listing one to make the point), like Longines annual calendar. You come across more as some sort of exclusive listing agent, rather than a reporter of what encompasses the category. While those you list are wonderful examples, they convey a misguided and skewed attempt at conveying the actual range for these complications. Again, a list like this deserved a more accurate and complete representation. Not well thought out at all!

    • Everybody says don’t feed the troll. Yet here I am.

      Anyway, did you even read the article? MIH was mentioned. And the Longines was covered in the earlier recommendation.

      We are also not reporters or journalists. We are collectors sharing our passion and knowledge in watches.

      And, of course, this is primarily a high end site, though we do cover modestly priced watches as well.

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