Over the last few days, perhaps you might have caught sight of the brilliantly bright and beautiful full moon in the skies. While it is certainly a remarkable scene, but there is certainly another significance for the Chinese.
The Mid-Autumn Festival is an annual celebration that the Chinese partakes, on the 15th day of the eighth month in the Lunar Calendar. It is said that on this day, the moon is the brightest and largest.
As for us horologists, how else can we pay tribute to this occasion than to wear a watch with a moonphase display? Although the complication is probably one of the least used in today’s world, but we are certainly still attracted to such watches anyway. In fact, for today’s article, we have selected six of our favourite watches with the moonphase indicator. What are the pieces that we have selected? Let’s find out!
Junghans Meister Kalendar Moon
We begin the article with a German timepiece: the Junghans’ Meister Kalendar Moon.
Junghans is one of German’s largest watch manufacturer in the past, but they were unfortunately a victim of the 70s Quartz crisis. Over the years, the brand had rebuilt itself, with some pretty nice watches in their collection. The Meister Kalender Moon is one of such pieces. Featuring a simple and classic design, the 40.4mm triple calendar watch is very clean and pleasing on the eyes. It has a nice vintage touch to it too, accentuated by the domed plexiglass and the traditional layout of the dial.
The watch is powered by a base calibre ETA 2824-2 and equipped with the calendar/moonphase Dubois Depraz 9310 module. It is available in either stainless steel or gold-plating, with prices for the latter starting at a reasonable S$4,980 for the yellow gold version.
Sarpaneva Korona K0 Northern Lights
The Northern Lights. One of nature’s mystical wonders, and certainly a captivating sight to behold. But Sarpaneva had his own ideas and went a step further, by bringing this onto our wrists. Cue the Korona K0 Northern Lights.
Sarpaneva is a Finnish-based independent watchmaker, most known for producing contemporary-looking timepieces and his signature “Moon Face” that many had grew to love. However, the Korona K0 Northern Lights is a wee bit more special than his usual creations. Collaborating with Black Badger Advanced Composites, Sarpaneva had produced three different variants (green, blue, and violet) of the timepiece that glows brilliantly in the dark. The end result, as seen in the picture above, is simply spectacular.
Fitted with Soprod’s A10 movement, the automatic timepiece has been modified to accommodate the signature moonphase indicator. The 46mm stainless steel watch is priced at €14,500 (approximately S$23,235), and we think that it is an interesting and unusual timepiece to include in any collector’s collection.
Rolex Cellini Moonphase
Rolex is perhaps one of the most recognised brands in the world. But when it comes to the Cellini collection, many collectors have not heard, or let alone interacted with the watches. But here’s a well-kept secret: the Cellini collection is an underrated, but marvellous collection. And the Cellini Moonphase in one of them.
When it was released in this year’s Baselworld, the Cellini Moonphase surprised us. What we have here is a stunning dress watch, from a watchmaker who is known to produce some of the most iconic sports watches in the industry. But that’s not it. The attention to detail on this timepiece is simply immense. One particular component that is of interest is the bezel, in which it is elaborately finished in two styles: one part is domed, and the other fluted. And of course, the moonphase. This one is special – the disc is made of blue enamel, and the moon is produced from a meteorite. It is nothing short of spectacular, and we dare say that this moonphase is capable of beating those that are manufactured by some of the best watchmakers today.
The watch is powered by Rolex’s Caliber 3195, which is an automatic movement that boasts a decent power reserve of 48 hours. The 39mm timepiece, besides its moonphase indicator, is also equipped with a date display. It is priced at S$35,980, and we reckon it is an interesting alternative from the usual big names in the high-end luxury watch category.
Breguet Classique 7787
When it comes to producing nice dress watches, Breguet is one of the manufacturers that we reckon gives the “Holy Trinity” a run for their money. Featuring classy and well-made watches, it is unfortunate that the brand is sometimes overlooked by many.
For today’s article, we have selected the Classique 7787. Staying true to the collection, this elegant timepiece is rather traditional in its design and execution. Some of the highlights of this piece includes the coin-edge case, Breguet-styled hands and numerals, as well as the stunning white enamel dial. The use of the white enamel dial certainly adds a nice touch to the watch, as it accentuates the other elements – such as the blued hands and moonphase indicator – rather nicely.
In terms of the finishing, the 217-part, 25-jewel Calibre 591 DRL certainly did not disappoint. It includes a beautiful barley corn guilloché motif on the winding rotor, polished chamfers on the edges, and Côtes de Genève on the bridges. Overall, the Classique 7787 is a wonderful timepiece, and it is priced attractively at US$29,700 (approximately S$40,570) and US$30,200 (approximately S$41,260) for the rose gold and white gold variant respectively.
A. Lange & Söhne Saxonia Moonphase
When it comes to A. Lange & Söhne’s watches, collectors can definitely be assured of its finishing and quality. But nothing can really prepare us for the gorgeous Saxonia Moonphase.
Launched in last year’s SIHH, the Saxonia Moonphase is one of the watches that captured our attention in the annual watch exhibition. Cased in gold, the 40mm timepiece is beautifully designed with the right proportions and symmetry in mind. The watch’s main highlights are certainly the big date display, as well as the moonphase indicator. The latter is definitely one of the best that we have seen so far. The disc is made with solid gold, and it comes with a blue coating that gives the indicator its stunning colour. A laser is then used to cut the stars – in which there are no less than 852 of them on the disc itself. It is certainly a mesmerising work of art.
Priced at €28,500 (approximately S$45,670), the Saxonia Moonphase comes with a pretty hefty price tag. But for a collector who can afford it, we would certainly recommend this piece highly. There just aren’t many other watches out there that can match this one in terms of quality, and the way it looks.
Arnold & Son HM Perpetual Moon
We complete the article with an interesting timepiece that comes with one of the largest moonphase indicator that we have seen on a wristwatch: the Arnold & Son HM Perpetual Moon.
When we first saw the watch, we were indeed very surprised. The moonphase is pretty much unlike any watches that we have seen before – well, not many watch manufacturers had actually produced a timepiece with a moonphase display that occupies nearly a third of the entire watch dial. It was not just its sheer size that surprised us though. The attention to detail, for the moonphase, is incredible too. The disc is finished in lacquered blue guilloche, paired with hand-engraved moon made from gold and complemented with golden stars. It definitely contrasts nicely with the cream dial.
Driven by A&S1512 movement, the manual-winding HM Perpetual Moon boasts an impressive power reserve of 90 hours. The finishing is done quite nice too. The 42mm watch is available only in red gold, and it is priced at S$39,900.
Today’s selections are dress watches, but it is not too much of a surprise. The moonphase is a delicate and elegant complicated that is traditionally reserved for the classier pieces, usually with a calendar complication, though sometimes without.
Although for most of the watches, the moonphase indicator is probably seemingly inconspicuous. But we have a soft spot for manufacturers who pays attention to such small details and go all out to finish the moonphase disc spectacularly. It takes remarkable effort to pay attention to such small detail, and when it comes to high-end watch making, this is certainly an important attribute that we are constantly looking out for.
So, do you agree with our selections today? What are some of the best moonphase displays that you’ve seen? Let us know in the comments section below!