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Throwback Sundays: Six Recommendations for a Perpetual Calendar Watch, from Our Archives (Part 2)

by Robin Lim on February 21, 2016
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Some time back, we featured six perpetual calendar watches from our archives. Now, with February 29 looming, we thought that it would be fitting for us to feature yet another six wonderful perpetual calendar watches that we have in our repertoire.

So, what is the significance of February 29, and how does it link to the perpetual calendar? Well, the perpetual calendar features a mechanism that is programmed to take care of February, knowing to advance from 28 Feb to 1 Mar on non-leap years, and to go on to 29 then to 1 March on leap years. With 2016 being a leap year, it is probably time for them to stand forward and live up to its reputation.

So, without any further delay, let us kick start our selections!

 

H. Moser & Cie. Perpetual Calendar Heritage Limited Edition

 

The H. Moser & Cie Perpetual Calendar Heritage Limited Edition.

The H. Moser & Cie Perpetual Calendar Heritage Limited Edition, with a hunter-style casing.

 

We start off with H. Moser & Cie.’s Perpetual Calendar Heritage Limited Edition. For regular followers of our website, one would have realized that we have waxed lyrical on this watch rather frequently these days.

There are several reasons why we love this particular timepiece. First off, the enamel dial is simply stunning to behold. Then, we love how they have incorporated the classic fonts onto the watch face. Also, it remains very simple and legible, which is one of the main factors that made us fall in love with this perpetual calendar in the first place. And to top it off, the finishing on both the case and movement is done rather nicely, especially on the former where many different finishing techniques were used to replicate the pocket watches that H. Moser & Cie. had produced in the past.

In our previous addition, we have included the Perpetual 1 in our selection, as we are amazed by how the watchmaker had transformed a perpetual calendar watch into something that is so minimalist and legible. The Heritage Limited Edition, however, is fitted with a more elaborated and decadent hunter-style case. But the same principles behind the Perpetual 1 remains, and we reckon this is the best bet for someone who wishes to own a Perpetual 1/ Endeavor Perpetual Calendar with something a little different.

 

Jaeger LeCoultre Gyrotourbillon 1

 

The JLC Gyrotourbillon 1, in pink gold.

The stunning JLC Gyrotourbillon 1, in pink gold.

 

The Gyrotourbillon is one of the most fascinating series in Jaeger LeCoultre’s repertoire, with the dual-axis tourbillon as the main highlight of the timepiece. There are now 4 different Gyrotourbillon models, and as its nomenclature suggests, the Gyrotourbillon 1 is the first of this wonderful series of timepieces.

At one glance, you can tell that the Gyrotourbillon 1 is a complicated timepiece. Besides the double-axis tourbillon, the watch is fitted with a perpetual calendar, a retrograde date display, Equation of Time, as well as a power reserve indicator. Despite the plethora of complications, the watch is still rather legible, as the different elements are separated and occupies a different spot on the watch face.

The Gyrotourbillon comes with a couple of options for case material, in which we prefer the pink gold version. We feel that it gives the watch some warmth, as well as a certain level of classiness. It certainly brings out the character of the watch, and together with its wonderful finishing, it makes the Gyrotourbillon 1 a rather desirable timepiece indeed.

 

MB&F Legacy Machine Perpetual

 

The gorgeous MB&F Legacy Machine Perpetual. A first for MB&F.

The gorgeous MB&F Legacy Machine Perpetual. A first for MB&F.

 

There are two lines of watches in MB&F’s collection, in which we will be focusing on the latest addition to the Legacy Machine (LM) family: the LM Perpetual.

Prior to this, there were already three models in the LM collection. They were all time-only watches, although it varies in terms of the number of dials, as well as the amount of “open-concept” balance wheel that can be seen from the giant dome crystal on the watch face. However, MB&F had decided to up the ante, and produce something that is much more complicated. This is how we ended up with the LM Perpetual, in which it features a new perpetual calendar system that omits the grand levier. This allows the calendar to be adjusted quicker, and it also enables the designer to suspend the signature balance above the dial side. Please refer to our review article to find out more about MB&F’s new perpetual calendar system.

The LM Perpetual is a totally different timepiece from its siblings in the collection- it appears to be an antithesis to the classy and simple watches that the series is synonymous with. But that does not reduce the appeal of the watch, and we think that MB&F had outdone themselves again with this timepiece.

 

Bovet Fleurier Tourbillon Virtuoso III Perpetual Calendar

 

The Bovet Fleurier Tourbillon Virtuoso III Perpetual Calendar.

The Bovet Fleurier Tourbillon Virtuoso III Perpetual Calendar.

 

We then move on to a watchmaker that is overlooked by many collectors. Bovet is an established watchmaker that is founded nearly two centuries ago, and they are famous for some of the pocket watches that they have manufactured for the Qing Dynasty in the 19th Century.

The Virtuoso III Perpetual Calendar is one of the many interesting timepieces that they have produced, in which it features an intriguing and unique feature: the Amadeo® case. The case allows the user to transform the timepiece from a wristwatch to a pocket watch/ table clock, or vice-versa, without the use of any tools. Besides that, the watch seems formidable on paper as well: it features a retrograde date display, perpetual calendar, 1 minute tourbillon, as well as a staggering power reserve of around 5 days. Another noteworthy item to point out would be the finishing of the watch: the hand-decorated components are a great joy to behold.

No doubt Bovet is often overshadowed by the bigger boys out there, but we reckon it is a timepiece that is worth a double take on especially if you are looking for a perpetual calendar that is different from the usual crowd.

 

Vacheron Constantin Traditionnelle “L’empreinte Du Dragon”

 

The immaculate and intricate Vacheron Constantin Traditionnelle “L’empreinte Du Dragon”.

The immaculate and intricate Vacheron Constantin Traditionnelle “L’empreinte Du Dragon”.

 

We continue with yet another incredible timepiece: the Vacheron Constantin Traditionnelle “L’empreinte Du Dragon”. Similar to the JLC and Bovet, this Vacheron Constantin timepiece is another highly complicated watch that features a tourbillon, perpetual calendar, equation of time, sunrise, sunset and 14 day power reserve indicator.

The Traditionnelle “L’empreinte Du Dragon” is technically a timepiece from the brand’s “Métiers d’Art” series, in which it focuses on the craftsmanship and artistic talents of the watchmaker’s craftsmen. This can be observed from the case of this particular watch, as it features engravings that resemble the scales of a dragon. Notably, the case engraving takes almost 70 hours of dedicated workmanship. The scales are each cut to a depth of 4/10ths of a millimeter and are completely hand engraved. The patterns require great skill and artisanship from the craftsman since he carves directly on a virginal case, without any laser tracing or alignment markings.

Alas, this was a piece unique that was created for the Chinese market. It was released in 2014’s edition of Watches and Wonders, and it was sold on the first day that it was launched. Well, it is not a surprise, considering that Dragons are widely regarded in the Chinese culture. But damn, this certainly shows us the prowess of Vacheron Constantin, in terms of both their artisanship and their technical know-hows.

 

Patek Philippe 5016 Minute Repeater

 

The Patek Philippe 5016 Minute Repeater.

The Patek Philippe 5016 Minute Repeater.

 

We round up our article with the incredible Patek Philippe 5016 Minute Repeater.

The 5016 is a discreet timepiece, with not much fanfare or attention-seeking features. Take the tourbillon as an example. Despite fitting the tourbillon onto the 5016, Patek had chose to hide it beneath the dial, instead of having a cut-out and showcasing it to the rest of the world. The same goes for the other features, in which it is not too distinctive or conspicuous. However, do not let that deceive you. The 5016 features a chock-full of complication, which includes the tourbillon, minute repeater, retrograde perpetual calendar, as well as a moonphase indicator. It is a technical tour de force, and one that difficult to match up to. There are very few watchmakers out there that can compete with Patek Philippe, and the 5016 Minute Repeater is probably one of the finest pieces that the company had ever produced. In terms of both complications and finishing, the 5016 is probably unparalleled on many levels.

 

Afterthoughts

We have completed yet another installment of Throwback Sundays, and one that covers the topic of Perpetual Calendars once again.

Most of the watches that we have covered today are not just fitted with the perpetual calendar function, as a number of them feature multiple complications like the tourbillon and the retrograde display. Finishing, which is often a barometer of both the value and quality of watches, are naturally prioritized when it comes to such high-end pieces as well. In fact, we would like to think that most of the watches that we have highlighted today are perhaps close to being the crème de la crème of the horological world itself.

So, what are some of your favorite perpetual calendar watches in your collection? Please share with us, and we hope that you have enjoyed our articles. Have a great week ahead, and till the next article, ciao!

 

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