The moon phase is a complication and accounts for the phases of the moon in relation to its orbit around the earth. For those who harbour a love for outer space and the universe, the moon phase provides both an aesthetic and astronomical detail to the dial. But beyond its visual and technical appeal, there’s also the emotional draw of watching an extraterrestrial body complete its waxing and waning every 29.5 days. Indubitably, the moon phase complication is a source of immense pleasure for me.
For the rest of human culture, the moon holds a mystical place, so it’s little wonder that many myths for national festivals to werewolves and epileptic seizures have built up regardless of the science. Even if, “It must be a full moon,” is a phrase commonly heard by emergency room personnel, studies have never found a statistical connection between the moon and its rumoured effects on human psychology. Yet, there’s a definite connection of enhancing your pleasure when you wear any of these six watches when you’re over the moon happy.
HM Perpetual Moon
The aperture for the moon phase on the HM Perpetual Moon is much larger than most. It occupies about 1/3 of the dial and is in the shape of a half moon. The moon phase disc is 29mm in diameter and is a stunning shade of blue featuring lacquered guilloché. To to contrast the blue, the hand engraved moon is made from gold and the disc also features golden stars. By enlarging the size of the aperture, Arnold and Son has made the moon phase take centre stage and made it thoroughly and enticingly dramatic.
Rolex Cellini Moonphase
The new Rolex Cellini Moonphase was surely the most unexpected release from Baselworld 2017. The moon phase complication had been AWOL from the dials of Rolex timepieces for decades but makes its triumphant return this year in a brand new Cellini model. The real beauty of the Cellini Moonphase lies in its dial, which is unique in the modern Rolex collection. The white lacquered dial appears absolutely pristine and serves as a backdrop that heightens the visual impact of the other elements on the dial. One such element is the charming moonphase display. Housed within an aperture at 6 o’clock, the blue enamelled (yes, enamel) moonphase disc becomes the centre of attention on the dial. Instead of a moonphase disc set within a bosom-shaped frame (the most common style of moonphase display), the Rolex simply uses an unframed disc with an indicator at the top of the aperture. Ooh la la, giving the HM Perpetual Moon a run for its money.
The dial for the Lunar One is nothing short of stunning. Keeping up with the recent demand for blue-dialled watches, the new Lunar One comes with a chic royal blue dial that is finished with an aesthetically-pleasing sunburst pattern radiating from the ‘L.U.Chopard’ marquee at 12 o’clock. While many manufacturers struggle to display perpetual calendar indications in a tidy manner, we feel that Chopard has done well with the Lunar One. The indications are displayed by means of a ‘big date’ at 12 o’clock and 3 sunken sub-dials at 3, 6 and 9 o’clock.
Perhaps the most eye-catching element of the dial is the orbital moon phase display that dwells within the seconds sub-dial at 6 o’clock. The moon phase display of the Lunar One – adorned with a deep blue sky and stars of the Northern Hemisphere – is highly precise with 122-year fidelity.
1815 Annual Calendar
Being from the 1815 family of watches, the dial of the 1815 Annual Calendar is designed with Lange’s rich tradition in mind. The inky black Arabic numerals and railroad-style minute scale are a nod to the dial design of historical Lange pocket watches. The hour and minute hands are heated the old-fashioned way to a ‘cornflower blue’. The blueing of the steel hands improve not only corrosion resistance, but also legibility against the solid silver dial. More importantly, as the only blue elements complementing the visual impact of the blue of the moon phase disc, the 1815 Annual Calendar plays up the stratospheric detail with peerless elegance.
Reverso Tribute Calendar
The Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Tribute Calendar displays a traditional function, a complete calendar with the day of the week and the month located in two separate windows at the top of the dial. At the 6’o clock position is the date indicated by a red tipped half moon shaped hand. The moonphase is set in the middle of the date circle. The background of the moonphase is a light blue with the stars and a hammered moon in bright yellow. This contrasts nicely against the silver-toned grained opaline dial, with hand applied gilt hour-markers and gilt hour and minute hands.
Senator Excellence Panorama Date Moon Phase
The Senator Excellence Panorama Date Moon Phase combines the date display with a further characteristic element from Glashütte Original: the moon phase complication. The moonphase display is carefully executed in the firm’s own dial manufacture in Pforzheim, Germany. The round shaped surface of the moon display is achieved through a diamond milling process.
With this delectable selection of six moon phase watches, let us know if you feel as strongly with this most ephemeral of complications as we do. Let us know in the comments section below!