A Comprehensive Guide to Perpetual Calendar Watch

Sep 02, 2020
A Comprehensive Guide to Perpetual Calendar Watch

It’s quite novel and convenient when a watch is able to provide details about the current date. However, most watches cannot differentiate the months with 31 days from those with only 30. As a result, the wearer must adjust it at least every 2 months to get the correct date. If that bothers you, a perpetual calendar watch is absolutely what you need.

Find out what exactly a perpetual calendar watch does by reading this article. We also threw in a list of our favourite picks in case you’re in the market for a new timepiece.

 

What Exactly Is a Perpetual Calendar Watch?

Simply put, a perpetual calendar watch displays calendar information (day, month, year, etc.) without the need to be adjusted. Yes, it gives out the correct month each and every time, regardless of the number of days — be it 28, 30, or 31. Apart from that, it also takes into account the leap years. With that said, you won’t have to adjust your watch’s calendar anymore as long as you keep its movement running.

This key feature makes the perpetual calendar watch a very complicated mechanism. Some people even say that this complication is the epitome of high-end watchmaking. Apart from all the gears required, it would take a master watchmaker to assemble a working perpetual calendar watch – thus, adding appeal and making it more expensive.

 

Why Do You Need a Perpetual Calendar Watch?

Despite what others would think, a perpetual calendar watch is not just a mere display of watchmaking expertise. In fact, it has practical applications for your everyday life. Apart from being one of the most complicated functions, it’s also among the most useful since it saves you from all the hassle of adjusting your watch’s calendar from time to time.

No doubt, adjusting your watch’s calendar can be tedious, most especially if you’re handling a timepiece that doesn’t have a quick-set feature. For instance, accidentally setting the date one day in advance will give you the trouble of winding your crown one cycle all over again until it reaches the correct one. In contrast, a perpetual calendar watch eliminates all these required adjustments at least once every two months.

 

Which Perpetual Calendar Watch to Buy?

If you have decided on getting yourself a perpetual calendar watch, then congratulations! You’re now a step ahead in the world of watch collecting. With that said, here are a few models that you should check out.

IWC Portugieser Perpetual Calendar

1. IWC Portugieser Perpetual Calendar

Why Is It Good?

If you’re in the market for an impressive perpetual calendar watch, you should definitely look into IWC – in particular, the IWC Portugieser Perpetual Calendar watch. This elegant watch will surely catch anyone’s attention.

On the dial, it features four sub-dials with complications that you may find useful. Those sub-dials display the date, day, month, year in four digits and perpetual moon phase for both the northern and southern hemisphere. All of these come in an attractive blue and silver colour combination.

Moreover, it bears the 52615 Calibre, which is part of the 52000-calibre family. It has twin barrels within it and despite the high energy-consuming complications that the watch features, the movement is capable of providing a whole week’s worth of power.

There is no doubt that the IWC Portugieser Perpetual Calendar is something that shouldn’t be overlooked. Apart from its impressive calibre, its design is something that will be the envy of many.

IWC Portugieser Perpetual Calendar Specs:

  • Case material: 18k White Gold
  • Case dimensions: 44.2mm
  • Movement: Automatic
  • Power reserve: 168 hours
  • Water resistance: 30m

 

 

Frederique Constant Slimline Perpetual Calendar

2. Frederique Constant Slimline Perpetual Calendar

Why Is It Good?

The Frederique Constant Slimline Perpetual Calendar is a surprisingly affordable in-house perpetual calendar watch. Apart from the price, it also features a relatively minimalistic design compared to the other watches on this list.

Speaking of the design, its dial comes in a classic white. And to keep things simple, the hour markers are made with thin metal indexes. Moving towards the centre, you’ll find three sub-dials and a moon phase window at the bottom. The sub-dials display the day, date, and month of the year.

Deep inside is the brand’s pride and joy. It uses the FC-775 Manufacture calibre, which is made in-house. The movement comes with 26 jewels and offers up to 38 hours of power reserve. In addition, it beats at a frequency of 4 Hertz.

To conclude, the Frederique Constant Slimline Perpetual Calendar wears pretty well on the wrist and will definitely make heads turn. In addition, it is one of the least expensive ways to own an in-house perpetual calendar watch.

Frederique Constant Slimline Perpetual Calendar Specs:

  • Case material: Stainless steel
  • Case dimensions: 42mm
  • Movement: Automatic
  • Power reserve: 38 hours
  • Water resistance: 30m

 

 

Patek Philippe Nautilus Perpetual Calendar White Gold

3. Patek Philippe Nautilus Perpetual Calendar White Gold

Why Is It Good?

Our list of perpetual calendar watches will never be complete without the Patek Philippe Nautilus Perpetual Calendar White Gold. Indeed, this is one of the most iconic watch models with the added perpetual calendar complication.

When it comes to design, it looks exactly like the original Patek Philippe Nautilus. It has the same shape and the same horizontal pattern on the dial. The only difference is the perpetual calendar which can be seen via the three sub-dials. Looking closer, the sub-dials display the day, date, month, leap year and 24-hour indication. And at the bottom, Patek Philippe subtly integrated a moon phase window.

Lastly, it uses the calibre 240 Q movement. Thanks to the calibre’s slim design, this model is considered as Patek Philippe’s thinnest perpetual calendar watch. It also boasts 38 to 48 hours of power reserve.

All things considered, this is the perfect watch for people who are in love with the legendary Nautilus but prefer something more complicated. Truly, the perpetual calendar function is a welcome addition.

Patek Philippe Nautilus Perpetual Calendar White Gold Specs:

  • Case material: White Gold
  • Case dimensions: 40mm
  • Movement: Automatic
  • Power reserve: 38-48 hours
  • Water resistance: 60m

 

 

Chopard L.U.C. Perpetual Twin

4. Chopard L.U.C. Perpetual Twin

Why Is It Good?

The Chopard L.U.C. Perpetual Twin is a good example of Haute Horlogerie with its exquisite looks and fine movement. So, if you’re looking for a classy perpetual calendar watch that boasts an art deco style, this is it.

As you would expect from Chopard’s L.U.C. line, this watch has a very sophisticated exterior. The hour markers are made with silver Roman numerals that come in a thick font. Meanwhile, the sub-dials come in a unique layout. At the top, you’ll find a very large date display while the three sub-dials display the day, month, and seconds. Lastly, the alternating polished and matte finishes make for an attractive shimmering effect on the timepiece.

Inside, the watch uses the L.U.C. 96.22-L automatic calibre. It is a COSC-certified chronometer and it beats at a frequency of 28,800 bph. And thanks to the micro-rotor technique that’s coupled with two barrels, this calibre can power the watch for up to 65 hours.

Overall, the Chopard L.U.C. Perpetual Twin is perfect for you if you adore Chopard’s watchmaking excellence paired with a timeless design.

Chopard L.U.C. Perpetual Twin Specs:

  • Case material: Stainless steel
  • Case dimensions: 43mm
  • Movement: Automatic
  • Power reserve: 65 hours
  • Water resistance: 30m
Vacheron Constantin Traditionnelle Twin Beat Perpetual Calendar Watch
Photo from Vacheron Constantin

5. Vacheron Constantin Traditionnelle Twin Beat Perpetual Calendar Watch

Why Is It Good?

As one of the top watchmaking brands, Vacheron Constantin continues to amaze its patrons. A prime example is the Vacheron Constantin Traditionnelle Twin Beat Perpetual Calendar watch. The watch’s combination of classic and modern design will definitely stop any watch lover in their tracks.

One of the most remarkable features of this watch is its power reserve. In its normal state, the watch can tick for up to 4 days. This itself is above average compared with other watches in the market. But wait until you see how it fares when it’s on standby mode — a staggering 65 days. Yes, you can leave your watch for two months and still find it beating.

Apart from the movement, the watch’s design is something to write home about. It comes in a 950 Platinum case that wears comfortably. Meanwhile, the dial comes in an almost-monochromatic colour scheme. It features the power reserve indicator, an indicator of the selected mode, and the calendar. Lastly, the lower half of the dial comes in transparent glass so you can see the movement.

The Vacheron Constantin Traditionnelle Twin Beat Perpetual Calendar watch is definitely a marvel in the watchmaking industry. Indeed, one can never go wrong with this model.

Vacheron Constantin Traditionnelle Twin Beat Perpetual Calendar Watch Specs:

  • Case material: Platinum 950
  • Case dimensions: 42mm
  • Movement: Automatic
  • Power reserve: 96 hours when in normal mode and 65 days when in standby mode
  • Water resistance: 30m

 

 

Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Ultra Thin Perpetual

6. Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Ultra Thin Perpetual

Why Is It Good?

Here’s a contender from the watchmaker’s watchmaker — the Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Ultra Thin Perpetual. As its name suggests, this watch is a perfect dress watch as it features a slim case. Apart from that, it bears JLC’s classic and elegant design.

The inside of the watch is undeniably a masterpiece. It contains the calibre 868 – an automatic perpetual movement that has a total of 336 parts and 46 jewels. In spite of its complication, it remains just 4.72mm thick! To compare, JLC’s MUT Moon and the tourbillon is 9.9mm and 11.3mm, respectively.

Furthermore, the dial will please the purists. The hour markers are made with silver triangles against a white background. It also exhibits three sub-dials and a year window to display the necessary information for a perpetual calendar. Lastly, completing the design is a moon phase window is just below the 12 o’clock position.

Beyond question, the Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Ultra Thin Perpetual is something every watch enthusiast should consider. It is a fine watch that carries a lot of history behind it. In addition, its design is classic enough to attract those who are into dress watches.

Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Ultra Thin Perpetual Specs:

  • Case material: Stainless Steel
  • Case dimensions: 39mm
  • Movement: Automatic
  • Power reserve: 38 hours
  • Water resistance: 50m

 

IWC Big Pilot’s Perpetual Calendar Limited Edition Lewis Hamilton Burgundy Watch

7. IWC Big Pilot’s Perpetual Calendar Limited-Edition Lewis Hamilton Burgundy Watch

Why Is It Good?

Once again, Formula 1 and horology find themselves working in unison. This time, it comes in the form of the IWC Big Pilot’s Perpetual Calendar Limited Edition Lewis Hamilton Burgundy Watch. As its name suggests, it is a watch that’s inspired by the famous racecar driver – Lewis Hamilton. And admittedly, it is one of the most striking Big Pilot models around.

I guess one of the most obvious characteristics of the watch is its colourway. This edition comes in a combination of burgundy, black, and even gold. To get a better picture, its dial comes in a wine-like background. Meanwhile, its hour markers, hands, and other accents come in gilt. Furthermore, the case sports a matte black finish.

When it comes to performance, this model also delivers. It features a perpetual calendar that shows the necessary information — date, day, month, year in four digits. Apart from that, it also shows a perpetual moon phase for both the northern and southern hemisphere. It also showcases handy functions like small hacking seconds and a 7-day power reserve.

This limited-edition model is perfect for those who are both into horology and Formula 1 racing. With this watch, you get a unique Lewis Hamilton-inspired design and an impressive high-complication calibre.

IWC Big Pilot’s Perpetual Calendar Limited Edition Lewis Hamilton Burgundy Watch Specs:

  • Case material: Ceramic and 18k Gold
  • Case dimensions: 46.5mm
  • Movement: Automatic
  • Power reserve: 7 days
  • Water resistance: 60m

 

Final Notes

There is no denying that the perpetual calendar watch is one of horology’s most important achievements. Apart from its innate complexity, its practicality is foremost the thing that makes it distinctive. All things considered, a perpetual calendar watch is something that every watch collector should consider at least once.

 

Interested in learning more about movements? Check out our comprehensive guide on ETA movements here!

Leave A Reply
To Top