Regular readers of my “Fratello Friday” posts know that I’m a sucker for Omega’s Speedmaster Professional, a.k.a the “Moonwatch.” Today’s post, however, concerns a different type of “moonwatch,” namely the type with a moon-phase indicator.
Yes, the moon-phase is a complication that I find totally useless, from a practical standpoint. However, from an aesthetic standpoint, it is also one of the nicest complications a wristwatch can have, in my humble opinion. I might even prefer it to an openworked dial with a view of a tourbillon cage, though I realize I might be alone in this.
A moon-phase complication simply brings a watch’s dial to life. The (usually) blue or black disks, with an elegant gold moon on them, are just awesome to glance at every now and then, especially when the sunlight catches them as you’re driving your car or sitting in your living room.
There are a lot of watches with moon-phase indicators out there, ranging from fairly cheap to only affordable by a privileged few. As complications go, it is accessible to a wider range of watch enthusiasts than some others. For this list, price, materials, and availability were not factors. I just picked what I liked best.
1. Arnold & Son – HM Perpetual Moon
One of the brands that surprised me the most this year was Arnold & Son, with its beautiful collection of classical-looking watches that would suit a gentleman in his seventies as well as a young executive in his thirties. The moon disk on the HM Perpetual Moon is relatively large and enables Arnold & Son to put a very large Moon on it. The moon on the moon disk is hand-engraved and made from either silver or gold, depending on the version you choose. More about this watch can be found here on Fratellowatches.
2. Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Calendar
Although this watch’s name doesn’t immediately reveal the presence of a moon-phase complication, but its inclusion makes sense, since we built our calendar around the moon. The Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Calendar has a beautiful moon-phase indicator at 6 o’clock, one element of this timepiece’s calendar complication. The watch includes day, date and month indicators in addition to the moon-phase. It is a very flat watch, with an elegant diameter of just 39 mm. More information about the JLC Master Calendar can be found here on Fratellowatches.
3. Patek Philippe Nautilus 5726/1A
How Patek Philippe arrives at its reference numbers remains a big mystery, but one thing is certain: the Nautilus Ref. 5726/1A is an incredibly sporty moon-phase watch! Like the Jaeger-LeCoulte Master Calendar, it has day, date, and month indicators as well. Patek’s in-house Caliber 324 serves as a base movement for these extra features. This model was introduced in 2012 as an addition to Patek’s already impressive lineup of Nautilus watches. More about these new Patek Philippe 5726/1A models can be found here on Fratellowatches.
4. Omega Speedmaster Professional Moonphase
Is this the best of both worlds — the Moonwatch with a moon-phase indication? Purist fans of the Omega Speedmaster Professional might get a bit nauseous when seeing all these variations on the original Moonwatch, but I certainly like it. The fourth subdial at 12 o’clock on the Speedmaster Professional Moonphase shows the date and moon-phase. In the past, there have been several variations on this watch (white gold, broad-arrow hands, et cetera) but this model comes closest to the original Speedmaster design, in my opinion. Click here for more on Speedmaster watches with a moon-phase.
5. Jaeger-LeCoultre Duomètre à Quantième Lunaire
Another Jaeger-LeCoultre? Yes. The JLC Duomètre à Quantième Lunaire is one of the nicest introductions in recent years by Jaeger-LeCoultre, in my opinion. I would need much more space to explain precisely how the watch’s “Dual-Wing” concept works, but the main thing to know is that one barrel is dedicated to precision timing while the second barrel is dedicated to the other functions on the dial. This Duomètre is a very complicated watch, able to display the moon-phase for both hemispheres. More on this JLC Duomètre à Quantième Lunaire can be found here, by WatchTime’s Mike Disher.
Are you into moon-phase watches? What are some of your favorites? Leave your comments below!
(This article was originally published on October 4, 2013, and has been updated.)