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Eternal Time: 6 Modern Perpetual Calendar Watches


In modern watchmaking, a perpetual calendar indicates the date, and corrects automatically for months with less than 31 days, as well as leap years. Unless the movement takes into account century years that are not leap years, a watch with a perpetual calendar will need manual adjusting in 2100, 2200 and 2300 but not in 2400. Usually, a perpetual calendar combines additional complications (a moon-phase, for example). From the WatchTime archives, here are six watches that are (almost) ready for eternity.

PATEK PHILIPPE PERPETUAL CALENDAR REF. 5940

Patek Philippe Perpetual Calendar Ref. 5940
Patek Philippe Perpetual Calendar Ref. 5940

Patek Philippe’s cushion-shaped Perpetual Calendar Ref. 5940 is now also available with a rose-gold case. It is powered by Patek’s ultra-thin Caliber 240 Q with micro-rotor. The case measures 37 mm by 44.6 mm. The Ref. 5940R-001 is available for $87,320.

HERMÈS SLIM D’HERMÈS QUANTIÈME PERPÉTUEL

Hermes Slim d'Hermes Perpetual Calendar
Hermes Slim d’Hermes Quantième Perpétuel

In January 2017, Hermès unveiled a new version of the Slim d’Hermès Quantième Perpétuel with platinum case and blue dial. The watch is powered by in-house Caliber H1950, an ultra-thin mechanical movement with micro-rotor. The Slim d’Hermès Quantième Perpétuel in platinum is available for $39,900.

AUDEMARS PIGUET ROYAL OAK PERPETUAL CALENDAR

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar

During SIHH 2017, Audemars Piguet unveiled the Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar with black ceramic case and bracelet. The 41-mm-large case houses the self-winding Caliber 5134. The price for the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar in full ceramic is $93,900. For more on the watch and its movement, click here.

FREDERIQUE CONSTANT MANUFACTURE PERPETUAL CALENDAR

Frederique Constant Manufacture Perpetual Calendar
Frederique Constant Manufacture Perpetual Calendar

in 2016, Frederique Constant unveiled to the world the Manufacture Perpetual Calendar with a full, in-house-developed perpetual calendar, priced under $10,000. it is available in either a stainless-steel or rose-gold-plated case, priced at $8,795 and $8,995. We cover the Frederique Constant Manufacture Perpetual Calendar in detail here.

A. LANGE & SÖHNE POUR LE MÉRITE

A Lange & Sohne Tourbograph Perpetual PLM - front
A Lange & Söhne Tourbograph Perpetual “Pour Le Mérite”

The hand-wound Tourbograph Perpetual “Pour le Mérite” in platinum is A. Lange & Söhne’s most complex watch with the attribute “Pour le Mérite.” The in-house movement combines five grand complications: perpetual calendar, chronograph, rattrapante function, fusée-and-chain transmission and tourbillon. The 43-mm-large Tourbograph Perpetual (we cover it in depth here) comes in a limited edition of 50 pieces, priced at 480,000 euros.

GLASHÜTTE ORIGINAL SENATOR EXCELLENCE PERPETUAL CALENDAR

Glashutte Original Senator Excellence Perpetual Calendar - pair
Glashütte Original Senator Excellence Perpetual Calendar in gold and steel

The Glashütte Original Senator Excellence Perpetual Calendar is based on the brand’s in-house automatic base movement, Caliber 36, and offers a 100-hour power reserve. The 42-mm watch sells for $22,000 in steel and $35,100 in rose gold. Click here for our full report on the watch from Baselworld 2017.

16 Responses to “Eternal Time: 6 Modern Perpetual Calendar Watches”

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  1. Steve Schall

    You forgot Jaeger Lecoulter master ultra thin perpetual calendar. Nicer and simpler than any of them you showed.

    Reply
  2. Patrick Freel

    Nice watches but all terribly expensive. Are there any affordable watches with perpetual calendars?

    Reply
  3. Peter Currer

    Although such complications are nice to admire and/or own, the humblest digital with a year setting (some don’t) has the calendar programmed in for several decades that cover the watch’s probable life.

    Reply
  4. Brian Anderson

    If the perpetual calendar function only requires adjustment once every century, why do all these watches feature a sub-dial to indicate the leap year? Does “perpetual” actually mean correction every February 29th?

    Reply
    • Because they account for the usual leap year every four years. However, years divisible by 100 but not by 400 are not leap years.

      Reply
  5. Frank Pontillo

    why was the Jaeger Le Coultre not included in your portfolio ? Its the best value for the dollar.

    Reply
  6. Joseph Gelfand

    The IWC Da Vinci and Portugeiser perpetual calendars do show the actual year (which I think is a huge plus vs a fairly uninformative Leap Year indicator) and, as the Da Vinci IWC perpetual calendar was the first to be set entirely from the crown, was an important modern update on this complication….

    Reply
  7. David Jackson

    I would NEVER buy a perpetual calendar watch that did not display the year. None of these qualify, quite apart from my inability to afford most of them.

    Reply
  8. There’s a glaring omission here. There’s nothing modern about any of these. The only modern perpetual calendar movement that isn’t just a minor evolution on something that’s been round for 100 years is the H. Moser & Cie. Endeavour

    Reply
  9. Crispin Bates

    This is not very advanced technology. My Seiko Perpetual Calendar watch has kept perfect time for more than eight years on a single battery and it cost only 22,000 Japanese Yen (or approximately $200).

    Reply
  10. I would think that a Kurt Klaus PC would be a must whether in its IWC Portuguese guise or my fave the JLC Ultra Thin Perpetual (black dial, steel) – best value in the market.

    Reply
  11. Excuse me, did I read well, you said:
    “Unless the movement takes into account century years that are not leap years, a watch with a perpetual calendar will need manual adjusting in 2100, 2200 and 2300 but not in 2400”
    Unless you are including quartz movements -which I’m sure it’s not the purpose of the article- could you please indicate which mechanical perpetual calendar movement in this world takes into account the century years that are not leap years.
    As far as I know such a mechanical movement it doesn’t exists so, please either mention at least one or correct the article.
    All perpetual calendar mechanical watches in the world will need manual adjusting in 2100, 2200 and 2300 but not in 2400.
    A magazine like you can not make such a mistake.
    Best Regards.
    MAG

    Reply
    • Surprised your query has not been answered, yet, but, yes, there is one perpetual calendar watch that will not require manual adjusting in 2100, 2200, 2300 (assuming of course you mean sent to the factory). That is the Ulysse Nardin 326-22/92 and its ilk. They, like the IWC Kurt Klaus models adjust the calendar solely with the crown, and the UN is also unique in that the user can move the date both forward and backward with the crown. Just an FYI (I know this is a response to a very old post.)

      Reply
      • I’d also like to note the Andersen Geneve Secular Perpetual Calendar, a suuuuper badass indie creation

        Reply
  12. David Jackson

    All very nice, but for me the watch has to show the actual year rather than having a quadrant indicator. I hope, being a manual wind, that the Lange watch is easy to re-set.

    Reply
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