Complete Guide to Calendar Watches
Complete Guide to Calendar Watches

This list puts the focus on the three common types of calendar watches: complete, annual, and perpetual calendars, with suitable examples. 

Calendar watches are one of the most popular and valuable complications out there. There is a wide variety available for different types of calendar watches. From the most basic simple date watches to more complex weekly or perpetual calendars, there are many options on offer. Today we want to focus your attention on three of the most common types of calendar watches: complete, annual, and perpetual calendars, with suitable examples. 


Complete Calendar


Beginning at the most basic and straightforward of the three is the complete calendar, also called the triple calendar. With this complication, the watch provides the date, day, and month, along with a moon phase or any other additional functions that make it a full (complete) calendar. The mechanism, however, does not recognise the differing lengths of the month and the leap year cycles, so the wearer must manually correct the dates five times a year.


Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Control Calendar



Following up on Jaeger-LeCoultre’s history of creating triple calendar moon phase movements in the 1940s and 1950s, the Swiss watch brand brings this novel timepiece to the 21st century with the launch of the new Master Control Calendar. The elegant watch, set with a complete calendar, is showcased via the finely balanced classical dial layout. It includes the date function present around the periphery indicated via a red-tipped hand, the day of the week and month on the upper part of the dial, and a moon phase window set within a small seconds subdial at 6 o’clock. 


While all of this looks pretty standard, trust Jaeger-LeCoultre to add a fresh new twist to the date display. For these new models, the engineers at Jaeger-LeCoultre have added a jumping complication to the date wherein the date hand makes a 90-degree leap from the 15th to the 16th to avoid obstructing the moon phase display. This setup has been made possible with the help of an updated engine beating inside the watch. JLC Calibre 866 is an updated version of the earlier Cal.899 (first introduced in the 1980s), which now clocks in an extended power reserve of 70 hours. The Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Control Calendar is available in two 40mm versions of stainless steel or the Le Grand Rose gold. 


Blancpain Villeret Quantième Complet GMT



There are many to choose from when it comes to Blancpain and its iconic complete calendar watches. However, the Villeret Quantième Complet GMT is in a league of its own. The timepiece not only features the usual suspects of a complete calendar complication (read day, date, month, and moon phase) but also houses an additional 24-hour second timezone.


Bringing together two genuinely valuable complications, the Villeret Quantième Complet GMT sits high on the list of the perfect travel companion. 


Classic in its appeal, the overall design of the timepiece perfectly showcases Blancpain-esque aesthetics. This includes a slim profile set in a pleasant 40mm case size available in stainless steel and 18K red gold with water resistance of three bars. The two watches are fitted with an opaline dial and applied red gold Roman numerals for the red gold version, and a white dial with white gold applied Roman indexes for the stainless-steel edition. Both the dials feature a generic display of a complete calendar. It includes the day of the week and month displayed via windows below 12 o’clock, the date marked via Blancpain’s iconic serpentine pointer, and a 24-hour inner ring that showcases the second time zone. These functions on the watch are powered by the brand’s in-house movement Cal.67A5, which features a silicon balance spring, and clocks in a power reserve of 72 hours.


Breitling Heritage Premier B25 Datora 42



Fitting the bill of a beautiful vintage-inspired timepiece is the Breitling Heritage Premier B25 Datora. Launched as a sub-collection inside Breitling’s famous Premier line, the Premier B25 Datora is a reissue of the original triple calendar chronograph watch of the 1940s. Breitling offers a beautiful combination of aesthetic appeal, reminiscent of the early vintage designs and 21st-century engineering with this new timepiece. 


The Premier Heritage B25 Datora comes in a 42mm stainless steel case set with a copper dial in 18K red gold with a silver dial. A calendar chronograph with moon phase, the Datora stands out with the beautiful depiction of the calendar functions on the dial, Arabic numerals, and syringe hands. All of this works perfectly against the copper and silver-coloured dials. The open caseback allows a clear view of the new B25 caliber, a COSC-certified chronograph that beats at 28,800 vph and has approximately 48 hours of power reserve.


Annual Calendar Watches


Coming in second on the complex scale is the annual calendar that offers much greater functionality, and also sits at a higher price point. An annual calendar watch offers the same display of date, day, and month as the full calendar with a more ingenious function of automatically adjusting the date displayed for the shorter months of the year. The only correction the watch requires is a manual adjustment that has to be done once a year and once in four years during February, with its 28 days as the mechanism is tuned to identify months with only 30 or 31 days. When fully wound, an annual watch has got you covered from January through March and three out of four years.  


Longines Master Collection Annual Calendar



Enriching the massive success of the Longines Master Collection is the addition of a mechanical annual calendar timepiece. A good-looking watch offering an exciting complication, the Longines Master Collection Annual Calendar demonstrates the watchmaking expertise that Longines is well known for. With this complication, the watch automatically manages the varying length of the months without any manual intervention. Offering an excellent quality-price ratio, the Longines Master Collection Annual Calendar is a genuine bargain for those who value this calendar complication.


Simple and classic in its appearance, the watch is crafted in a 40 or 42mm stainless steel case with polished lugs that offer maximum comfort on the wrist. While the collection features multiple dial options, the one featured here comes in a silver finished barley corn-stamped dial. The minimalist dial houses Arabic numerals with an inner bezel as the minutes/seconds chapter ring. The annual calendar function is present via a double aperture at 3 o’clock that displays the month and the date. Controlling these functions of the watch is the Calibre L897.2 movement (viewed via the sapphire crystal caseback) with a power reserve of 64 hours. 


OMEGA Globemaster Annual Calendar



The OMEGA Globemaster was first presented in 2015 as a time-and-date watch. This changed the following year when the Biel-based brand released a model featuring one of the most practical complications of the industry — the annual calendar. After many years, OMEGA has recently added three new models to its refined Globemaster family, featuring a perfect integration of the annual calendar with month-by-hand and date at 6 o’clock. 


Measuring 41mm in diameter, the new OMEGA Globemaster Annual Calendar watches are committed to creating an elegant “daily-wear” watch that fits perfectly under a sharp suit or suede jacket. The new models are available in three dial colours: green, burgundy, and gold. The choice in green comes in a stainless-steel case with a sun-brushed green dial housing 18K white gold faceted hands, the OMEGA logo, indexes, and Constellation star. The burgundy option is a stainless-steel edition with a polished bezel made from OMEGA’s exclusive red alloy-18K SednaÔ Gold. The sun-brushed dial matches the burgundy strap. These versions are powered by OMEGA’s Co-Axial Master Chronometer Annual Calendar Calibre 8922. The last and final edition of the trio comes in a case and bezel structure crafted from 18K SednaÔ Gold. The dial is also constructed from the same material and offers a perfect contrast against the black onyx index settings and hands. This choice in gold comes equipped with OMEGA’s Co-Axial Master Chronometer Annual Calendar Calibre 8923 movement and a glossy black leather strap.


Rolex Oyster Perpetual Sky-Dweller



Made for world travellers, the Rolex Oyster Perpetual Sky-Dweller is a distinctive timepiece featuring a revolutionary design and technological prowess. It holds two significant features like the two time zones (local time via conventional centre hands and reference time in 24-hour format via an off-centre disc) and an innovative annual calendar that is especially called Saros. Named after the astronomical phenomenon, this particular annual calendar function displays the date at 3 o’clock and month via 12 apertures present around the dial’s circumference. It works like any other annual calendar that requires one manual date adjustment for February. To ensure an easy, quick, and secure selection of watch functions, the Rolex Oyster Perpetual Sky-Dweller comes equipped with a mechanism of interaction between the rotatable bezel, winding crown, and the movement called the Ring Command system. 


The watch is available in a 42mm Oyster case in yellow gold set with a striking black dial. This bright dial is home to a fixed inverted red triangle that points at the chosen reference time placed on the off-centre 24-hour disc. At the dial’s periphery sits a deep red rectangle that indicates the current month of the patented Saros annual calendar. Decorated with rectangular index markers and more extended hands filled with Chromalight ensure maximum legibility. Powered by the Calibre 9001 automatic movement, the Rolex Oyster Perpetual Sky-Dweller gets a black Oysterflex bracelet with an Easylink comfort extension link specially developed by Rolex.


Perpetual Calendar 


Sitting at the top of the pyramid for intricacy and sophistication is the perpetual calendar, also called quantième complet. Belonging to the category of a grand complication, perpetual calendars feature a complex mechanism that also demonstrated the horological mastery of great watch manufacturers. The smartest of the lot, a Perpetual Calendar’s mechanism takes into account the different lengths of the month along with the leap year cycle. How does it work? The perpetual calendar mechanism is fed with a mechanical “memory” over 1461 days or four years that it follows via several hundred wheels, gears, and other moving parts. Once the watch is fully wound, there is no requirement for adjustments or corrections.


Panerai Luminor Perpetual Calendar Platinumtech PAM00715



Apart from creating one of the most technically innovative tool watches, Panerai has also achieved a new degree of high complication mastery with their Luminor Perpetual Calendar Platinumtech and Goldtech. With the ability to indicate the date and automatically recognise months with less than 31 days and leap years, the two editions of the Luminor Perpetual Calendar series marks Panerai’s continuous drive to conceive new creations and expand its horological portfolio. 


Powered by the new P.4100 movement created by the Panerai Laboratorio di Idee, the two perpetual calendar references are available in a 44mm GoldtechTM and PlatinumtechTM case structure. The two dials are set with sun-brushed blue (Goldtech) and green (Platinumtech) colours housing different elements. The GoldtechTM version is limited to just 300 pieces, and the Platinumtech reference is a 100-piece limited edition. It includes a display of the time, day, and date at 3 o’clock, GMT 24H at 9 o’clock with small seconds and day-night indicator, making the dial clean and clear to read at a glance.


Breguet Classique Tourbillon Quantième Perpétuel 3797



Since its inception in 1775, the company’s history has been marked by the invention and development of well-designed timepieces. Breguet has been instrumental in creating several complex and instrumental perpetual calendar watches in the past. However, with an ambition to improve and modernise, Breguet’s watchmakers made the Classique Reference 3797. This complex yet beautiful timepiece features a range of complications, including a one-minute tourbillon at 6 o’clock and a perpetual calendar complication. 


The Classique 3797 focuses on styling for a more intuitive display of the indications without compromising the watch’s charm. It includes the presence of a third dimension wherein the hours and minutes chapter is lifted to the foreground, drawing attention only to the critical information. 


The watch comes in a 41mm case made from an 18K rose gold case with a finely fluted caseband. The dial is home to many sections that might seem daunting at first glance, but a closer look reveals the simplicity of it all. It houses an opaque chapter ring set with metallic Roman numerals that offer the time functions marked by Breguet’s classic open-tipped hands in blued steel. The hour ring is surrounded by a semi-circular scale of retrograde dates on the upper side, a wave-like decorated subdial for days, and a sun-burst sub-dial for months on either side of the chapter ring. Finally, the one-minute tourbillon sits below at 6 o’clock. All of these features are set on an engine-turned hobnail patterned dial face. The timepiece is powered by a finely decorated manually wound Breguet Cal. 558QP2 movement that clocks in a power reserve of 50 hours. 


Frederique Constant Highlife Tourbillon Perpetual Calendar Manufacture



One of the essential timepieces released by Frederique Constant, the Highlife Tourbillon Perpetual Calendar Manufacture, is the result of impeccable watchmaking, beauty, and precision. An example of fine watchmaking, the timepiece features Frederique Constant’s flagship collection (Highlife), coupled with the most complex mechanical calendar (perpetual in this case). 


Available in 18K rose gold and stainless versions, the collection features a bold design with a 41mm case with an integrated strap in blue shades. The dial is home to an organised format of its complications into four segments. It includes a horizontally placed day and date display and a single counter at 12 o’clock for the month and leap year indication. These counters are marked by the large hand and small hand, respectively. Perfectly balancing the aesthetic composition of the dial is the tourbillon window sitting at 6 o’clock.


All these complications are controlled by the FC-975 calibre equipped with a silicon escapement. Limited just 30 pieces for the rose gold version and 88 pieces for the steel version, the Highlife Tourbillon Perpetual Calendar Manufacture is available in two straps. 

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