Perpetual Calendar watches represent the most valuable grand complication in Haute Horlogerie. Few watch manufacturers attempt to make a perpetual calendar function because it is a very intricate work of art that is unimaginably complicated with hundreds of tiny mechanical parts inside which typically require over a month to assemble.
‘Perpetual’ means forever and that is just how long a perpetual calendar watch should last because everybody forgets what day of the week it is sometimes. But there’s an anomaly. According to the Gregorian calendar, the next exceptional non-leap year will be 2100. So perpetual calendars will require a manual adjustment then, which is not very much of a problem for the majority of us. That being said, these timepieces are valid for many years, and belong to the category of a grand complication, which features sophisticated mechanics with some gears inside that turn multiple times per second, or only once every four years or more.
From inexpensive entry-level watches that open up the world of perpetual calendar watches, all the way to the most luxurious and exquisite timepieces here’s a roundup of 30 of the best perpetual calendar watches available today.
1. Peugeot Vintage Perpetual Calendar with Moon Phase
I know what you’re thinking; that this right here is too good to be true. And indeed it is. You say “Peugeot”, and I say, “affordable luxury!”
Not to be confused with French car maker, Peugeot has been in the watchmaking business since 1957. In the 1970s, the brand was famous for crafting high-end luxury gold watches that were certainly revolutionary back then.
Today, let’s just say they developed a soft spot for one and all. Fitted with an accurate Quartz movement that is manufactured by Seiko and backed by the Peugeot Lifetime warranty, the Peugeot Vintage Perpetual Calendar with moon phase watch is offered in a brown genuine leather band that can be adjusted to fit wrists sizes from six inches to eight inches.
The watch, which comes with three sub-dials indicating the day of the week, date, and a decorative sun-moon phase display, looks rather clean and legible. The 14K Gold plated case is very handsome, measures 40mm in diameter, and is neither overly large nor can it be described as small. It costs as low as $ 79.50 on Peugeot’s webpage.
2. Seiko SPC129P1 Neo Classic Alarm Perpetual Chronograph
Let’s be honest. If this item was a mechanical watch from a brand like Sohne or Patek Philippe, it would have cost a lot more than $165. But behold what we have here! An in-house perpetual calendar watch from Seiko with a high degree of design and precision. This ideal entry-level watch is fresh and bold, with a layout that presents the entire perpetual calendar information on the dial without looking cluttered.
The white dial is enhanced by rose gold-tone hands, offering high legibility –at least with good light. The case measures 45mm in diameter and 12mm thick which is reasonably sized for a man’s watch. Attention to detail is apparent. The day of the week sub-dial located under the 12 numeral, is circular-grained and the rose gold-tone crown with a brown alligator-grained leather strap of 22mm lug width, all contribute to making this timepiece visually compelling and appealing.
Powering the 100 meters water-resistant watch is the Seiko Caliber 7T86, a quartz watch movement that offers excellent accuracy. Oh, and it has a chronograph and tachymeter function.
3. Seiko SPC131P1
Seiko…the most respected watch brand from outside Switzerland that strives to raise the pure essentials of watchmaking to the level of art and creators of the first quartz wristwatch ever — the Astron, again presents this affordable ultra-modern chronograph in a 43mm stainless steel case with a black leather strap and buckle.
It has the usual calendar functions, day-date-month, stopwatch, Alarm, and 24-hour display, but the things that jump out at you right away about this Seiko SPC131P1 are details like the sparkling blue hands that come just in the right shade, the second’s hand which have a crescent moon on one end to designate the date pointer and an arrow to designate the seconds’ pointer, and a date and month scale around an inner ring, in addition to a tachymeter scale around the outer rim of the white dial.
In all, the Seiko SPC131P1 is very beautiful and classy and is fitted with a Seiko Caliber 7T86 quartz movement so you can be sure that it’s a very accurate timepiece. The appearance of this piece is sleek, and with a water resistance of up to 100 meters, the wearer will be pleased by just how powerful its engine is. So if you are just entering into the entry-level watch world, this piece comes highly recommended and costs around 200 USD.
4. Orient Perpetual Calendar – EU07008D
Best known for producing exceptional mechanical watches, Orient, a respected watchmaking brand, presents this unique perpetual calendar watch in a 44mm contemporary stainless steel case, and although the date needs to be adjusted every month or so, the Orient Perpetual Calendar is nonetheless an impressive watch.
You get a detailed multi-year perpetual calendar watch (accurate at least until the year 2031) that verges on the sporty side, a multi-layered chapter ring for ultimate tracking, silver hands with luminous accents, and a convenient date aperture with a blue dial.
Power is provided by the Cal.46D40, a mechanical movement that provides 38 hours of power reserve, and the beautifully colored dial, inspired by the moon, gathers all necessary indications of a QP, yet with a certain twist that evokes the elegance of refined sports watches and represent one of the best of Orient’s classic aesthetics. The sporty EU07008D supports water resistance of 100 meters and sells for approximately US$400.
5. Tissot T0636371603700
Tissot; the brand whose aim has been to provide ‘gold value at silver prices’ offers this elegant Perpetual Calendar timepiece that will not break the bank in a 42 mm stainless steel case with a synthetic sapphire dial window. The watch has a classic and sporty design with a monochrome silver-toned look, featuring a diamond-textured white dial with multi-functionality for the date, day, month, and seconds, allowing the wearer to see the date, day, and month on the dial.
The Croco-embossed faux-leather band with tonal topstitching has a buckle closure that holds both sides together rather than your typical, belt-like clasp – meaning it will be quick to throw on in the morning. The face is large, but not overwhelming and the day/month/date indicators are all subtly displayed. A swiss quartz movement powers this watch making it as accurate as you need it to be and offering low maintenance needs, battery life endurance, and lightweight.
It is water resistant up to 30 meters, which means it can withstand splashes or brief immersions in water, but will not be suitable for swimming. These perfect business and casual perpetual calendar watches are all about adventure and their retail prices start around 450 USD.
6. Citizen Chronograph With Perpetual Calendar: BL5403-03X
If you want an affordable timepiece with technical advancements and a sporty style, then look no further. The Citizen BL5403-03X has a daring sporty look that fits in anywhere and will never go out of style. Citizen seamlessly incorporates three sub-dials with 12/24-hour time, 1/20-second time, and an alarm. The 48mm stainless steel rose gold-tone case with screw-back blends well with the brown leather strap with white contrast stitching.
The thing that jumps out at you right away about Citizen BL5403-03X is just how much information it conveys at a glance. This 1/20 second Chrono measures 60 minutes, with a perpetual calendar, 12/24 hour time, dual time, alarm, and rotating inner ring. The appearance of this piece is sleek with luminous hands/hour markers. Water resistant to 100 meters, it is powered by light so will never require a battery. This elegant yet stylish timepiece from Citizen wears well with just about everything and goes for approximately 500 USD.
7. Citizen BL8140-55E
Citizen is a brand with a strong background, specifically in the field of affordable iconic watches. Think BN0150, the Promaster Professional Diver Citizen Watch, and think of classy timepieces that fit the budget and style of everyone. Driven by the desire to provide a distinct watch for every man, Citizen presents this BL8140-55E, a very ‘citizen’ looking chronograph watch crafted by artisan watchmakers.
What enhances the watch are the finer details such as the texture on the chic black-toned dial, applied faceted indexes, and silver accented case and bracelet. This timepiece comes in a 42mm case and is powered by solar or light energy. Fully charging your Citizen BL8140-55E can provide a reserve of up to four months, and about a year if you’re on power-save mode – how cool is that?
The hands glow but unfortunately, the dial makers are not luminous so you may not be able to see where the hands are pointing and the sapphire crystal really does set this watch off. With dual time display, low charge indicator, and the advantage of battery-free Eco-Drive technology for $725, Citizen deserves some accolades from both fans and critics.
8. Frederique Constant Slimline Perpetual Calendar Manufacture.
Frederique Constant’s motto has always been “affordable luxury”, and that totally reflects in this Slimline Perpetual Calendar. In-house designed, produced, and assembled, the Frederique Constant Slimline Perpetual Calendar Manufacture was born out of Frederique Constant’s passion for high-quality horology and happens to be one of Frederique Constant’s most innovative timepieces offered for under $9,000.
In many ways, this piece is a classic QP (quantième perpétuel) and in other ways, it breaks even with tradition. So if you’re someone who has always wanted to sport a perpetual calendar watch but balked at the Patek Phillippe-level cost, you should definitely take a closer look at this timepiece. The 42mm gold-plated polished steel case watch comes with a brown alligator leather strap and is water resistant up to 30 meters.
Powered by Frederique Constant’s own caliber FC-755; an automatic movement with a 38-hour power reserve with what I’d consider standard decoration on the rotor, bridges, and plate, this watch seriously outperforms its price tag of around $8,900. You can even get the stainless steel version for approximately $8,800.
9. Frederique Constant Highlife Perpetual Calendar Manufacture
Frédérique Constant’s raison d’être is to use cutting-edge technology to create affordable luxury and in this case, the Swiss luxury watch brand has succeeded incredibly well. Drawing on the familiar FC-775 which was launched in 2016 alongside the Slimline Perpetual, The new Highlife Perpetual Calendar Manufacture comes in a 41mm steel case, decorated with a vertical brush and a round and polished bezel that merges the original Highlife collection from 1999 with this new Manufacture line.
The hands are silver colored with a luminous white treatment, while the navy blue dial is split between the calendar function with the leap year and month indication occurring on top, a sub dial for the day on the left, that for the date on the right and the moon phase indication on the lower side, all offering a balanced and agreeable design.
The Highlife Perpetual Calendar mechanism is powered by the brand’s iconic manufacture automatic movement, while the see-through case back of the watch reveals the respected Highlife manufacture self-winding caliber known to power most of Frédérique Constant’s complications including its chronograph and Moonphase watch. It stores 38 hours of power reserve and beats at a 4Hz frequency. All this high-functioning goodness is offered at approximately US$9,800.
10. Glashutte Original Karree Perpetual Calendar Moon
Glashutte watches have a manner of appearing adventurous yet understated with simple, clean, and never cluttered dials. The Senator Excellence Perpetual Calendar is no exception with a timeless design that represents the essence of Glashütte Original in its purest form. Featuring an elegant red gold case that measures 42 mm in diameter, the Karree Perpetual Calendar Moon is easily one of the most evocative perpetual calendar watches for collectors with simple tastes, with a brown Alligator leather strap that sits comfortably and compliments the warm tone of the red gold case.
Blending character, beauty, and charm, the slim bezel offers a generous view of the lacquered dial with delicate silver grain, alongside the laser-cut and black galvanized indexes – corresponding harmoniously with Glashutte Original blue hands. The Roman numerals and hands are subtle in form, with excellent legibility against the silver-grainé backdrop. The blue/gold moon phase is placed at eight o’clock, while a black panorama date on an ivory coloured background sits at four o’clock.
Glashütte Original’s manufactory automatic movement, Calibre 36, sets new standards for precision, stability, running time, and aesthetics and features a skeletonized rotor with a double-G symbol and 21-carat gold oscillation weight, and provides an impressive 100 hours of power. It costs around $20,000.
11. Ulysse Nardin Perpetual Ludwig
Ulysse Nardin watches were used by over 50 of the world’s navies from the 1900s up until 1950, and the brand is known for manufacturing highly accurate marine chronometers. Paying tribute to master watchmaker, Ludwig Oechslin, who was responsible for producing the very first Ulysse Nardin’s perpetual calendar in 1996, Ulysse Nardin presents this 41mm stainless steel case watch with a silvery-white dial, that allows adjustment of all indications with a twist of the crown.
Generally recognized for delivering complexity in simple packages, the perpetual Ludwig’s dial is both stunning and highly practical. Blued leaf-shaped gorgeous hands impart the hours and minutes (denoted with slender, faceted batons) and despite the different indications displayed, the dial manages to remain uncluttered and simple to interpret.
The stainless steel case features elongated lugs that attach an inwardly arched leather, making the watch seem a bit larger and heightening the visual interest. Ulysse Nardin showcases its prowess in the self-winding Caliber UN-33 user-friendly movement which allows the wearer to perform easy adjustments to the date with a mere twist of the crown. The power reserve is approximately 48 hours and it retails for around US$21,300.
12. Montblanc Heritage Perpetual Calendar
The Montblanc Heritage Manufacture Perpetual Calendar offers collectors a classically handsome watch with the looks of the Geneve triple calendar watches from the 1940s. Coming in an elegant 40 mm case that is made of stainless steel, the narrow bezel offers the silvery-white dial a sensible layout. On the dial, one can easily see the hash marks on the scale that makes reading the hours pretty easy. Short elegantly curved lugs attach a black alligator strap that has a rose-gold pronged buckle.
The watch is 12.3mm in height (slightly thicker than the Meisterstück Heritage Perpetual Calendar that was released in 2014) but is relatively slim in comparison to other perpetual calendar watches and at 40 mm, the stainless steel case will sit snugly and comfortably on the wrist. Inside the Perpetual calendar watch, the self-winding cal. MB 29.22, a brand new movement made by ValFleurier exclusively for Montblanc provides a 48-hour power reserve.
The monochromatic look is offset by the beautiful deep blue of the moon phase at the bottom of the dial, along with blue text on the dial and chapter ring that is further highlighted by the refined curved horns, and domed sapphire glass box. The Montblanc is priced at approximately US$22,595.
13. Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Ultra Thin Perpetual Calendar
Well, hello fans of Marvel’s Doctor Strange… Figured out Benedict Cumberbatch was wearing a Jaeger LeCoultre Master Ultra-thin Perpetual Calendar through the movie? Sssshhhh, he knows what it’s worth!
With nearly 200 years of history, Jaeger-LeCoultre is a world of its own. This remarkably driven watch manufacturer quickly set the world of fine watchmaking alight with creativity that pushes the limits of watchmaking as showcased in Its ultra thin collection. Coming in a 39mm stainless steel case protected by sapphire crystal glass, the Jaeger-LeCoultre master ultra thin perpetual calendar features a silvered grey dial with polished black nickel appliques and no numerals that gives it a harmonious visual unity.
The exterior is shrouded in a black leather strap with a double folding buckle which entices and intrigues. Underneath, an automatic, integrated movement of just 4.72mm, wound by a micro-rotor, offers 38 hours of power reserve. It is functional, water resistant to about 50 meters, and packs other exciting features to this relatively slim case for around $ 25,700.
14. IWC Da Vinci Perpetual Calendar
In 1985, IWC introduced a revolutionary new watch when watch legend Kurt Klaus developed the first watch that could combine a perpetual calendar with an automatic chronograph and could allow all adjustments to be done using the crown.
As a tribute to the iconic 1985 timepiece created by Kurt Klaus, IWC presents this extremely modern and bold timepiece as a contemporary interpretation of the iconic 1985 Da Vinci in a 43 mm circular stainless steel case. The extreme precision of the IWC Da Vinci Perpetual Calendar is made possible by the in-house 89630 calibre, an automatic, self-winding movement that offers an impressive 68 hours of power reserve.
A moon-phase indicator disc still lies beneath the dial and mimics the waxing and waning of the moon, diverging only one day in 577.5 years from the actual phase of the moon. Going for approximately US$33,500, the Perpetual Calendar Chronograph features a 43mm steel case,slate-colored dial with luminescence, hour and minute counters that are combined in a totalizer at “12 o’clock”, and a black alligator leather strap.
15. Glashütte Original Senator Excellence Perpetual Calendar
With the rise in popularity of the first pocket watches, came the fame of Glashütte. From classic marine chronometers to iconic Bauhaus-inspired watches, the story of Glashutte is one of tumultuous excellence. The brand here extends Its Senator Excellence Perpetual Calendar collection (which already had three existing variants in stainless steel, rose gold, and white gold), with a limited edition of hundred pieces of this self-winding perpetual calendar timepiece that comes in a 42 mm stainless steel case.
A slim, polished bezel with a flat edged case middle, punctuated with the correction pin pushers gives the Senator Excellence Perpetual Calendar a classically elegant look. A 42mm diameter case means it will hug the wrist well, while a 12.8mm thickness means it is just in that sweet spot between large and dainty.
The dial is highly legible with blued steel hands showing apparent attention to detail. As with earlier versions, the leap year sub-dial maintains its location under the numeral 12, while a Calibre 36 mechanical automatic movement powers it for an amazing 100 hours while operating at a modern 4 Hz beat rate. It retails for approximately $33,500.
16. IWC Big Pilot’s Watch Perpetual Calendar Top Gun
The Top Gun Big Pilot’s Watch Perpetual Calendar by IWC is a commanding beast. Coming in an oversized case of 46.2mm diameter and 15.4mm height, the watch is big. Zip code: BIG! Beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder – that’s all we’ll say about this bold perpetual calendar pilot’s watch.
The display is inspired by the perpetual calendar module made by Kurt Klaus in the 1980s and you can easily see the matte black based dial’s large, and generously-lumed propeller hands, a triangle with dots at 12 o’clock, and indications for hours/minutes, small seconds, power reserve and a perpetual calendar that displays the date, day of the week, month, and year four digits, with a double moon phase for both Northern and Southern Hemispheres.
The case is fashioned from zirconium oxide, lending the watch a “stealth” appearance and making it extremely resistant to scratches, while the case back and crown are made from grade 5 titanium highlighting the brand’s inherent DNA with the materials it is crafted out of.
Under the screwed case back is the caliber 52615, with a base movement powered by the QP module on top and wound by a Pellaton winding system that provides 168 hours of power reserve. It can continue running for up to one week without any loss of accuracy after being removed from the wrist. It retails for approximately $38,600.
17. Blancpain Villeret Quantième Perpétuel Réf. 6057 3642 55A
Anchored in tradition, Blancpain presents this 38 mm timepiece in a luxurious 18k red gold case. Considered a Classique among classiques, the Villeret Quantième Perpétuel Réf. 6057 3642 55A, reaffirms Blancpain’s attachment to genuine watchmaking values.
The perpetual calendar which will require no adjustments until the year 2100, is handsome, elegant and verges on dressy, with its applied shapely gold roman numerals that break up the monochromatic dial. The bold indications on the dial ( seen the highlighted expression of the man on the Moon yet?) have a warm subtle design with easy to read calendar functions offering legibility and elegance.
The months and leap year indication can be seen at 12 o’clock, the date at 3 o’clock, and the day of the week at 9 o’clock, while the moon phase dial is majestically enthroned at 6 o’clock. The engine keeping all the functions in perfect synch is Calibre 5954; Blancpain’s automatic movement of 351 parts with a robust 72-hour power reserve and a modern silicon hairspring.
It costs around US$45,000.
18. Jaeger-LeCoultre Rendez-Vous Perpetual
Did you know that the very first wrist watches were worn by women?
Contrary to popular belief, the first wristwatch was made for Countess Koscowicz by Patek Philippe in 1868, according to Guinness World Records. Women’s wristwatches were commonly known as ‘Wristlets’, while men wore their watches around their necks, on belts, as brooches, etc
Over the years it seemed the most luxurious watches were made for men but Jaeger‑LeCoultre proves here that watches meant for women do not have to be less elegant with this watch presented in a 37.5mm white gold case that features diamonds with exceptionally small calibers.
The same movement used in the Master Ultra Thin Perpetual; Calibre 868 – an automatic movement housed in a diamond exterior, well-known for its precision and stability with a power reserve of 38 hours adds to its elegance. Jaeger‑LeCoultre’s attention to detail is apparent. The elegantly laid out dial is perfectly balanced, with the circular grained moon phase sub-dial located under the 12 numeral, and a sunray-brushed finish that offers a classy look for around US$46,000.
19. Hublot Big Bang Unico Perpetual Calendar Sapphire
Big, Bold, and Begging to be desired, Hublot, a brand known for crafting its watches from less-than-traditional materials like carbon fiber and fine ceramics, presents the Big Bang Unico Perpetual Calendar in a 45 mm unique brushed king gold case.
The classically laid out skeletonized dial has an incredible depth and features black sub-dials with white lettering in addition to king gold-toned hour markers. The dial is all about legibility and can be read at night as the hour markers and rose gold-toned hands have luminous fill. The chronograph mechanism features a Flyback function which means you can stop and reset the stopwatch with the push of a button.
The reverse side of the case features a transparent sapphire crystal which gives you a delightful peek of the impressive HUB 1270 movement; a 28,800 VpH automatic movement with 46 jewels and 416 parts. This amazing caliber can hold its power for 72 hours straight when fully wound. It is priced at US$69,000, which is somewhat on the middle ground for watches with this complication.
20. Breguet Classique 5327BR/1E/9V6
With roots that go way back to the 1750s and more importantly, a production history that started in the early 1800s when Breguet made the first wristwatch ever, Breguet is one of the oldest watch brands that is responsible for a host of inventions.
Elegant, and simple in its execution, the Classique 5327 features a beautiful guilloche engraved silver dial in a 39 mm 18-carat rose gold case, with the brand’s typical hand-guilloché dial. The blue steel hands refine the warmth of the timepiece and offer a generous contrast with the gold case and brown alligator leather strap.
The 39 mm of the case is well-sized for today’s market and wears large due to the slim highly polished bezel, but overall is well proportioned at only 9 mm thick. Breguet‘s caliber 502.3.DRP is a perpetual calendar movement capable of indicating day, date, month, leap year, power reserve, and moon phase. Thirty-four jewels feature within the movement and the power reserve is approximately 48 hours. It retails for US$77,500.
21. H.Moser & Cie. Endeavour Perpetual Calendar Ref. 1800-0204
The Perpetual Calendar (Ref. 1800-0204), from H. Moser & Cie, is perhaps the most stunning and refreshing timepiece on the market. Combining humor with the brand’s unique luxe minimalist design in the Endeavour Perpetual Calendar, H. Moser & Cie has produced a grail watch for many. Crafted from white gold, the 42.0 mm round case of the Endeavour Perpetual Calendar features a Funky Blue fumé dial protected by a curved sapphire crystal that has the brand’s logo in transparent lacquer.
The dial is further beautified by an aqua blue sunburst fumé dial finish, polished white gold leaf-shaped hands, curiously mismatched rounded black date window, and applied indices. The small seconds subdial is displayed at 6 o’clock, and an instantaneous date-changing mechanism allows the date to change in a flash at midnight –which is so pleasant to behold. Beige kudu leather straps, polished lugs, and a softly stepped bezel design, all add dramatic reflections to the classically simple timepiece.
The Endeavour Perpetual Calendar Ref. 1800-0204 is powered by the brand’s in-house HMC 800 hand-wound perpetual calendar movement with twin mainspring barrels that allow it to attain an impressive 168-hour power reserve at a steady 18,000 BPH beat rate. It is priced at approximately US$84,000.
22. Vacheron Constantin Patrimony Perpetual Calendar Ultra-Thin
First launched in 2011, the Vacheron Constantin Patrimony Perpetual Calendar Ultra-Thin watch had previously appeared in 2019 with a blue dial and in 2017 with a slate grey dial. Inspired by 1950s Vacheron Constantin models, this 18K pink gold watch with a silvery opaline dial retains Vacheron Constantin’s minimalist vintage watch design and houses the legendary ultra-slim automatic movement of only 4.05 mm thick, which will keep accurate time till 2100.
Striking a beautiful balance between taut lines and curves, the perpetual calendar follows the Vacheron Constantin’s subtle design with easy to read calendar functions. The many indications on the dial are all well displayed, offering legibility and elegance. The leap year indications and 48 months can be seen at 12 o’clock, the date at 3 o’clock, and the day of the week at 9 o’clock. From the calendar hands to the hour markers and the moons, we can easily appreciate the work that has gone into crafting all in solid 18k pink gold.
Thanks to the ultra-thin in-house movement by Vacheron; the caliber 1120 QP (based on the legendary caliber 1120 of 1967 with a height of just 2.45 mm), the watch can beat at a sedate rate of 19,800vph with a power reserve of 40 hours. The Vacheron Constantin Patrimony Perpetual Calendar Ultra-Thin (pink gold) comes on a dark brown alligator strap, with an openwork case back that reveals the exceptional hand-finished details of the self-winding mechanical movement. It retails for US$89,574.
23. Patek Philippe ref.7140
Leveraging Its long-standing competence in the domain of highly sophisticated watch mechanisms, Patek Philippe flexes its muscles in this elegant mechanical perpetual calendar watch for ladies. The brand had debuted the Ladies’ line that featured chronographs in 2009, but it was until 2012 that a perpetual calendar complication was featured in Patek Philippe’s Ladies’ watch. The Ladies First Perpetual Calendar comes with a strong femininity that isn’t overshadowed by the technical content.
The diamond-encrusted rose gold case and silvery white dial blend beautifully with the gold applied hour markers, and a shiny alligator strap with mink grey stitches. Easily one of 2012’s gorgeous and most potent ladies’ complication watches, an ultra-thin, mechanical self-winding movement; caliber 240 Q, is the sine qua non of this stunning perpetual calendar model. It measures just 3.88mm in height and drives the functional calendar features. It is water resistant to 30 meters and retails for around US$95,000
24. Lange 1 Perpetual Calendar in 18-carat white gold (Reference 345.056)
Designed for the modern man on the go, Lange 1 delivers this unique mechanical and conceptual solution timepiece in a 41.9 mm white-gold case. Launched in 2021 as a replacement for the venerable Langematik Perpetual, the Lange 1 Perpetual Calendar excellently borrows from the architecture of an existing caliber; the L021.1 which has here been reworked and aesthetically refined to caliber L021.3 which now accommodates a calendar mechanism.
The display is functional and unique, with the day of the week taking the place of the retrograde power reserve, and a red indicator “4” denoting a leap year, being a small window at six o’clock. It might feel thick and heavy at about 42 mm and 12 mm high and the domed bezel might make the case feel slightly bulbous, but it is identical to that of the Daymatic with small pushers recessed into sides of the case and a dark-brown alligator leather strap that makes it easy to wear.
The crucial bits of information, such as day, month, and year are easily readable, with the month visible through a ring around the dial’s outer edge, while the moon phase and day/night indicator are intricately combined in the seconds sub-dial. Oh, and the calendar indication jumps instantly at the end of a month, adding to some pretty fun midnight viewing. It costs around US$100,000.
25. Patek Philippe Ref. 5236P In-line Perpetual Calendar
While World War 2 was raging across Europe, Patek Philippe unexpectedly started the production of its perpetual calendar timepieces and since that time, the brand has released some of the most exclusive and luxurious perpetual calendar watches. Taking cues from the perpetual calendar pocket watches of the 1950s (such as the ref. 725), the Patek Philippe Ref. 5236P comes in a 41.3 mm platinum case with short elegantly inclined lugs that attach a hand-stitched navy blue alligator leather with square scales.
The dial, like the lugs, is vintage inspired and features various shades of blue, with the minute track and calendar markings in separate shades, while easily readable calendar indications sit tightly below 12 o’clock. The blank dial belies the incredible self-winding mechanical movement inside, namely the cal. 30-255 PS – Patek Philippe’s most impressive recent movements that feature a column-wheel chronograph with a vertical clutch, and a 48-hour power reserve. It retails for US$140,000.
26. MB&F Legacy Machine Perpetual Palladium
MB&F, short for Maximilian Büsser & Friends released the most complex model in the Legacy Machine family in the year 2015, and this complex mechanism easily won the Best Calendar Watch Prize at the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève (GPHG) a year after it’s debut. What is unique about the Legacy Machine is that it features a visually stunning in-house movement developed from the ground by watchmaking genius, Stephen McDonnell.
The astonishing movement is designed for user-friendly and trouble-free use and eliminates the drawbacks of conventional perpetual calendars such as jamming gears, skipping dates, automatic deactivation of the adjuster pushers when the calendar changes, and so on, as against the usual grand levier system – thanks to its revolutionary mechanical processor.
The Legacy Machine Perpetual Palladium is crafted in 950 palladium; a rare metal that has a natural silvery-white lustre, does not require plating, and is harder and more durable than gold. The perpetual calendar mechanism is displayed on top of the movement main plate underneath the sub-dials, showcasing the suspended 14mm balance wheel hovering on top of the movement, but still keeping the dial as legible and elegantly complex as ever. It has a power reserve of 72 hours and retails for around US$202,000.
27. Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar (Ref.26574OR.OO.1220OR.03)
Swiss watch company, Audemars Piguet was founded by Jules Louis Audemars and Edward Auguste Piguet in 1875, but it was only in 1955 that the brand began production of its very first perpetual calendar wristwatches that featured a leap year indication. The perpetual calendar collection was successful enough to represent one of the most significant horological innovations by the brand during that period.
Coming in a 41 mm 18-carat pink gold case with glare-proof sapphire crystal and case back, Audemars Piguet’s Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar watch is a prototype of the SIHH debuted in 2018 as RD#2. The sub-dial at 3 o’clock neatly displays the date in a slightly recessed sub-register, giving a thoughtful depth to the otherwise smooth blue dial with a grande tapisserie pattern.
In a similar fashion, the days of the month are placed at 9 o’clock, with the months of the year at 12. On the reverse, the watch features a circular graining, along with finely-engraved markings. The watch is powered by the AP caliber 2120/2, derived from Jaeger-LeCoultre’s legendary ultra-thin JLC 920 caliber movement, famous for its adoption by both Patek Philippe and Vacheron Constantin. Starting prices are from US$359,000 up.
28. The Bovet Dimier Récital 21
Unique for employing women artisans, Bovet is also known for combining the most sophisticated mechanisms with the finest high-quality artistic watches. The Dimier collection from Bovet features complicated timepieces that are produced using domes, discs, and three-dimensional hands to enhance intuitiveness and elegance.
Presented in a 44.4mm titanium or red gold case, the Bovet Dimier Récital 21 is immediately recognizable thanks to its writing-slope shaped case tapering towards six o’clock. The central dial and the seconds dial feature a blue circular brushed finish with eight layers of lacquer. The main timekeeping is minimized at the center of the display, providing more space in the periphery for perpetual calendar information.
The leap year cycle is beautifully displayed in a circular aperture at 3 o’clock, the month at six, and the day at 12 o’clock. The caliber 113DM05-QPR, entirely designed and manufactured in the Bovet 1822 workshops, powers the watch for up to five days and features a corrector that makes it possible for you to adjust the display by correcting the date after an extended period of use. It costs around US$400,000.
29. A. Lange & Söhne Pour Le Mérite Tourbograph Perpetual 706.050
Expertise, combined with a long established tradition of innovation, has given rise to the A. Lange & Söhne Pour Le Mérite Tourbograph Perpetual timepiece. Coming in an 18-carat honey gold case, the tourbograph perpetual pour le mérite combines a total of five outstanding complications fusée-and-chain transmission, tourbillon, rattrapante chronograph, and perpetual calendar.
Even though it still can’t be considered a Grande Complication since it lacks a chiming function(the term has been used to refer only to the combination of a split-seconds chronograph, a minute repeater, and a perpetual calendar), It’s an incredible tourbillon, and that alone is as impressive as a grande complication.
You may argue that the tourbillon is seen ubiquitously today, but what separates this tourbillon from the others is the fusée-and-chain mechanism; a bridge curved like a bow on the dial that supports the mechanism and gives the watch a sense of depth. This mechanism ensures optimal timekeeping by ensuring that constant force is driven to the escapement despite waning torque from an unwinding mainspring.
Inside, the caliber L133.1, a 52-jeweled, 684-part movement (exclusive of the chain parts in the fusée-and-chain mechanism), can be seen through the transparent case back. It has a 36-hour power reserve and operates at a stately 21,600 semi-oscillations per hour beat rate.
It might not be an over-the-top Haute Horlogerie movement, but it is functional. Starting prices for this high-end luxurious timepiece begin from US$510,000.
30. Patek Philippe 5740 Nautilus Perpetual Calendar
Wondering what half a million-dollar watch looks like?? Take a closer look, because this piece right here adorns the wrists of people with abundant financial means. Retailing for US$516,600, the Patek Philippe 5740 Nautilus Perpetual Calendar (which is right at the top of my bucket list) comes out as iconic and desirable as a supreme timepiece should be.
Still, wondering what a Patek Philippe watch of over half a million dollars comes with? Well, apart from being the first grand complication in the Nautilus collection, the Patek Philippe 5740 Nautilus Perpetual Calendar watch blends a sports appeal with technical sophistication. The watch features a very recognizable dial with blue embossed horizontal stripes and a fine sunburst finish, the index hour markers are made of polished 18kt white gold and are filled with luminous material for maximum visibility in the dark, it is presented in a case made of precious metal (which is exquisitely polished), is water-resistant to 60 meters and it has a strap made of white gold.
At the heart of the watch lies the ultra-thin in-house Patek Philippecalibere 240 Q that self-winds with the kinetic energy generated by the wrist movement of the wearer using a solid 18kt gold weighted micro-rotor.