In its most simplistic definition, a calendar watch indicates the day, date, month – leap year in the case of perpetual calendars – on the dial. Since the real estate on the dial is scarce considering the number of indications required in a calendar watch, their design is often a study in balance and symmetry. Here are some of the notable introductions in 2019.
Vacheron Traditionnelle Twin Beat Perpetual Calendar
Unveiled at SIHH 2019, the new Traditionnelle Twin Beat Perpetual Calendar from Vacheron Constantin claims to function closer to “in perpetuity” than any perpetual calendar that preceded it.
The Twin Beat Perpetual Calendar, with its innovative and patent-pending mechanism, allows user to switch the frequency of its movement from active mode, in which it beats at a speedy 36,000 vph (5 Hz), to standby mode, in which it drastically slows to an energy-conserving 8,640 vph (1.2 Hz). A “mode selector” helps the user switch from one to the other.
WHAT MAKES IT SPECIAL? This is a major flex from the world’s oldest manufacture - a thoroughly modern idea for an age-old complication that actually offers the end-user a practical benefit.
JLC Master Grande Tradition Gyrotourbillon Westminster Perpétuel
Jaeger-LeCoultre pulled out all the stops at SIHH 2019 this year when it unveiled the Master Grande Tradition Gyrotourbillon Westminster Perpétuel, the watchmaker’s latest multi-axis tourbillon. This timepiece combines a perpetual calendar, a minute repeater with Westminister chime and a constant force mechanism to ensure a steady supply of power to the escapement.
It uses a 43 mm white gold case with sandblasted flanks and a highly polished narrow bezel. The deep blue grand feu enamel dial (also available as a silver dial), is bordered by a grained silver ring that houses the engraved date ring. The perpetual calendar’s indications – day, month and date - are placed in harmony across this enamel dial.
WHAT MAKES IT SPECIAL?
Jaeger-LeCoultre’s versatility in the industry and sense of design is unmatched and the new Master Control line is proof enough of this ability. Though the hypnotic Gryotourbillon is the life of this party, the watch also has a perpetual calendar and a chiming mechanism. €955,000
Baume et Mercier Baumatic Perpetual Calendar
Baume et Mercier's Clifton Baumatic Perpetual Calendar is the result of a perpetual calendar module being added to the base Baumatic movement which was first introduced last year. The movement is notable for its 5-day power reserve, anti-magnetic properties, and lengthy service intervals (it can run up to seven years without any need for service).
Encased in a 42-mm-wide satin-finished red gold case, this watch is just 12.1 mm thick and features short curved lugs and is fitted with a domed anti-glare sapphire crystal.
WHAT MAKES IT SPECIAL?
It’s not often that you see a perpetual calendar wristwatch with the attributes of a modern movement like the Baumatic at a relatively affordable price. This is a formidable movement in a classically designed gold-cased watch, all at a price of $24,500.
Bovet Retrograde Perpetual Calendar Recital 21
The Bovet Retrograde Perpetual Calendar Récital 21 has an atypical perpetual calendar display and features the brand’s “writing slope” case. The watch offers a completely different take on the classical style codes of a perpetual calendar.
The minute and hour hands are located in the center on Bovet’s now characteristic circular-brushed blue dial. Thanks to the inclined case, the dial-makers have plenty of volume to play with and consequently the seconds hand sweeps under the hours and minutes dial.
WHAT MAKES IT SPECIAL?
Bovet’s approach to the perpetual calendar display is refreshingly different from everything else that’s out there. It has a well thought-out movement too - apart from the 5-day power reserve, adjustments to days, date, and month functions, can be done simultaneously thanks to an innovate corrector mechanism. $72,500 Read more here.
Patek Ref. 5212A Weekly Calendar
At Baselworld 2019, Patek Philippe revealed its latest contribution to the category, the Ref. 5212A-001 Calatrava Weekly Calendar, a wristwatch that features a new in-house caliber and also happens to be the first stainless steel piece in the mainstream Calatrava collection.
The silvery opaline dial has an unconventional layout, with five center-mounted hands – hours and minutes indicated on blackened white-gold baton indices by Dauphine hands also in blackened white gold; seconds tracked by a slender counterbalanced hand; the day of the week displayed by a hammer-tipped hand on a circular scale in the dial’s middle; and the number of both the month and the week pointed to by another similarly designed hand on two concentric scales at the periphery of the dial. $29,000 (Approx)
WHAT MAKES IT SPECIAL: There are not too many brands now (only Oris and Blancpain come to mind) that produce Weekly Calendars, so to have one presented by a brand like Patek Philippe is truly special. Also helps that the watch is a real looker.