10 Compelling Calendar Watches for Your Collection

10 Compelling Calendar Watches for Your Collection

| 12.14.23

Part of the appeal of watch collecting lies in the romantic associations inherent in certain types of timepieces. Beat up old field watches, for example, carry reminders of past lives in the military, or on explorations of snowy peaks in faraway lands. World time watches call to mind the allure of early 20th-century travel, before the world was shrunk by the development of the jet airliner.

 Calendar watches, meanwhile, mean different things to different people. Some indeed associate them with travel due to their ability to track days, weeks, months, years, or even the phase of the moon. Others are awestruck by their mechanical sophistication — the sheer mathematical brilliance that makes them function, sometimes automatically for years, like small computers. And because certain calendar watches of the past are so devastatingly complicated and exclusive that only the wealthiest titans of industry could afford to commission them, others see them as more akin to art than horology. 

Patek Philippe 5236P Perpetual Calendar - (Image by A Blog to Watch)

Calendar watches come in many forms: The simple date wheel technically constitutes a “calendar” watch, while beyond this are the day-date complication, the complete calendar, the annual calendar, the perpetual calendar, and grand complications that include calendar information. Complicated pocket watches have included calendar information for hundreds of years, while calendar wristwatches are a more recent invention, dating back roughly a century. 

Here, we’re going to examine 10 excellent calendar watches currently on offer at Analog:Shift, from simple date-equipped models to grand complications. The wonderful thing about calendar watches is that their design, functionality, and price truly run the gamut — indeed, one can purchase a calendar watch for a few thousand dollars, or a few million! Enjoy our selection below, and be sure to reach out to us if there’s a particular calendar watch you’re after — we can surely help you source it.

Movado Triple Calendar Dress Watch ~ ($2,900)

Movado Triple Calendar Dress Watch - IN THE SHOP

Triple-calendar watches are an excellent entry point into calendar watch collecting. While the individual functions need to be adjusted several times a year to track months of different lengths, a triple-calendar maintains the charm and romantic associations of more complicated calendar watches for a fraction of the price. This example from Movado dates to the 1950s and is housed in a highly wearable 34mm case with faceted ‘horn’ lugs. 

Angelus Chronodato Triple Calendar Chronograph ~ ($5,900)

Angelus Chonodato Triple Calendar Chronograph - IN THE SHOP

The Angelus Chronodato is simply an incredible relic of complicated 1940s watchmaking at an unbeatable value: For well under $10,000 you get an oversized, 38mm watch with day and month windows, a pointer date complication, and a two-register chronograph with a 45-minute register. Handsome and in excellent condition with crips hallmarks and case engravings, this beautiful, complicated calendar watch was actually was the first wrist-worn chronograph to feature a calendar function

Ochs und Junior Anno-Annual Calendar ~ ($7,900)

Ochs und Junior Anno-Annual Calendar - IN THE SHOP

Stemming from the mind of lauded watch designer Dr. Ludwig Oechslin, this radical departure from more standard calendar fare turns a simple ETA 2824-2 movement into a stunning piece of industrial and horological art. Housed in a titanium case, its dial uses small cutaways to provide the calendar information: the date around the periphery, the months below 12 o’clock, and the day of the week above 6 o’clock. Absolutely brilliant! 

Franck Muller Curvex Perpetual Calendar ~ ($12,000)

Franck Muller Curvex PerpetuaL Calendar - IN THE SHOP

One of Franck Muller’s more restrained designs, this perpetual calendar displays a wealth of information without clutter. Housed in a wrist-hugging, solid yellow gold ‘Curvex’ case, it features beautifully stylized ‘Arabic’ indices, a ‘Breguet’ handset, and day, date, month, leap year, and moon phase information — all neatly contained in four small totalizers. Powered by an automatic movement and paired to a simple, black leather strap, it oozes class and refinement. 

Piaget Perpetual Calendar ~ ($12,950) 

Piaget Perpetual Calendar - IN THE SHOP

The 1990s/early 2000s was an interesting period in watch design, with brands referencing classic motifs such as engine-turned dials, stepped bezels, and smaller case sizes. This gorgeous QP from Piaget hits all the right notes: Measuring 33mm wide, it’s powered by an ultra-thin, automatic movement and features a to-die-for white dial with silvered, radial subdials. Cased in yellow gold, it’s an attractive value proposition considering brand, complication, and movement. 

Breguet Serpentine Triple Calendar Moonphase ~ ($18,900)

Breguet Serpentine Triple Calendar Moonphase - IN THE SHOP

Another early 2000s beauty, this magnificent Breguet Serpentine is a triple- rather than a perpetual calendar — however, it’s doubtful that you’ll pay much attention to its simpler mechanical architecture given its stunning aesthetics. From the beautiful, stepped yellow gold case with coin-edge sides to the cloud-de-Paris guilloché dial with ‘Breguet’ hands and silvered tracks, this piece is truly a work of art. Wear it every day, wear it as a dress watch…just wear it!

IWC Portugieser Perpetual Calendar ~ ($28,000)

IWC Portugieser Perpetual Calendar - IN THE SHOP

The Portugieser line presents a different face of the International Watch Company than the pilot’s watches for which the Swiss firm is renowned. In modern form, the collection houses some of the maison’s most complicated pieces, including this remarkable QP, a Ref. IW503401. With its oversized white gold case, satin blue dial, wealth of visible information, and whopping 7-day power reserve, it’s an impressive display of horological creativity. 

Vacheron Constantin Traditionelle Complete Calendar ~ ($44,650)

Vacheron Comnstantin Traditionelle Complete Calendar - IN THE SHOP

Designed in reference to historical models from the maison’s back catalog, the Traditionelle Complete Calendar Ref. 4010T/000R-B344 is as clean a design as they come. Housed in a 41mm rose gold case, it’s larger than many vintage models — but its simple dial layout with outer date scale, dual day and month windows, and moon phase display above 6 o’clock makes it highly legible and elegant. (A beautifully finished movement doesn’t hurt, either.)

A. Lange & Söhne Lange 1815 Annual Calendar ~ ($54,950)

A.Lange & Söhne Lange 1815 Annual Calendar - IN THE SHOP

No one produces watches quite like Saxon brand A. Lange & Söhne. Its 1815 Annual Calendar combines classical tropes from pocket watch design with a sophisticated dial display to offer a wealth of information in a clever way. (Take a look at the 9 o’clock register and you’ll realize it neatly combines both day and date indicators.) Paired to a rose gold case and powered by a hand-finished movement, it’s a truly stellar example of the complication.

Patek Philippe Annual Calendar Flyback Chronograph ~ ($84,900)

Patek Philippe Annual Calendar Flyback Chronograph - IN THE SHOP

If you can believe it, Patek Philippe has been serially producing perpetual calendar watches combined with other complications since the 1940s. This model, a Reference 5960P from the 2010s, deftly combines a QP with a 30-minute/12-hour chronograph and houses the whole shebang in a 40.5mm platinum case. A superb balance of utility and luxury, it perfectly encapsulates Patek’s mastery of complications.