Guides Watches

The 12 Best Calendar Watches of 2023

Patek Philippe 5905R Calendar Watches 2023

Now that we’ve established what various calendar watches actually are (unless of course you’ve skipped all the text to get to the pictures of pretty watches), it’s time to look at some recent examples of how complete, annual and perpetual calendars have been executed.  It’s worth noting that, thanks to the sheer complicated nature of most calendars, it’s generally only the big brands that can really tackle them, be they established giants of the watch world or esoteric high-end independents.

That in turn means that there are some seriously beautiful watches involved. And a couple of disclaimers. Firstly, I won’t be including one-offs, so no Furlan Marri Secular Perpetual Calendar; that was for Only Watch. Hopefully they release it to the mainstream, but only time will tell. Secondly, it has to have day, date and month at the very least. Moon phase not necessary, but appreciated. Now, with that all out the way, let’s get on with looking at the best calendar watches of 2023.

Baume et Mercier Riviera Baumatic 10742 Perpetual Calendar

Baume & Mercier Riviera Baumatic Perpetual Calendar 10742

Let’s kick things off with one of the biggest calendar surprises of the year from otherwise affordable watchmaker Baume & Mercier. The sporty, integrated bracelet look of the uber-chic Riviera has been given a haute horology overhaul with a full-on perpetual calendar in a classic, easy-to-read layout, complete with a moon phase.

The entire dial is a glorious mix of brushed gold and blue and marks a distinctive contrast to the otherwise industrial case – that’s somehow water resistant to a more-than-solid 500m. All of this for just £16,990, a pittance in perpetual terms. You can see why there are only 50 of these things.

Case/dial: 40mm diameter x 11.84mm thickness, stainless steel case, sun brushed gilded dial
Water resistance: 50m (5 bar)
Movement: Baume et Mercier calibre Baumatic, automatic, 21 jewels, 28,800 vph (4 Hz) frequency, 120h power reserve
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, perpetual calendar
Strap: Stainless steel
Price: £16,990, limited to 50 pieces

More Details

Frederique Constant Highlife Tourbillon Perpetual Calendar Limited Edition

Frederique Constant Highlife Tourbillon Perpetual Calendar Limited Edition

Frederique Constant have been celebrating their 35th anniversary throughout 2023 and in doing so, they’ve been focusing on their high end collections. The Frederique Constant Highlife Tourbillon Perpetual Calendar Manufacture Limited Edition reimagines the golden timepiece they released earlier in the year in a fresh steel case.

The steel makes it a much more practical calendar watch, although it’s no less striking from an aesthetic stand point as it plays into the integrated sports watch design of the piece. Plus, of course, the perpetual calendar dial with days, date, months and leap year indication, joined at 6 o’clock by the tourbillon.

Case/dial: 41mm diameter x 12.65mm thickness, stainless steel, matte blue dial
Water resistance: 100m (10 bar)
Movement: Manufacture FC-975, automatic, 33 jewels, 28,800 vph (4 Hz) frequency, 38h power reserve
Functions: Hours, minutes, small seconds, perpetual calendar, tourbillon
Strap: Three-link steel bracelet and additional navy blue rubber strap
Price: £23,995, limited to 88 pieces

More Details

Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Control Chronograph Calendar

Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Control Chronograph Calendar

When days, date, months and moon phase just aren’t enough indications for you, you come to the Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Control Chronograph Calendar. As the name suggests, the watchmaker has incorporated a full chronograph into the mix, largely by keeping day and month to apertures at 12 o’clock and combining date and moon phase into one six o’clock subdial.

This leaves the rest of the dial free for the chronograph, somehow balancing the entire mix into an elegant, black and rose gold dress watch. There’s a lot in here and thankfully a lot to love as well. It’s an indication once again that the Master Control may be JLC’s finest collection. Sorry, Reverso.

Case/dial: 40mm diameter x 12.05mm thickness, pink gold case, black sunray brushed dial
Water resistance: 50m (5 bar)
Movement: Jaeger-LeCoultre calibre 759, automatic, 37 jewels, 28,800 vph (4 Hz) frequency, 65h power reserve
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, date, month, chronograph, pulsometer, moonphase
Strap: Alligator leather with pink gold pin buckle
Price: £31,200

More Details

IWC Big Pilots Watch Perpetual Calendar Top Gun Lake Tahoe

IWC Big Pilot’s Watch Perpetual Calendar Top Gun Lake Tahoe

Sure, this one has a convoluted name, but that’s because there’s a lot going on. And IWC’s naming conventions need an update, but that’s a separate conversation. A cover star from earlier in the year, the combination of crisp white ceramic case and perpetual calendar complication marks this as a successor to IWC’s early Da Vinci models; the genesis of ceramic in watchmaking.

This time though it’s wrapped in a military-slanted pilots’ watch with the collection’s signature oversized crown and nods to fighter jets in white on the black dial. Layout wise, it looks and feels more technical than some of the dressier pieces on this list, as does the gargantuan size.

Case/dial: 46.5mm diameter x 15.5mm height, white ceramic case, matte black dial
Water resistance: 60m (6 bar)
Movement: IWC calibre 52615, automatic, in-house, Pellaton self-winding system, 386 parts, 54 jewels, 28,800 vph (4 Hz) frequency, 42h power reserve
Functions: Hours, minutes, perpetual Calendar with displays for the date, day, month, year in four digits and perpetual moon phase for both northern and southern hemispheres, power reserve display
Strap: White rubber with textile inlay and deployant clasp
Price: £34,900

More Details

Piaget Polo Perpetual Calendar Ultra-Thin

Piaget Polo Perpetual Calendar Ultra-Thin

A watch that, in my opinion, doesn’t get talked about enough is the Piaget Polo. Earlier in the year Piaget launched a new version of the Polo Perpetual Calendar Ultra-Thin Steel featuring an emerald green dial. Evidently Piaget are on a green kick because it was subsequently followed up by the Polo Field, an almost identical watch sans calendar complication.

With the porthole shaped case and dial, plus the horizontal lines (known as gadroons) across the display, it’s an archetypal sports watch design. It’s just 8.65mm in thickness, making it very slim on the wrist despite its 42mm diameter.

Case/dial: 42mm diameter x 8.65mm thickness, stainless steel case, emerald green dial with gadroons pattern
Water resistance: 30m (3 bar)
Movement: Piaget calibre 1255P (based on 1200P), automatic, in-house, 25 jewels, 21,600 vph (3 Hz) frequency, 42h power reserve
Functions: Hours, minutes, perpetual calendar, moonphase
Strap: H shaped stainless steel bracelet with folding clasp with additional green rubber strap
Price: £53,000

More Details

Patek Philippe 5905R

Patek Philippe 5905R

The maestros of calendar watches, Patek Philippe have been instrumental in developing the complication at every level. Needless to say, it’s a strange year when they don’t release a particularly lovely version – and the 5905R is lovely indeed. Rose gold and royal blue make a regal combination, but the true excellence of the watch lies in its triple window annual calendar layout, with day, date and month all in neat apertures across the top half of the dial.

The rest of the dial is put aside for the chronograph minute counter (with inset day/night indicator) for the flyback chronograph – because yes, this is also a flyback. It offers a lot of information in a way that’s not only readable, but feels almost minimal.

Case/dial: 42mm diameter x 14.03mm thickness, rose gold case, sunburst blue dial
Water resistance: 30m (3 bar)
Movement: Patek Philippe calibre CH 28‑520 QA 24H, automatic, 37 jewels, 28,800 vph (4 Hz) frequency, 55h power reserve
Strap: Alligator leather with prong buckle
Price: £60,480

More Details

H Moser Cie Endeavour Perpetual Calendar Tantalum

H. Moser & Cie Endeavour Perpetual Calendar Tantalum

Moser know how to make an exceptional dial, but even by their stunning standards of fume, the offering here is next-level. Layers of grand feu enamel on a hammered base, the texture to it is gorgeous, with an almost organic grain. I’ve not come cross much else to compare.

You can see why, then, Moser’s perpetual calendar is one of the most… sparse out there. There’s no year or day (I’m bending my own rules but as the movement has the capability for both, I’m allowing it), and at a glance only the date makes itself known. The months are actually shown on a tiny central hand that works as a month indicator using where the one to 12 would normally be. It’s quirky, inventive and beautiful – pure Moser.

Case/dial: 42mm diameter x 13.1mm thickness, tantalum and stainless steel case, abyss blue fumé “Grand Feu” enamel with hammered texture
Water resistance: 30m (3 bar)
Movement: HMC calibre 800, manual winding, 32 jewels, 18,000 vph (2.5 Hz) frequency, 168h (7 days) power reserve
Functions: Hours, minutes, perpetual calendar, date, month indicator, power reserve indicator, leap year cycle indicator
Strap: Hand stitched grey Kadu leather
Price: CHF 75,000 (approx. £66,950)

More Details

Breguet Classique Quantième Perpétuel

Breguet Classique Quantième Perpétuel

Last but not least we have the latest from the watch brand that popularised the perpetual calendar as a complication and is often (erroneously) credited with its creation, Breguet. Essentially an update to the Ref. 5327, everything form the coin edge detailing on the case to the elegant, asymmetrical layout that could have come from an antique pocket watch screams Breguet.

It’s a prestige timepiece if ever there was one, even with the off-kilter layout making the best use of space. It’s one of the most traditional – and traditionally finished – calendar watches here, right down to the Roman (not Breguet) numerals.

Case/dial: 39mm diameter x 9.13mm thickness, 18k rose gold case, silvered gold dial
Water resistance: 30m (3 bar)
Movement: Breguet calibre 502.3.P, automatic, 35 jewels, 21,600 vph (3 Hz) frequency, 45h power reserve
Strap: Leather
Price: £73,100

More Details

Panerai Radiomir Annual Calendar Platinumtech

Panerai Radiomir Annual Calendar Platinumtech

The first time Panerai have put an annual calendar into a Radiomir case, the 2023 Platinumtech model is downright gorgeous. The mix of precious metal and a dark red gradient dial is stunning, with an unusual peripheral month – in Italian, of course. It keeps the entire calendar sleek and sophisticated, making great use of the Radiomir’s expansive dial.

It’s worth noting too that this isn’t just platinum; the cushion case is made from Paenrai’s own harder, more scratch resistant take on the material (the tech in Platinumtech), making this a touch more practical than your ‘standard’ calendar watch. Oh, and it also comes with a cultural trip to Rome. Why? No idea, but it’s a nice addition either way.

Case/dial: 45mm diameter, Platiniumtech case, burgundy sun-brushed dial
Water resistance: 100m (10 bar)
Movement: Panerai calibre P.9010/AC, in-house automatic, 40 jewels, 316 parts, 28,800 vph (4 Hz) frequency, 72h (3 days) power reserve
Functions: Hours, seconds, annual calendar
Strap: Alligator leather
Price: £76,000

More Details

Audemars Piguet x Travis Scott Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar Openworked Cactus Jack Limited Edition

Audemars Piguet x Travis Scott Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar Openworked “Cactus Jack” Limited Edition

A late addition to the list, launched only a few days ago, is the Audemars Piguet x Travis Scott Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar Openworked “Cactus Jack”. It’s not an unexpected collaboration considering that Scott is close friends with the outgoing CEO of AP François-Henry Bennahmias and in fact, this was the final project overseen by Bennahmias at the company.

The watch features several nods to Scott’s Cactus Jack brand across its perpetual calendar display, including the logo featuring as the days indicator hand. Plus, the typography across the piece is an imitation of Scott’s own handwriting. It’s also the first time I can think of that a watch has used brown ceramic.

Case/dial: 41mm diameter x 9.9mm thickness, brown ceramic, sapphire dial, brown inner bezel
Water resistance: 200m (20 bar)
Movement: AP calibre 5135, in-house, automatic, 38 jewels, 19,800 vph (2.75 Hz) frequency, 40h power reserve
Strap: Brown leather with textured jeans effect with pink gold folding clasp, AP & Travis Scott signatures
Price: CHF 178,000 (excl. taxes) (approx. £162, 233), limited to 200 pieces

More Details

Bulgari Octo Finissimo CarbonGold Perpetual Calendar

Bulgari Octo Finissimo CarbonGold Perpetual Calendar

The name says it all really. This version of Bulgari’s impossibly thin Finissimo collection renders the titanium model in a full carbon case with an organic grain and lightness to match the watch’s svelte silhouette. Even the dial is carbon, though the dark material has been paired with plenty of rose gold for a contrast that makes it surprisingly one of the cleaner perpetual calendars out there.

That’s largely due to the layout, which uses a retrograde date at the top and a retrograde leap year at the bottom, with days at 7:30, months at 4:30. No moon phase here and the watch is all the cleaner and more succinct for it, all wrapped in pure Italian glamour.

Case/dial: 40mm diameter ‘CarbonGold’ anthracite-coloured carbon case, anthracite-coloured carbon dial
Water resistance: 100m (10 bar)
Movement: Bulgari calibre BVL 305, automatic, 24 jewels, 21,600 vph (3 Hz) frequency, 60h power reserve
Strap: Anthracite-coloured carbon
Price: Price on request

More Details

A Lange Sohne 1815 Rattrapante Perpetual Calendar

A. Lange & Sohne 1815 Rattrapante Perpetual Calendar

The final form of calendar chronographs, take everything from the previous two watches and amp up the horology to the highest level. Not only is this complicated version of Lange’s 1815 a chronograph, it’s a split-seconds chronograph. Not only is it a calendar, but it’s a fully-fledged perpetual calendar, needing adjustment in 2100, not before.

And not only is it a handsome dress watch, it’s a stunning mix of salmon, blue and white gold, amping up those dress watch vibes. All this also means that the pinnacle of Saxon watchmaking is also a magnitude pricier. Just how much? Well, if you need to ask…

Case/dial: 41.9mm diameter x 14.7mm thickness, 18k white gold case, solid pink gold dial
Movement: Lange manufacture calibre L101.1, manual winding, 43 jewels, 631 parts, 21,600 vph (3 Hz) frequency, 42h power reserve
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, rattrapante chronograph, perpetual calendar; date, day of week, month, moon phase and leap year, power reserve indicator
Strap: Dark brown hand-stitched alligator leather
Price: Price on request

More Details

Leave a Comment

*

*

About the author

Sam Kessler

Legend has it that Sam’s first word was ‘escapement’ and, while he might have started that legend himself, he’s been in the watch world long enough that it makes little difference. As the editor of Oracle Time, he’s our leading man for all things horological – even if he does love yellow dials to a worrying degree. Owns a Pogue; doesn’t own an Oyster Perpetual. Yet.

Subscribe to Our Newsletter?