Often featured in ladies’ watches, the moon-phase complication reproduces the lunar cycle in a miniature version. It generally appears as a disk or aperture. This function serves to keep track of full moons, new moons as well as when the moon is waxing or waning. A fascinating complication that gives a good reason for having your head in the stars !
The dial facet has lots of other treats for the onlooker, namely those linked to the perpetual calendar as well as the rattrapante chronograph. The former is composed of 206 parts, almost a third of the 684 total element count of the L133.1 caliber. Lange’s moon phase is “accurate to 122.6 years” — mind you, that “accuracy” means that it requires that much time to get the moon phase display to be off by a complete moment. This sort of arbitrary way is the way the accuracy of moon phase displays in watches is generally determined, not that anybody actually cares about real practicality beyond its aesthetic and engineering element.The rattrapante chronograph on the other hand is one of the most technically impressive and challenging complications out there. A few watchmakers I asked told me that they find it even more challenging to do than the usual sonnerie or moment repeater, and definitely a much bigger pain in the neck compared to a perpetual calendar (unless it is instantaneous or further complex). The two laser sharp chronograph seconds palms rest a hair’s width above one another in their reset place, with the blue being the rattrapante hand, operated by the pusher in the 10 o’clock position of the case.
Our selection of eight ladies’ moon phase watches :
A. Lange & Söhne – Little Lange 1 Moon Phase
The guilloché silvered gold dial of this model is swept over by hours and minutes hands and enlivened by a power-reserve indicator, a large date with jumping numerals and an astronomical complication composed of two golden moons. CHF 39’300.–
Breguet – Classique Phases de Lune Dame 9088
While the hours and minutes are indicated by open-tipped hands, the small seconds hand at 6 o’clock turns around the moon-phase aperture bearing a smiling moon. CHF 28’000.–
Girard-Perregaux – Cat’s Eye Celestial
Directly connected to the barrel, this extremely precise moon-phase complication immediately draws the gaze to the appealing motherof- pearl and aventurine dial center that lends a supremely elegant touch to this watch displaying the hours and minutes. CHF 44’800.–
Zenith – Elite Lady Moonphase
This creation with its turquoise lacquered dial features leaf-type hour and minute hands, small seconds at 9 o’clock, along with a moon-phase complication at 6 o’clock composed of a star-studded midnight blue disk. CHF 7’400.–
Parmigiani Fleurier – Tonda Métropolitaine Sélène Galaxy
This entirely hand-decorated watch is equipped with Delta-shaped openworked hands revealing the midnight blue aventurine dial, small seconds at 6 o’clock, a date disk and a pink (April) moon featuring a surface dotted with craters (referred to as “lunar seas”). CHF 16’100.–
Bulgari – Lvcea Moonphase
Playing on the day/night contrast, this timepiece displays the moon phases through an aperture shaped like the arc of a circle and appearing in the upper part of the dial that is swept over by hours and minutes hands. CHF 15’000.–
Jaeger-Lecoultre – Rendez-Vous Moon Medium
This timepiece displaying hours, minutes and seconds has been meticulously crafted by the artisans of the Manufacture who have applied a sandblasted finish to the midnight blue moon disk and a guilloché motif to the dial center, in order to give a realistic touch to this complication. CHF 15’800.–
Bovet – Recital 11 Miss Alexandra
The artisans of the Manufacture have opted for an unconventional design with a fixed moon to indicate the lunar phases, while the hours and minutes hands form a heart every 60 minutes in the 6 o’clock subdial. CHF 43’000.–
To see the pictures of our selection of watches, clic on the link “View the gallery”.