There are few American cities better than Las Vegas, the Macau of the West. If one looks at the city with an ironic, post-modern eye, the giant gaudy casinos that are architectural pastiches of Paris, Venice and ancient Egypt just seem hilarious fun. Pirates, gondolas and knights in armour all within a few minutes' walk of each other; what's not to love? Even the sneaky tactics the casinos employ, such as the lack of clocks and natural daylight to make you lose track of time, are forgivable if you're prepared. So on your next visit to Vegas - or the Cotai Strip, for that matter - it might be a good idea to take a moon-phase watch with you.
Moon-phase complications are among the most accessible found in timepieces because they aren't all that complicated but remain popular from a design standpoint. As a result, they can be found at various price points. Take, for example, the Maurice Lacroix Masterpiece Lune Retrograde (above right), which is a steal at HK$62,500. Available with a blue, white or black dial face, the Masterpiece Lune Retrograde's wonderful design makes the watch look more complicated than it actually is. The 43mm case comes in polished steel and houses a dial that indicates hours, minutes, day, retrograde date, power reserve and, finally, the prominent moon-phase indicator at the six o'clock position. The watch has a 52-hour power reserve, is water resistant to 50 metres and comes with a lovely black crocodile leather strap. With an extremely attractive price, great design and a flurry of nice features, the Maurice Lacroix Masterpiece Lune Retrograde is certainly worth a gamble.
Another great moon-phase watch with a tempting price is the Chronoswiss Lunar Chronograph (below right). Coming in either a steel or rose-gold case that measures 38mm, the Lunar Chronograph is a watch that is dominated by its busy dial face featuring four subdials that indicate small seconds, 30 minutes and 12 hours as well as a more stylised moon-phase indicator. Other features include an analog date indicator and a 46-hour power reserve. The design of the watch is markedly different from the Maurice Lacroix, but the aesthetic is no less pleasing, with the Lunar Chronograph relying on a more classic approach, both in terms of the numerals and the detailing on the bezel. Coming with a black leather strap, the Chronoswiss Lunar Chronograph rose gold is priced at HK$150,000 and the steel version (far right) costs a bargain HK$61,500.
Moving up in price, we have the Chopard L.U.C. Lunar One (below left), a watch that turned many heads at the World Brand Piazza at last month's Hong Kong Watch & Clock Fair. The L.U.C. Lunar One is an unashamedly luxurious watch, coming with a 43mm, 18-carat gold case and housing a wondrous mechanical self-winding L.U.C 96.13-L (L.U.C 96QP) calibre movement that features a perpetual calendar. The L.U.C Lunar One was launched to much acclaim in 2005, but the 2012 version has been tweaked in all the right places without losing the design impact of the original. The dial retains the mix of classic touches with bold indicators that show small seconds, day, date, month and 24 hours as well as a leap-year indicator at the three o'clock position. The power reserve is an impressive 70 hours and the watch comes with a brown leather strap. The Chopard L.U.C. Lunar One comes in either white or rose gold, each priced at HK$490,000.