So supermoon. Or is it super-moon? SuperMoon? #Supesmoo? Whatever. Anyway, I missed the whole thing, which, let’s be honest, unlike the hashtag I just invented, sounded a bit meh. I have far better things to do with my life than stare at the sky, such as spending hours and hours and yet more hours playing the new Football Managersimulation game on my phone. I know where my priorities lie. Last month’s #Supesmoo did, however, get me thinking about moonphase watches, and I’ve seen some crackers recently, so here’s a round-up of three of the best.
Vacheron Constantin is great at many things but, when it comes to executing the moonphase complication, well, few do it better. As we march towards the end of the year, we are getting sneak peaks at the big launches for 2017 and one of the standouts from Vacheron Constantin is the Patrimony Moonphase and Retrograde Date. The simple, classic watch features a moonphase at the orthodox six o’clock position, but the twist here is the age of the moon laid out in numeral form just above the indicator. The second complication is the retrograde date, which, pleasingly, has been placed across the top of the dial, so watching the mark snap back to one after 31 is something to savour. The 18-carat white-gold case is sized at 42.5mm, which is a bit on the large side. Inside beats a 2460 movement with 40 hours of power reserve. Prices for the Patrimony Moonphase and Retrograde Date will be released shortly.
Glashütte Original, like other classical German watchmakers, is also adept at the moonphase and I’m a big fan of the new Senator Excellence Panorama Date Moonphase (left). There’s a skeletonised version of this watch out there that’s getting a lot of love but, for me, the more basic and less jazz hands version is a keeper. As with Vacheron Constantin, Glashütte Original’s stock-in-trade is classic design and here it’s showcased the best from days of yore but mixed things up by moving the moonphase indicator to the 11 o’clock position. Another standout is the long, blue-steel hands that offer a stark contrast to the 40mm white- or red-gold case. As the name suggests, the other major plus of this watch is the big date window. Date windows are often annoying as they upset the symmetry of a dial, but if you’re going to have one, you might as well as make it a feature. Inside the watch is an in-house calibre 36-04 movement and it comes with a Louisiana alligator leather strap. The Senator Excellence Panorama Date Moon Phase is priced at HK$179,000 for the red-gold version and HK$93,500 for the steel.
Finally, we have an unusual, but all the better for it, rendering of the moonphase complication from Maurice Lacroix. The LC6168-SS001-122-1 (yes, the company doesn’t appear to name its timepieces with watch writers in mind) is ostensibly an unremarkable 40mm steel watch but the centre of the dial has been given over to lunar decoration as well as the moonphase-indicator window. There isn’t all that much else here. The competent ML37 movement has 38 hours of power and the features are simple, but the overall design is eye-catching and people who want to ram home the moonphase aspect will love it. The LC6168-SS001-122-1 is priced at HK$22,000.