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Annual Calendar vs Perpetual Calendar

Difference between an Annual Calendar and a Perpetual Calendar Watch

A luxury watch has more unique complications than you can imagine. If you’re confused about the annual calendar watch and a perpetual calendar watch, then you’re not the first one. Watch enthusiasts can instantly tell which watch has which calendar, but it can be a trouble for those who are new to buying high-end watches. Fret not; you will find everything about this watch complication in this blog to make an informed decision. 

Annual Calendar vs. Perpetual Calendar

The difference between perpetual and annual calendar watches is whether the watch was manually set or not. It seems like a simple distinction, but requires intense manpower and mechanical expertise to design watches not requiring manual settings. This is the reason why annual calendar watches are sold at a price lower than the perpetual ones.

In-Depth Look at Perpetual Calendar Watch Its Working

Perpetual calendar watches don’t need to be adjusted until 2100. They automatically advance the day, date, and years, even the leap-years, and months with 30 and 31 days.

The first of such luxury watches was designed by Patek Phillipe in 1925; however, the history of this timepiece goes way back to 1762 when Thomas Mudge first invented a perpetual calendar pocket watch.

The perpetual watches are powered with hefty mechanical parts, including gears, levers, and wheels to calculate the right date and count four years in an instant. You have to be extremely careful when setting the date manually; otherwise, you will have to wait until the batter runs out to fix the error.

Examples of a Perpetual Calendar Watch

Patek Philippe 5270/1R-001


Patek Phillipe never fails to amaze its clients with unique designs and innovative features. The Reference 5270 perpetual chronograph comes in a beautiful ‘rose gold’ and a gold ‘Goutte’ bracelet, which perfectly blends with the case.

The ever-so-gorgeous ebony black sunburst dial with double aperture is accentuated with sandblasted hands for indications. For customization, this Patek Phillipe watch comes with interchangeable sapphire and solid crystal case backs.

Lange Söhne Lange 1 Perpetual Calendar

The next stunning perpetual chronograph is the Lange 1 Perpetual Calendar in an 18-carat white-gold with a pink-gold dial and an 18-carat pink-gold version with a gray dial in 925 silver. The exceptional color combination with a unique dial, featuring a peripheral month ring gives it a sophisticated look.

Despite having everything on the dial, this luxurious timepiece has an elegant and minimal design, breaking the ground for precision watchmaking.

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar


It’s impossible to talk about luxury and timeless classiness without the mention of Audemars Piguet. The AP Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar comes with a ‘Grand Tapisserie’ decorated dial in a yellow gold tone.

The outer chapter of the dial successfully shows the day, date, astronomical moon, leap year, month, and week of the year. The blue inner bezel, Royal Oak hands, and yellow gold hour markers make this timepiece extra special and the perfect royal addition to your collection.

What is an Annual Calendar Watch & How Does It Work?

An annual calendar watch is manually set once a year. You have to adjust it manually on the 1st of March every year as the watch does not count the 28 or 29 days of February.

A timepiece with this complication automatically updates the date on 30 or 31-day months to showcase the right date to the wearer. The first ever annual calendar wristwatch was introduced by Patek Phillipe in 1996.

Annual watches can indicate the day, date, month, and moon phase too. This complication also requires mechanical power to ensure this timepiece shows the correct date, day, and month after one manual adjustment.

If you’re new to luxury timepieces, then annual calendar watches are the perfect first purchase since they are less complicated and less expensive than perpetual ones.

Examples of an Annual Calendar Watch

Patek Phillipe Aquanaut Luce Annual Calendar

Aquanaut Luce is an iconic timepiece in a rounded octagonal shape and a rose gold case. With a blue-gray dial, this luxury watch is the first depiction of sporty wristwear for both men and women. The strap is embossed with an Aquanaut pattern to give it an authentic look.

The self-winding mechanism of the watch along with the gold numerals, sapphire crystal caseback, and patented fold-over clasp make this watch an exceptional choice for every annual calendar watch-lover.

Rolex Sky-Dweller

Another luxury watch with an annual calendar is the Rolex Sky-Dweller with a new design, different from all Rolexes in the market. Having many variants, this timepiece is one of the most celebrated ones among Rolex-lovers. The -0006 Rolex Sky-Dweller is a 42mm wristwatch made up of an Oystersteel case, a bright black dial, and a white gold fluted bezel. You can track two time zones in this watch making it perfect for travel-lovers.

Blancpain Quantième Annuel GMT

Blancpain is the epitome of innovation when it comes to luxury watches. Their Quantième Annuel GMT is a minimalistic and elegant timepiece featuring an annual calendar, GMT Time Zone, scratch-resistant sapphire, and a transparent case back.

This luxury wristwatch is made up of stainless steel with a deployant buckle clasp and crocodile leather band for a more sophisticated look. The white dial adds to the classic design of this one-of-a-kind watch!

Get a Perpetual or Annual Calendar Watch Now


Luxury watches come with many different complications, but everyone is aware of them. If you’re new to buying an opulent wristwatch for yourself, then it’s a must to know about such complications before you invest your money in them.

Whether you wish to buy a Rolex or an Audemars Piguet, these features make a watch special and a must-buy. Decide whether you wish to go with an annual calendar or a perpetual one and invest your money in a timeless piece to look your best self!

Kevin Ghassemi WatchMaestro
Written By

Kevin Ghassemi

Kevin Ghassemi is WatchMaestro's Operations Manager, responsible for sales and purchases of watches. He engages personally with clients, bonding over their shared passion for timepieces. In his leisure, he shares his expertise on social media and occasionally contributes to blog posts.

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