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moon phase watch models

A Complete Guide to Moon Phase Watches

In the 19th century, the watchmakers found the need to bring in something new to the watch, so they added the element of the movement of the moon along with its complications. These watches are named moon phase watches because the dial has a moonphase indicator on it. It replicates the exact position of the moon right at your wrist. Here’s everything you need to know about moonphase watches.

What is a moon phase watch?

Moon phase wrist watches are those timepieces that show all the phases of the movement of the moon from the indicator present on the dial. People can see if the moon is new, quarter, half, or full. There is a history and purpose attached to these watches. Here are all the minor details present in this wristwear and some very amazing reasons behind them.

History behind

Sumerians were the first people who started tracking months with the help of the different phases of the moon. From there the idea evolved towards calenders and then towards moon phase watches.

The very first moon phase movement was seen in the Antikythera mechanism that the Greeks made. It was used to describe all the astronomical positions and the eclipses of the present and also predicted the movements of the next decade.

Moving towards the history of the moon watch for men, it dates back to the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The watchmakers attached the moon phases directly to the wrists of the people. Now all you need is a quick glance at your watch to see the current phase of the moon. You do not have to wait for the night to see the moon as it is displayed on your wrist 24/7.

Moon phase watch complications

The high-end watches are a piece of art and in moon phase watches, the detailing of craftsmanship is amazing. The movement of the moon is functional in a cycle that ends after 29.5 days and then gets repeated. This moon cycle gains power through the 59-tooth gear that is further divided by 2 moons to show the entire lunar cycle of 29.5 days.

Due to the highly complex mechanism, the moon phases go off every month by only 0.3 days. As a result, the overall mechanism gets changed after 2.5 years and requires a reset.

There are also some pieces that possess 135 teeth gear, and the watches stay accurate for about 122 years. These are very rare, as even the luxury watches at this time have 59-tooth gear.

The phases of the moon are present on the aperture of the dial which is curved from the exit and entry positions. In this manner, people can see the Moon from the wax and wane so that they can easily understand the size and accurate moon phase.

Timeless elegance

Moon phase watch for men and women are rising in the watch industry as it provides a prime vintage feeling to the watch owner. It radiates the positive vibes to wear a timepiece that is complex in nature and that tells the entire story of the moon and time.

montblanc classic

Now that you understand the need for these watches, here are some recommendations for you so that you can add the most popular and well-known edition to your collection.

Top 7 luxury moon phase watches for men

Moon phase watch for men has a large variety, some can be bought at an affordable rate, and some are prime examples of the most luxurious watches. In this wide range, you can choose the categories of moon phase watch for men, moon phase watch for women, or unisex. Here is a short list of all the options and their short descriptions. Take a look at them so that you spend on the perfect timepiece.

Rolex Cellini

Rolex Cellini’s white dial has the enamel blue disc placed at 6 o’clock, showing the moon phase that is depicted through meteorite applique. This watch has the mechanism of 135 teeth gear, which will remain accurate for 122 years.

Dimensions: 39mm diameter, 46.4mm lug to lug, 13.4mm thickness
Movement type: Perpetual, mechanical, and self-winding
Strap type: Black leather strap
Case material: 18 ct everose gold

Zenith Elite Captain Moonphase

Zenith Elite moonphase is a very popular chronograph caliber with high frequency. This Elite timepiece has a very bold and sober structure which is also a pared-down version of El Primero.

Dimensions: 40mm diameter, 10.35 thickness
Movement type: automatic
Strap type: Blue alligator leather strap
Case material: Steel case material

Glashuette Original PanoMaticLunar

This luxury watch for men includes the perfect collaboration of classic and modern designs. The moonphase is present the off-center, unlike all the other watches that have a moonphase. The Moon phase is present at 2 o’clock, along with the panorama date that is present at 4 o’clock.

Dimensions: 40mm
Movement type: Automatic
Strap type: Blue Louisiana Alligator leather strap
Case material: Stainless steel

Drive de Cartier Moon phase

Cartier watches are known for their unique shapes. The Drive de Cartier has a cushion-shaped design that brings out a very radiant style.

Dimensions: 40mm length, 41 mm width, 12.15 thickness
Movement type: Mechanical and automatic winding
Strap type: Black semi-matt alligator skin
Case material: steel case back

Omega Speedmaster Moonphase Co-Axial Master

Omega’s Moonphase Co-Axial Master is the brand’s most iconic version that they have launched till now under their Speedmaster range. This watch’s movement has been certified by the Swiss Federal Institute of Metrology after completing 8 different rounds of tests. There is a transparent case back so the beautiful mechanism can be seen from the back.

Dimensions: 44.25mm
Movement type: Automatic
Strap type: Titanium and ceramic folding clasp leather
Case material: Blue ceramic

Slim d’Hermes Squelette Lune

Slim d’Hermes is loved because of the complex mechanism that it shows. It is a skeletonized watch that shows the mechanisms through a transparent case.

Dimensions: 39.5mm
Movement type: Mechanical self-winding
Strap type: Titanium pin buckle, Matte graphite alligator
Case material: Platinum and titanium case

Hermes moonphase watch

Patrimony Moon-phase and Retrogate – Vacheron Constantin

Vacheron Constantin has the special element that it will only go off by one day after 122 years with the phases of the moon. This includes the 18k white gold in the moon disc. The same gold alloy is also used for the hour markers and the minute tracks.

Dimensions: 42.5mm wide, 9.7mm thick
Movement type: Automatic
Strap type: Alligator straps
Case material: Rose gold

4 Best Moon Phase watches for women

Moon phases are considered the least practical and yet the most romantic feature that is present in all the watches. A lot of brands have made these moon phase watch for women and they are surely being loved by the customers. Here is a list of all those watches that you can buy:

Zenith Elite Lady

Zenith version of the lady moonphase is present in three alternative versions. It includes discreet baton-type hour markers, Roman numerals hour markers, and one with 64 brilliant cut diamonds that have around 0.90 cts.

Dimensions: 36mm
Movement type: Automatic
Strap type: Crocodile strip
Case material: Rose gold

Ballon Blue de Cartier Moonphase Watch

The Ballon Blue de Cartier watch includes the moon phase at 9 o’clock, which is unlike the rest of the moon phase watch for women. The clock hands are also highly unique, made from blue steel in the shape of a sword.

Dimensions: 37mm
Movement type: Automatic
Strap type: Steel bracelet, 188 mm wrist circumference
Case material: Steel, 13mm thickness

Montblanc Boheme Day & Night

Montblanc launched their feminine product line named Boheme, in which they presented a range of products for women. The design of this moonphase watch is very unique as compared to all the other watches. Daytime is indicated with a light blue sky along with the gold-colored sun. As for the night, it is represented by stars and a dark blue sky.

Dimensions: 34mm
Movement type: Automatic
Strap type: Blue grene calf leather strap
Case material: Stainless steel

Longines Conquest Moonphase Watch

Longines Conquest Moonphase comes with three different choices of colors that include black dial, silver, and blue. It gives a classic look with the moonphase present at 6 o’clock.

Dimensions: 40mm or 42mm
Movement type: Automatic
Strap type: Alligator leather strap or stainless steel bracelet
Case material: Sapphire case back

Longines moonphase watch

How to set the moon phase indicator

There are some very specific requirements that have to do to ensure that you place the movement very accurately with the movement of the moon. Here are the following steps that you need to follow:

  • Pull out the crown and then move the hands of the watch to 6:30.
  • Search on Google for what Moon looks like right now, and you will find the accurate days and times of the moon.
  • See if the moon is waning or waxing meaning if it is increasing or decreasing.
  • After knowing the movement, move the disc towards the exact middle of the moon phase window where it is showing the fullest.
  • Then count down the days since the last moon. The specific number would come, and you further need to move the moon towards the waning or waxing side.
  • Once it is placed at a perfect position, then push the crown back, and you are good to go.

Moonphase watches – timepieces that every watch collector must have

Moon phases are not that common as very few brands work on it due to the complex craftsmanship and advanced mechanisms it requires. This makes these timepieces a must-have for all the collectors and the people who surely have great taste in wristwatches. The best thing about these watches is that they are available in multiple designs. Choose the model that speaks your style and enjoy the accurate movement of all the phases of the moon right on your wrist.

Written By

Ewan Cole

Ewan Cole is a watch journalist and consultant who has worked in the industry for over a decade. He splits his time between his hometown of London and the United Arab Emirates, writing about luxury watches for a dozen or so websites. He also speaks at numerous events on a regular basis.

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