20 Best Moonphase Watches in 2023
The watch market has been extremely popular for many years, and it is still going strong today. There’s just something about a watch that makes a man exude confidence and style. There are several types of watches available, and true watch enthusiasts probably own quite a few of them already, in many different styles.
Today, we are going to pay particular attention to the moonphase watches. You might wonder what they are, and we are going to help you get a clearer picture.
- What is a Moonphase Watch?
- How Do They Work?
- Moonphase Watch History
- How Do You Set Your Moonphase Watch?
- 20. Baume & Mercier Clifton Baumatic
- 19. Longines Master Collection
- 18. Omega Speedmaster Moonphase Master Co-Axial
- 17. Hermès Arceau L’Heure De La Lune
- 16. Girard-Perregaux 1966 Blue Moon
- 15. Junghans Meister Kalender
- 14. Frederique Constant Slimline Perpetual Calendar Manufacture
- 13. Arnold & Sons HM Perpetual Moon
- 12. IWC Portofino Automatic Moon Phase 37
- 11. Parmigiani Fleurier Tonda Métropolitaine Sélène Galaxy
- 10. MeisterSinger Lunascope
- 9. Piaget Gouverneur
- 8. Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Control Calendar
- 7. Hublot Spirit Of The Big Bang Moonphase
- 6. Raymond Weil Maestro Moon Phase Watch
- 5. Rolex Cellini Moonphase
- 4. Cartier Ballon Bleu Moonphase
- 3. IWC Big Pilot Constant Force Tourbillon Edition ‘Le Petit Prince’
- 2. Vacheron Constantin Overseas Perpetual Ultra Thin
- 1. Patek Philippe Men’s Annual Calendar Moon Phase
What is a Moonphase Watch?
Simply put, it is a watch that comes with a complication that tracks lunar cycles. When you gaze at your watch, it will tell you at what point in the lunar cycle you find yourselves in.
There are two types of moonphase watches: those with a half crescent aperture, or opening on the dial, and another with a radial, or full moon aperture.
How Do They Work?
The moonphase watch has two dials with two moon disks on. They are adorned by two moons that represent the two cycles, one for the waning, and one for the waxing of the moon.
Since the moon’s cycle is on average 29.5 days, there are 59 teeth on a gear. Therefore, the disk will rotate 24 times per day (24hours in a day), but it will shift once a day, and a full rotation will be complete after 59 days. Seems complicated, but in actuality it’s really simple.
Moonphase Watch History
We are not sure who is the first person that invented the moonphase complication on a watch, but we do know that it dates back to around 1500.
That is when the moon phase displays made an appearance on the English and German clocks, but on our wrists only a couple of centuries later. They’ve come a long way since, and every few years there is new intricate engineering with amazing mechanics that is invented.
How Do You Set Your Moonphase Watch?
If you think it’s too much of a hassle to learn, the watch manufacturer you buy it from will surely set it for you. But it’s really not that complicated, you just need to acquire a few specific tools. Fret not though, most watch brands include them in the box set the watch comes in.
The pusher tool is a pretty self-explanatory tool. It is like a sharp pointy object that is used to push the button that is located on the flank of the watch’s case. In case you don’t have one or misplaced yours, a toothpick will work just fine. You then push the button and set the indicator to the correct lunar cycle, which should be pretty simple.
You just need to know if you want to set it to a full moon or a new moon. If in doubt, check out the instruction manual for some guidance. Once that is decided, you start with the indicator at any one of the two, then press the button until the date of the day you’re setting it on. Again, if in doubt, check your watch’s manual or ask the manufacturer to set it for you.
In our day and age the accuracy of those watches is so great, that once you set your watch correctly, you will most likely never have to reset it again.
Now that you have a clearer picture of what the moonphase watch is all about, let’s see which are the 20 best moonphase watches you can buy right now.
20. Baume & Mercier Clifton Baumatic
This classic yet contemporary watch from Baume & Mercier is surprisingly quite affordable for all that it offers. The moonwatch complication that is set at the six o’clock dial is surrounded by an analogue date display. It also has some impressive tech, such as their in-house Baumatic BM14 movement and a 120 hour power reserve.
19. Longines Master Collection
This model from their Master collection is one of exceptional quality and it exudes an air of vintage charm. Although the dial is busy with many complications, it’s not hard on the eye. It offers many features such as a 24-hour indicator, an annual calendar, a chronograph, and of course, a moon phase display.
18. Omega Speedmaster Moonphase Master Co-Axial
No list of any types of watches would be complete without including at least one model of an Omega watch. They are truly extraordinary timekeepers, and this moonphase watch is one of the best. The complication is located at the 6 o’clock dial and it features a realistic illustration of the moon. Let’s not overlook the blue sunray dial, blue ceramic tachymeter bezel, and blue leather strap, all equally striking.
17. Hermès Arceau L’Heure De La Lune
This watch is very different from others on the list due to its moon phase display. The moon discs are static and quite realistic, and they are specific to the hemisphere you are situated in. The two mother of pearl dials indicate the moon phase and record the date, respectively. The dark background offers a nice contrast so the complications stand out.
16. Girard-Perregaux 1966 Blue Moon
The homage to their 1966 timepiece that featured a first high-frequency movement has a similar look to the original. The sleek and round design, as well as the smoky dials and leaf-type hands are all inspired by its predecessor. It has a sporty look with a trendy blue gradient dial and the black DLC-coated steel case.
15. Junghans Meister Kalender
This minimalist and extremely elegant watch is a true work of art. Featuring a complete calendar module, the dark blue dial comes with a stainless steel case. It is also available in a dark grey option with a gold-plated case. The apertures for both the month and the day of the week are located at the top, and the moon phase functions at the six o’clock dial.
14. Frederique Constant Slimline Perpetual Calendar Manufacture
The 42mm stainless steel case that is plated with rose gold is an ideal model for a modern watch aficionado. It features a dial that has four counters, with the moonphase located at the six o’clock dial. The other three complications feature the days, months, and days of the week, respectively. They are powered by the in-house FC-775 movement.
13. Arnold & Sons HM Perpetual Moon
A standout watch that features a moonphase complication that is displayed at the center of the watch. The intricate gold details of the moon look very realistic, and the rose gold case and details make this a very elegant option. The watch is also available in stainless steel, for those who prefer a more contemporary version of this classic watch.
12. IWC Portofino Automatic Moon Phase 37
The celestial details of the moonphase complication add some luxurious details to the otherwise simple face. The minimalist aesthetic of the watch emphasizes the elegant details, such as the diamond index markers and the crescent aperture. The stainless steel case, gold hands and numerals, and the alligator leather strap all add to the finesse of this watch.
11. Parmigiani Fleurier Tonda Métropolitaine Sélène Galaxy
Richly decorated and flawless performance is what you should expect from this beautiful timepiece. Swiss watchmaker Parmigiani Fleurier is a newcomer, but in the last 20 odd years since they launched they climbed to the top with their exquisite watches.
This watch features a midnight blue dial and an oversized moonphase complication at the top. At the bottom you will find a sub-dial for the seconds and a date window.
10. MeisterSinger Lunascope
This watch stands out from the others with its single handle on the dial and the gorgeous colorful contrast of the moon against the blue face. This astronomical version is one of the most lauded from their collection.
Visually appealing and designed with extraordinary precision, the brand claims the watch will remain accurate for the next 128 years. We won’t be here to attest to that, so we’ll have to take their word for it.
9. Piaget Gouverneur
If the craftsmanship of this watch doesn’t impress you, we don’t know what will. Take a look at the round dial that is adorned with 128 diamonds on its outer edge. The two rows of diamonds on either side transform the internal dial into an oval shape.
The ultra thin movement of the watch, as well as its 18k white gold case and index markers showcase the tourbillon and the beautiful moonphase complications.
8. Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Control Calendar
This iteration is a classic triple control calendar watch that features a moonwatch display. The sunray-brushed silver dial includes a two-window display that features the weekday and month at the 12 o’clock.
At the six o’clock dial is situated the moonphase complication with the semicircular moon on a blue display. But their most distinctive feature is the jumping complication that leaps when going from the 15th to the 16th date of each month.
7. Hublot Spirit Of The Big Bang Moonphase
Different is a simplistic way to describe this watch. It showcases some extraordinary engineering that exposes a skeleton movement. While displaying a subtle moonphase aperture, this contemporary take on a moonphase watch is for the modern men who like to think outside the box.
Everything from the polished titanium case to the rubber straps make this one of the trendier moonphase watches to consider.
6. Raymond Weil Maestro Moon Phase Watch
This trendy watch from Swiss watchmaker Raymond Weil has a unique design that sets it apart. It features a white face with black numerals against a contrasting wavy design that adds a bit of interest.
The rose gold bezel and hands and the brown alligator leather strap are all details that add elegant touches to this classic watch. It is a RW4280 mechanical self-winding watch that features a subtle moonphase complication at the six o’clock dial.
5. Rolex Cellini Moonphase
While boasting a minimalist look, this watch from Rolex has plenty of details. Take the date that runs on the outer circumference, or the new moon, as well as the full moon displayed in the radial aperture, for example.
While all the hardware is in everose gold, only the date hand is blue. The moonphase complication stands out with its dark blue against the otherwise white dial. Simple yet quite elegant, the brown crocodile leather strap adds a touch of sophistication.
4. Cartier Ballon Bleu Moonphase
A great dressy watch from a reliable watchmaker. The beautiful blue strapped leather, and all the blue details such as the hands and the crown’s cabochon add to the watch’s allure. The crescent aperture is also blue with a white moon and stars designs, all on a white face.
The numerals also give the watch an aura of sophistication. It features a mechanical movement and automatic winding, and it is also waterproof.
3. IWC Big Pilot Constant Force Tourbillon Edition ‘Le Petit Prince’
The moon phase is situated at the 1 o’clock mark on this interesting watch, although the constant-force tourbillon steals the show. The case of this pilot watch is crafted from 18k red gold, and the blue face is adorned with the same toned gold accents throughout.
The moonphase complication is inspired by the fairytale with the same name, with the Little Prince standing on the golden moon within its aperture. A one-of-a-kind iteration that will stand out, plus Swiss timekeeping at its best make this one of the best moonphase watches in the world.
2. Vacheron Constantin Overseas Perpetual Ultra Thin
This attention grabbing moonphase watch will certainly turn heads, especially if you opt for the rose gold strap instead of the alligator leather strap that is more common. Although there are a few complications on its white dial, they do not overwhelm the face of the watch.
The perpetual calendar along the hours, minutes and crescent moon phase are all tastefully designed. The compass detail and the exposed movement at the back of the watch display the intricate engineering of the watch.
1. Patek Philippe Men’s Annual Calendar Moon Phase
This classical timepiece features some flawless mechanics and a unique style. The water resistant watch boasts a 40mm white gold case and an alligator leather strap. The Annual Calendar by Patek Philippe is a great option if you want to invest into a moonphase watch.
Not to mention the gorgeous graded blue face that features a classic crescent aperture. This 324S Caliber self-winding moonwatch is one of the most popular moonphase watches available.
This sums up the list of the 20 best moonphase watches you can buy right now. If money was no object , which one would you prefer?
Great list here! Would definitely consider the Christopher Ward C1 Moonglow if their was an extension to this list. It’s a stunning watch with a fairly unique set up for their moon phase.
article has flaw. Regarding JLC “their most distinctive feature is the jumping complication that leaps when going from the 15th to the 16th date of each month” you are showing (pic) of the JLC Master Control Chronograph Calendar, which has no leaping hand. The Master Control Calendar REF. Q4142520 has the leaping date, not shown in your article.
Thanks, we’ll update it.