This post on the best day-date watches 2014 looks at one of the most universal and practical types of watches, with just time indications, plus the date, and the day written in full at the top of the dial in a segment-circular window. All the essential information, shown clearly and legibly. There aren’t all that many versions of this watch pattern. Here is a selection, starting with the grand-daddy of day-date watches (Rolex), and then with other similar models in approximate ascending price order.
1. Rolex Oyster Perpetual Day-Date
The day date watch is very much a Rolex thing. The brand launched this configuration in 1956, and since then it has always been exclusively in gold or platinum, with smooth or fluted bezel, and diamond-set versions. At 36 mm it is ideal for men who like a smallish watch, and for women. The days of the week are available in many different languages. It has the classic Rolex features, such as the cyclops lens over the date, the Oyster case waterproof to 100 metres depth, with hermetically-screwed caseback, and winding crown with the Twinlock double waterproofing system. It is powered by the Calibre 3155 movement, which has the brand’s own Parachrom balance spring, made from an anti-magnetic alloy. Prices start at about €17,800.
2. Tissot T-One
Tissot make this watch in paired versions, men’s and women’s, for occasions such as engagements, marriages and anniversaries. Reference T0384301105700, this version has a black leather strap, stainless steel case, the ETA 2834-2 movement, and black dial. 38.5 mm diameter in the men’s version. Price €480, available from the Tissot online store.
3. Certina DS-1 Day-Date
Certina is a brand with a long history, as suggested by the date 1888 below the brand name on the dial. The dial, black or silver, is simple and well-balanced, with separate tracks for minutes and fifths of seconds, baton-shaped hour indices, day at the top and date at the bottom. The 39 mm case houses an automatic movement made by ETA, the Calibre 2834-2 with about 38-40 hours power reserve. The winding rotor can be viewed through the sapphire caseback. The case is in stainless steel. There are three versions, reference C006.430.16.081.00 with anthracite dial and leather strap, C006.430.11.051.00 with black dial and steel bracelet, and C006.430.11.031.00 with silver-finish dial and steel bracelet. Price starts at about €695. More info from http://www.certina.com/
4. Victorinox Swiss Army Infantry Vintage Day/Date
The Victorinox Swiss Army Infantry Vintage Day/Date is part of the brand’s upward move in the field of watches. Famous for their Swiss Army knives, the brand now makes timepieces with mechanical movements, and this combines the military pilot’s watch look with the day/date function. This is an interesting entry-level piece, though I’m not sure whether it’s still available in official boutiques. On Amazon you can purchase it new at €916.
5. Hamilton Pilot Khaki Pilot Day Date
The Hamilton Pilot Khaki Pilot Day Date, reference H 64615135, is an attractive combination of the classic pilot’s watch, with a 42 mm dial, large chunky hands with loads of SuperLuminova, an hour scale cleverly positioned so that the skeleton tip of the hour hand corresponds exactly to the hours, a minute hand with its own scale at the edge of the watch, and the day and date windows. The Calibre 2834-2 movement can be seen through the sapphire caseback. It is a classic ETA movement providing 38-40 hours power reserve, and it also provides the hacking seconds function for the central seconds hand. The watch is a 2013 piece, and its price is around €980. It appeared in the movie Interstellar worn by Matthew McConaughey. Info http://www.hamiltonwatch.com/
6. Raymond Weil Freelancer
The Freelancer by Raymond Weil is an automatic day-date watch in steel, reference 2720-ST-20021, 42 mm in diameter, 10.2 mm thickness. The watch has an automatic movement providing 38 hours power reserve. It has a sapphire caseback and 100 metres water resistance. The dial has a clou de Paris area at the centre. About €1,525. Info from http://www.raymond-weil.com/en/
7. Tudor Glamour Date-Day
Tudor make several day-date watches, such as the Glamour Date-Day, reference 56003-68063. This piece is 39 mm in diameter, in steel and yellow gold. The two metals are also used for the double bezel and the bracelet; the dial is champagne colour. The case is waterproof to 100 metres. The automatic movement, calibre 2834, has a power reserve of about 38 hours. Another version is the Glamour Date-Day reference 56000, in steel, with feuille hands. Price about €1,580. Info http://www.tudorwatch.com/
8. Maurice Lacroix Pontos Day/Date
Maurice Lacroix make the Pontos Day/Date, with the days of the week closer to the centre of the dial than the previous models. This piece, reference PT6158-SS001-03E, has a 40-mm dial, with various finishes available. The automatic ML155 movement provides 38 hours power reserve, and it is visible through the sapphire caseback. Price around €2,300. More info from http://www.mauricelacroix.com/
9. Paul Picot Gentleman Arc-en-Ciel 40 mm
This watch has a slightly different layout, with the day shown to the left of the 12 o’clock numeral, balanced by the label “Gentleman” on the other side. The days are in different colours, while the date is shown on a window with space for three numbers at the bottom of the dial. The case is 42 mm in diameter, reference P205.SG.3601, price about €1,575.
10. Omega Constellation Co-Axial Day-Date 38 mm
The Omega Constellation Co-Axial Day-Date 38 mm has a similar layout, except that the date is at 6 o’clock, and this watch has a transparent caseback. The bezel features the “griffes” or claws motif on each side, moulded into the red gold bezel. The bracelet is in stainless steel and gold, with a silver dial. The transparent caseback reveals the co-axial 8602-calibre movement, providing 55 hours’ power reserve. Like the Rolex, this piece is water resistant to 100 metres. Reference 126.96.36.199.02.001, with many different versions available in different case and strap materials. Prices from about €9,800. Info from http://www.omegawatches.com/