The complete calendar watch, also known as full calendar or quantième complet, provides date, day, and month, and sometimes moon phase as well. But it doesn’t take into account the differing lengths of months, and neither the leap year cycle. So if you keep it running, it has to be adjusted at the end of every month with less than 31 days, so five times a year. Adjustment is generally performed using recessed pushers on the caseband. I’m always surprised that there aren’t all that many complete calendar watches around. This selection is in increasing price order. I haven’t included any of the vast selection of Chinese watches with complete calendar, I find it difficult to identify one that I like, most are copies of watches by famous brands, and most have the calendar information arranged as fake chronographs. Just search for watches by Sewor or Jaragar on Amazon and you’ll find lots.
1. Oris Artelier Complication – €1,850
The Artelier Complication by Oris has the calendar information arranged on subdials, date at 9 o’clock, day at 3 o’clock, a second time zone display at 6 o’clock and the moon phase at the top. It is 40.5 mm in diameter, in stainless steel, water resistance 5 bar, with display caseback. The dial has a lot of refinement, enhanced by the lovely guilloché. The movement is the Oris 781, built on the Sellita SW 200-1 base calibre with in-house module for the calendar functions, adjusted by means of recessed caseband pushers. Self-winding, 4 Hertz, 38 hours power reserve. Reference 01 781 7703 4031, price €1,850. Read more on the Oris website.
2. Wempe Zeitmeister Full Calendar – €2,500
The Zeitmeister Full Calendar by Wempe is an elegant version of this complication. The way that the calendar ring neatly frames the moon phase display and the two calendar windows is very beautiful, in my opinion the finest design in this selection. The stainless steel case is 42 mm in diameter, rather thick at 14.1 mm, with four recessed pushers on the caseband for adjusting the date functions. Water resistance is 5 bar. The watch is powered by the self-winding ETA 2892-A2 calibre that provides 42 hours power reserve. Presumably there is an extra module for the calendar functions, the reason for the 14.1 mm thickness. The watch is chronometer-certified according to the German standard DIN 8319, and so it has a precision of -4/+6 seconds maximum deviation per day. The watch has a solid caseback with an engraving of the Observatory in Glashütte that is owned by the brand. The Zeitmeister Full Calendar won the German Goldener Unruh prize in 2008. Its reference is WM350001, price €2,500. Another attractive surprise from the amazing watchmaking town of Glashütte. More information from the Wempe website.
3. Limes Pharo Chronograph complete calendar – €2,680
German brand Limes gives you a lot of watch for your money in this piece powered by the ETA 7751 movement. In addition to the complete calendar and moon phase, it has a chronograph as well, so the dial is quite complex. The date is shown by a long hand with a red crescent tip. On the top subdial, there are two small rectangular windows for day and month, and the 30-minute chronograph counter. At 9 o’clock, a 24-hour display showing the same time as the main hour and minute hands, useful when setting the watch. This is combined with continuous seconds. At 6 o’clock, the moon phase display, and the 12-hour chronograph counter. There is a recessed pusher at 10 o’clock for setting the day; moonphase is set using the crown in the second position by rotating clockwise; date and month are set using the crown in the same position, rotating anti-clockwise. So adjustment is a bit more challenging than in the Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Calendar. The dial and case have details recalling Breguet, such as the Breguet-style hour and minute hands, the guilloché work, the classical Roman numerals, and the caseband fluting. The watch is moderately sized at 40.5 mm, and thick at 14.3 mm, water resistance 5 atm. It is reference U6282C-LC1.1, price €2,680 inclusive of VAT. Further information on the Limes website.
4. Longines Master L2.6188.8.131.52 – €2,740
The L2.6184.108.40.206 has a lot of similarities to the Limes watch above, and it is powered by the same movement, the self-winding ETA 7751 that Longines call L678. The watch combines chronograph readings and date indications on the top and bottom subdials, and continuous seconds and 24-hour display on the 9 o’clock subdial. There is a nice fractional seconds scale at the edge of the bezel rehaut but the seconds hand is a little short and doesn’t quite reach it. The overall effect is of a dial with a lot going on, though everything is clear and legible, with the silvered barleycorn guilloché dial providing a perfect backdrop. Stainless steel 40mm case, probably around 14 mm thickness, display caseback, 3 atm water resistance, alligator leather strap with folding clasp. A true Longines classic at an attractive price, €2,740. More information on the Longines website.
5. Montblanc Star Legacy Full Calendar – €4,250
The Star Legacy Full Calendar by Montblanc is a variation on the classic layout, with the banker’s date inside the Arabic hour numerals. It looks great, with silvered dial featuring the brand’s hallmark star guilloché at the centre, and filet sauté guilloché outside the minute track. It is 42 mm in diameter and 11.43 mm thick, water resistance 3 bar. The strap is in sfumato blue, made by the brand’s Pelletteria in Florence. The MB 29.12 movement runs at 4 Hertz, and it is self-winding, with a power reserve of 42 hours. It is based on the Sellita SW200-1, with an additional module for the calendar and moon phase functions, probably made by Dubois-Dépraz. Reference 118516, price €4,250. More information from the Montblanc website.
6. Baume & Mercier Clifton 10279 – €4,950
Baume & Mercier’s version of the ETA 7751 self-winding movement is the Clifton 10279, presented in 2016, which is in a steel 43 mm case, 14.95 mm thick, water resistance 5 atm, combining a chronograph with the complete calendar. The designers have simplified what can be a rather complicated set of functions by using blued steel hands for the chronograph functions, and gilt hands for the time functions. The chronograph seconds hand is read off a scale with quarter-second divisions, complete except for the section from 38 to 42 seconds where it is sacrificed to provide room for the words “Swiss made.” Reference 10279, price €4,950. More information from the Baume & Mercier website.
7. Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Calendar – €9,650
This beautiful watch is moderately sized at 39 mm, slim at 10.6 mm, and it has all the minimalist perfection that sets Jaeger-LeCoultre head and shoulders above most other brands. Its legibility is excellent, with banker’s date around the edge of the dial indicated by a hand with red crescent tip, day and month in two rectangular windows, and moon phase on the subdial at 6 o’clock, with continuous seconds. The hour and minute hands have narrow sections of luminescent paint, and there are four luminescent dots on the dial. Jaeger-LeCoultre rates this watch at 5 bar, 50 metres, and they say that you can take it into the water for a short swim. The movement is the Jaeger-LeCoultre calibre 866, self-winding, 4 Hertz, 45 hours power reserve. You use the crown to set the time (with stop-seconds) and day, while date, month and moon phase are set by means of caseband recessed pushers. Jaeger-LeCoultre provide a stylus with the watch. Reference 1558420, €9,650 inclusive of VAT. Read more on the Jaeger-LeCoultre website.
8. Girard-Perregaux 1966 Full Calendar – €9,750
The 1966 Full Calendar by Girard-Perregaux is like a breath of fresh air in comparison with most of the others in this selection, with a gloriously minimalist dial that presents a lot of information in the simplest possible way. The layout is perfectly symmetrical with everything on the vertical centre line. The 40mm steel case is slim at 40 mm, and elegant, with the alligator strap perfectly integrated with the lugs by means of curved springbars. The calibre, GP03300-M033M0, is self-winding, 4 Hertz, with a power reserve of 46 hours. It has a red gold rotor and it can be viewed through the sapphire caseback. The four calendar functions are adjusted by means of four recessed pushers on the caseband, date (4 o’clock), day (10 o’clock), month (2 o’clock) and moon phase (8 o’clock), with the usual warnings about changing the readings at the wrong time. For example, the month should not be changed if the date is between the 30th and the 2nd. A stylus is provided with the watch. Reference 49535-11-1A2-BB60, price 11,300 Swiss francs, about €9,750. Other versions are available with gold case at prices starting at 27,800 Swiss francs. Read more on the Girard-Perregaux website.
9. Blancpain Villeret Quantième Complet GMT – €14,750
The Villeret Quantième Complet GMT by Blancpain, new for 2018, has a lot of distinctive features that add character, such as the double-stepped bezel, curvy, chunky applied Roman numerals, the skeleton hour and minute hands, the unusual blued steel hand indicating the date, the cheeky expression of the moon, the extra hand with triangular tip for the second time zone, and the sharply knurled crown. The feature that sets this watch apart from the rest is the fact that you can set up all calendar and moon phase indications with your finger-tip, without having to use a stylus to press recessed pushers. In fact, there are correctors under the lugs, a patented Blancpain invention. This also provides a completely smooth caseband, without the usual recessed pushers. The crown can be used to change local time in one-hour increments when changing time zone. The watch is 40 mm in diameter, 11.8 mm thick, 3 bar water resistance. It is powered by calibre 67A5, designed and built in-house, self-winding, with 72 hours power reserve. Reference 6676-1127-55B is the steel version, price approximately €14,750; there is also a version in red gold. Read more on the Blancpain website.
10. Vacheron Constantin Fifty-Six Complete Calendar – €23,000
The Complete Calendar is one of the three models in Vacheron Constantin’s new Fifty-Six collection presented in January 2018 that represents a move towards a younger sector of the public. The Complete Calendar has the customary dial layout, with banker’s date at the outer edge indicated by a triangular-tipped blued steel hand, and rectangular windows for day and month. The Arabic numerals express the design brief for a contemporary look, with an unusual design for the 6 and 9 (the latter appearing only on the date scale). The watch is 40 mm in diameter, 11.6 mm thick, water resistance 3 atm. The calibre 2460 QCL/1 self-winding movement is designed and built in-house, and it provides 40 hours power reserve. It is visible through the sapphire crystal caseback, and it has a gold oscillating weight. Calendar functions are adjusted by means of caseband pushers using the corrector pen provided. The moon phase has an accuracy far higher than the standard, with just one day deviation every 122 years. Reference 4000E/000A-B439 (steel version), price €23,000. A pink gold version is available, price €35,900. Read more on the Vacheron Constantin website.
11. Vacheron Constantin Traditionnelle Complete Calendar
The Traditionnelle Complete Calendar by Vacheron Constantin, a new product launched in 2018, is more classical in design than the Fifty-Six collection version, and it has a different dial layout, with the windows for day and month positioned towards the outside edge of the dial, giving a sense of space and highlighting the moon phase display. The watch is 41 mm in diameter and 10.72 mm thick, with a water resistance of 3 atm, 30 metres, which according to Vacheron Constantin is OK for surface swimming. There are recessed pushers on the caseband for correcting day, month and date using the corrector pen provided. Some care has to be taken when adjusting the watch: you shouldn’t make any corrections to month, day or day between 7pm and 1am, you shouldn’t adjust the month if the date hand is between 28 and 31, and you shouldn’t adjust the phase of the moon between 10am and 2pm. The movement is the same in-house calibre 2460 QCL as used for the Fifty-Six watch above. Reference 4010T/000R-B344 in pink gold, price €40,300. A platinum version is available at €69,500. More information on the Vacheron Constantin website.