Among purists, date windows on watches can be polarising. For those who are fans, the outsized version known as the big date is the ultimate way to track the passing days.
TEXT LYNETTE KOH PHOTOGRAPHY DARREN CHANG ART DIRECTION FAZLIE HASHIM
While some watches try to appeal to all kinds of demographics at once, Blancpain’s Villeret Semainier Grande Date 8 Jours, with its weekly (“semainier”) calendar feature, was designed with the business person in mind. While the number-of the-week scale – marked one to 53 on the rim of the dial – facilitates long-term business planning, the dual-window big date at six o’clock helps to keep you on top of things from day to day. The 40mm red gold watch is self-winding, with an eight-day power reserve.
Whether it’s offcentre – as in the Lange 1 models – or perfectly centred (as seen here on the new Saxonia Outsize Date), the outsized date by A. Lange & Sohne is a highly recognisable design feature of the brand. In this 38.5mm, white gold automatic Saxonia, the outsized date makes a statement by – ironically – blending in. Usually rendered in black numerals against a white background, here it matches the black galvanised solid silver dial.
ON THE DOUBLE
A signature of the Chopard L.U.C family, a twinaperture display at 12 o’clock clearly shows the date on the L.U.C Perpetual Twin. And that’s just for starters. This steel perpetual calendar watch’s easy-toread layout has the subdials at 10 o’clock and two o’clock indicating the day and month, with the leap year in a smaller display at the edge of the month subdial. A sunburst dial motif and polished Roman numerals give the 43mm automatic timepiece a distinctive appearance.
CLEAR TO SEE
Two key features define H. Moser & Cie watches: vibrantly coloured, graduated fume dials, and and an elegant minimalism. The Venturer Big Date is no exception. These two features make the oversized date window stand out with sharp clarity. The date changes with a similar crispness, jumping forward almost instantly at midnight. A hand-wound movement with a seven-day power reserve drives this 41.5mm red gold watch.
IWC’s The Big Pilot’s Watch Big Date Edition “150 Years” is the first Big Pilot model to feature the namesake big date complication. The date display is seen through a single window, and via two discs, with the first showing the 10s and the second one, the single digits. To prevent the dial from looking cluttered, the eight-day power reserve indicator of this 46.2mm steel, hand-wound watch has been moved from its usual position on the dial to the back of the watch.
WHAT A VIEW
Glashutte Original’s Panorama date is one of the brand’s signature features, and its name simply refers to the fact that its large date display is shown via two discs placed on the same level. This eliminates the need for the separation bar that usually helps to hide the slight difference in heights for oversized dates that utilise stacked discs. The Senator Excellence Panorama Date Moon Phase – a 42mm automatic steel timepiece – is one of the latest models from the brand to house this feature, along with a moonphase indicator.
TEST OF TIME
Relatively unassuming until you take a closer look at its unusual calendar displays (the large numerals at the top reflect the date, while the ones at six o’clock represent the year), the 41mm steel Ulysse Nardin Classic Perpetual Ludwig is a rather faithful tribute to the Perpetual Ludwig of 1996. The original was created by Ludwig Oechslin, who was also instrumental in developing the brand’s iconic Freak watch. What makes this automatic perpetual calendar special – then and even now – is the fact that the calendar indicators can be adjusted backwards or forward via a single crown.