Powered by complex mechanisms, perpetual calendar timepieces elegantly trace the passage of the moments as they flow into days, months and years.

Portrait of Tammy Strobel

Powered by complex mechanisms, perpetual calendar timepieces elegantly trace the passage of the moments as they flow into days, months and years.

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Audemars Piguet has a long history in creating perpetual calendar watches with mechanical calendars that – if they are constantly kept wound – do not need to be adjusted until 2100.

The brand’s latest Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar models have been upsized from 39mm to 41mm, which allows more space for new features such as the week-of-the-year display on the periphery of the dial. Powered by the automatic Calibre 5134, the watch is shown here in yellow gold.

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With a thickness of just 9.2mm and a diameter of 39mm, and distinguished by a black sunray dial set against a steel case, the Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Ultra-Thin Perpetual is discreet even as it offers a host of information. Topped by a moonphase display, the three subdials beneath show the day of the week, date and month, while the year aperture sits between seven and eight o’clock.

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As one month changes to another, Parmigiani’s Tonda Centum offers a little visual treat for its owner – its retrograde date hand will instantaneously sweep back from the last day of the month to the first.

This is but one of its striking features: The 42mm rose gold watch also features a minimalist moonphase indicator with two lunar displays, one for each of the earth’s hemispheres.

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For those who enjoy traditional high complications as much as they appreciate avant-garde styling, the Ulysse Nardin El Toro GMT Perpetual is a model to consider.

Rich blue – the colour of its ceramic bezel, dial accents and leather strap – forms a striking contrast with its 43mm rose gold case. Driven by an inhouse automatic movement, the perpetual calendar timepiece also includes a dual-time function.

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The Langematik Perpetual marks more than just the opening of A. Lange & Sohne’s first boutique in Moscow – it is also the first time the brand is offering a black dial in a white gold (instead of platinum) case. Powered by the automatic Calibre L922.1, the 38.5mm perpetual calendar also features the brand’s zero-reset mechanism – when the crown is pulled to set the time, the seconds hand returns to 12.

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A renowned industrial designer lends star power to the latest addition to Rado’s minimalist offerings.

From fine glass vessels containing air to a chair formed using wires, the Rado-sponsored exhibition Designing Lightness – which took place in Basel earlier this year – celebrated minimalist design. This concept was reflected in Rado’s new collection. Timepieces such as the Hyperchrome Ultra Light, which is made from lightweight materials including silicon-nitride ceramic, were pared down in terms of both looks and weight.

Recently, the brand enlisted the help of star industrial designer Konstantin Grcic to elaborate on this theme. Best known for his spare style – seen in works spanning furniture, products and lighting – the Munich-based designer puts a chic new spin on the Ceramica, one of Rado’s key models made from high-tech ceramic.

There are 11 men’s and women’s models (all quartz), although the men’s “signature” model (a 701-piece limited edition) best shows Grcic’s touches. The bracelet is now slightly tapered instead of being of the same width throughout; the watch has a matte finish instead of a glossy one; and its dial bears simple triangular hour markings as well as the numerals 3, 6 and 9.

Elaborating on the “bold and legible” dial design, Grcic explained: “I took inspiration from pilot watches – I like their straightforward, clear graphics.” Unlike typically hefty aviation timepieces, however, this one will feel (almost) as light as air.

MAKING HIS MARK The Ceramica “signature” edition bears Grcic’s minimalist stamp.
MAKING HIS MARK The Ceramica “signature” edition bears Grcic’s minimalist stamp.

Many bespoke luxury watches have been created for the Middle Eastern market. Now, Tag Heuer unveils the first Arabic digital watch face for its Connected smartwatch.

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The latest Bulgari Bulgari Carbon Gold models unite several features that will appeal to fans of both horology and fashion. Made of steel coated with a carbon resin, each black case has an edgy, modern feel.

This, however, is balanced out by classic details such as the brand’s signature bezel inscription, as well as pink-gold elements – comprising a plate engraved with “1884” (the year Bulgari was founded), the crown and the hour markers. Available in black, brown or blue, the new self-winding watches come with woven leather straps, a flamboyant final touch we approve of.

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It’s fitting that the Canadian-American Challenge Cup (Can-Am), a sports car racing series that ran from 1966 to 1987, inspired the latest release by MB&F. The “anything goes” race imposed minimal regulations on constructors, leading to some spectacular creations.

This daring spirit drives the new Horological Machine No.8 (HM8) Can-Am, which features two MB&F signatures: dual optical prisms that vertically display bi-directional jumping hours and trailing minutes, and the large battle-axe rotor that spins atop the watch.

The top of the timepiece is flanked by a pair of gleaming roll bars, which are milled from solid blocks of grade-5 titanium. The watch is available in white gold and titanium, or red gold and titanium.

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At the SIHH Swiss watch fair in January, Urwerk lifted the lid on the EMC Time Hunter. Working alongside a mechanical movement, a handcranked electronic module allows the watch’s owner to measure and adjust its precision, and even keep tabs on the amplitude of the balance wheel.

Now, the Geneva-based independent brand launches the EMC Time Hunter X-Ray, a skeletonised take on this piece of watch-nerd heaven – housed in a black PVD-treated titanium and steel case.