If you're unfamiliar with the term "moon phase" (also commonly written as moonphase) you're not alone. The waxing and waning of the moon is a natural phenomenon that has served as a foundation for calendars since our early ancestors recognized its pattern.
The Lunar cycle takes 29.53 days
It takes our moon just over twenty nine and a half days to complete an entire lunar cycle from new moon to full moon and back again. Moon phases serve as a powerful reminder of the delicate balance that enormous cosmic bodies conduct that affects our planet through gravity's pull.
Nearly a full moon, pictured above is our moon in the waxing gibbous phase.
Given the moon's intimate ties with the concept of time, watchmakers strive to replicate this beautiful phenomenon in their watches. The moon's predictable cycles, coupled with scientific advancements, paved the way for creating gears that can accurately track its phases. There is beauty in being reminded of moon phases with its gradual shifting instead of numbers on a calendar. After all, who doesn't enjoy looking up at a full moon?
Tracking the moon phase is more of an art than science these days. This feature has been pushed to more expensive watches, where more functions are usually required to justify their high prices.
More people are getting familiar with the term moon phase, and it's becoming a popular yet unique feature of luxury and affordable wristwatches.
By definition, a moon phase is the lighted area of the moon that is visible as it travels around the earth during its lunar cycle. On your watch, a moon phase indicator displays this orbit with a rotating disc that shows the illuminated slice of the moon at any given time.
The Tidal Moonphase pictured above in the waning crescent phase.
Moon phases are among the oldest complications (terminology for features that don't involve telling time). In this day and age, they are more stylistic than functional. Adding a starry feature to your watch might bring you closer to the full moon, and the variety of styles of moon phases is striking; they are as varied as timepieces in general. Whether you're looking for the gold standard or a neat add-on, these are our picks for the most exciting moon phase watches.
Moon Phase Watches are a Romantic Affair
Moon phase watches are among the most elegant and intriguing horological complications. These watches feature a small aperture on the dial that shows the moon's current phase. While it might seem minor, it has captured the attention of watch enthusiasts and collectors alike for centuries.
The moon phase complication on a watch serves both a practical and an aesthetic purpose. From a practical standpoint, the moon phase watch complication is helpful for those who need to know the phase of the moon for various reasons, such as for sailors or fishermen who need to know the tides or for farmers who need to know the best time to plant their crops. However, for most of us, it's a fun and fascinating detail that adds an element of whimsy and wonder to our daily lives.
But it's not just the practical application of a moon phase watch complication that makes it unique. There is something inherently romantic and mysterious about the moon and its phases, which draws many people to moon phase watches. The moon has been a symbol of love, mystery, and enchantment throughout history. The moon has been the subject of countless myths, stories, and legends from ancient civilizations to modern times. It has inspired poets, artists, and musicians for centuries and fascinates us today.
People are drawn to the Moon's Phases
The moon phase complication on a watch is a way to connect with this timeless fascination with the moon. It allows us to track the moon's cycle as it waxes and wanes and reminds us of our connection to the natural world. It's a small detail that adds a touch of magic to our daily lives, and it's one that we can appreciate every time we check the time.
In addition to the romance and mystery of the moon, moon phase watches also offer a unique design element. The moon phase display on a watch is often a work of art, with intricate details and stunning visual effects. Some watches feature realistic depictions of the moon, while others take a more abstract approach. Regardless of the style, a moon phase watch will catch the eye and make a statement.
Overall, a moon phase watch is an exceptional piece of horology. It combines practicality with romance, artistry, and a touch of magic. It's a way to connect with the natural world and appreciate the beauty and wonder of the universe. Whether you're a seasoned watch collector or appreciate the finer things in life, a moon phase indicator is a must-have for anyone who values elegance, sophistication, and a touch of whimsy.
Stand out from the crowd, wear a Moon Phase Watch
Smartwatches have become increasingly popular among consumers in an era where technology is advancing rapidly. With features such as fitness tracking, messaging, and mobile payments, it's easy to see why many people have switched to a smartwatch. However, for those who value style and tradition, a moon phase watch is an excellent alternative to the popular smartwatch.
One of the main reasons a stylish person might choose a moon phase watch over a smartwatch is the timeless elegance and sophistication that a moon phase watch exudes. Unlike smartwatches, which can quickly become obsolete, a well-crafted moon phase watch is a timeless accessory that can be worn for years. Many moon phase watches have become collector's items, passed down from generation to generation as treasured heirlooms.
Another reason a stylish person might choose a moon phase watch is its complication. The moon phase indicator is not only a functional feature but also a beautiful one. The intricate details and precision required to accurately display the lunar cycle on a watch face are a testament to the technical prowess and innovation of the watchmaking industry. A moon phase watch is a work of art, and wearing one is a statement of both style and appreciation for the art of horology.
While many high-end moon phase watches can be pretty expensive, there are also many affordable moon phase watches on the market (which we found for you in this list). These watches offer the same sophistication and style as their more expensive counterparts but at a more accessible price point. This makes a moon phase watch an excellent investment for anyone looking to add a touch of luxury to their wardrobe without breaking the bank.
Finally, for watch collectors, a moon phase watch is an essential addition to any collection. The moon phase complication has a rich history in watchmaking. Many of the most iconic and celebrated timepieces have featured this complication. Owning a moon phase watch is not only a testament to one's appreciation for fine watches but also a way to connect with the long and storied history of the watchmaking industry.
While smartwatches have become increasingly popular in recent years, a moon phase watch offers a timeless elegance and sophistication that technology can't replicate. The moon phase complication is beautiful and functional, and a moon phase watch is an excellent investment for anyone looking to add a touch of luxury to their wardrobe. With affordable moon phase watches on the market and a rich history in the world of horology, there's never been a better time to invest in a moon phase watch.
Starting from the most affordable to a few more expensive. Price aside we believe these are the best moon phase watches around.
1. Casio Men's AQW101-1AV
Price: $69.95 (Visit Casio website)
Even if you didn't see the name, you might be able to guess that this watch is a Casio, given its signature design. This falls under a "non-classic" definition of moon phase watches and is not up to the same caliber as other mechanisms. This watch is inexpensive, given its resin material and mineral case.
The moon phase indicator comes in data form on this digital display linked to the tides. This is a hit for anyone who focuses on the water, such as fishermen, marine biologists, and surfers looking for that next big wave. For this reason, it's also water-resistant up to 200 meters in depth and can accurately measure the outside temperature. This watch is an excellent introduction to moon phase displays for practical purposes.
Okay, we might be slightly biased to talk about our signature watch in this post because we believe you'll love it. We sought to create the highest quality affordable moon phase watch around.
The Tidal Moonphase has a Swiss movement with a powerful battery lifespan of 5 years and a 2-year no questions asked warranty. We stand by its reliability, mainly since we craft the case from surgical-grade 316L stainless steel, and the glass is scratch-resistant sapphire crystal.
The Tidal Moonphase watch is a moon phase timepiece that displays an incredible amount of detail. We sought to create an impeccable watch in this price range with quality and reliability in mind, which is difficult to find.
You'll appreciate how quickly you can change watch straps with our quick-release design on our moon phase watch. As we mentioned, details. Try it for yourself and get a free strap with the purchase of our Tidal Moonphase (click here to apply the discount code at checkout automatically).
Our timepiece was ranked by Fashion Beans as a best moon phase watch, we know you'll agree.
Now back to some other sharp moon phase watches.
A moon phase watch designed for anyone. Both the above images display the lunar cycle during the waxing gibbous phase.
3. Bulova 96C26 Moon Phase Watch
Price: $399.99 (Visit non-affiliated Amazon page)
Pictured at a waxing crescent phase.
This thin, lightweight timepiece with a rectangular face is worthy of everyday wear for men and women. The America-made timepiece functions as a simple, elegant statement while still employing classical moon phase watch mechanics, displayed precisely in the bottom center of the rectangular face.
The material is stainless steel with a Japanese quartz movement. The hands are off-white with a blue outline, giving the design a little flair. It's hard to go wrong with this style and price point.
4. Certina DS- 8 Chronograph Moon Phase Watch
Price: $526.30 (Visit Certina website)
A truly classic chronograph moon phase watch, this is a sleek design from Certina, a Swiss brand famous in its home country but rarely outside (the competition is steep). The Certina runs on Swiss Quartz movement with a transparent sapphire crystal case.
This watch has a clean, simple face with few bells and whistles. The moon phase watch display easily fits the other two subdials, a golden moon against a starry blue night sky. A brown alligator leather strap adds to the natural look of this watch, which is a great midrange piece.
5. Citizen Men’s AV3006-50H
Price: $1,225 (Visit Citizen's website)
A great perk of this model is that as an Eco-Drive, it's solar-powered and never needs a battery replacement. The window material is sapphire crystal, roughly three times as hard as mineral crystals and over 20 times harder than acrylic crystals. Its movement, or inner mechanism, is made from Japanese quartz, while the dial is made from unique grey steel. Its stainless steel 5-link bracelet has contrasting rose gold accents and screws through the links for maximum security.
The subdials on the watch are either blue or grey, including the moon phase display. However, the phases are orange against a blue backdrop, which evokes a stunning three-dimensional effect. This sturdy design can bring added elegance to an active lifestyle.
Now we're going to start leaving the affordable moon phase watch territory and head for some with heftier price tags. Though many above are still considered luxury moon phase watches.
6. Junghans German Made Moonphase
Price: $2,190 (Visit a blog about Junghans Moonphase)
The perfect model of minimalism, the Junghans Moonphase watch embodies German engineering. No subdials, line markers rather than numerals; its clean design gives a blank slate for the equally minimalistic moon phase to sit upon. All tied together with a smooth brown genuine leather strap.
The Germans are also keen on sustainability; this watch is powered by the movement of your arm and thus never needs battery replacements as long as you are in motion. This is your best bet for a high-end watch that flies under the radar, and few would notice it as a more high-tech moon phase watch mechanism.
7. Baume & Mercier Clifton 10306 Automatic Moon Phase Watch
Price: $26,800 (Visit Baume & Mercier website)
This piece is undoubtedly unique in many ways, starting with the Arabic numerals for displaying the time. Another Swiss brand watch design that is both sturdy and refined, giving up neither resolve nor beauty. The watch strap is made of genuine black leather, tailored and padded to ensure a perfect fit.
There is a striking balance with the other subdials that accompany the moon phase display on this watch. The white face and rose-colored numbers allow the black background and golden moon to pop, making this stand out from the crowd.
8. Omega Speedmaster Moonphase Master Co-Axial
Price: $10,600 (Visit Omega website)
And now for something completely different. For the ultimate horology enthusiast, we have this blue dream, one of the few watches that can say it was a part of all six lunar landings. Given its historical meaning, no luxury was spared in its design, including:
- Certified Master Chronometer approved by METAS
- Blue ceramic tachymetric bezel
- Scratch‐resistant sapphire crystal with anti‐reflective treatment
- 18K SednaTM gold indexes and hands
While the price point puts this out of the realm of many buyers, it certainly reflects how spectacular this piece is. The moon phase watch display is magnificent, its illustration bearing hyper-realistic lunar craters and shadows rather than just a simple circular outline. This watch is absolutely fit for an astronaut.
9. Hermès Arceau L'Heure De La Lune Moon Phase Watch
Price: $47,830 (Link to Hodinkee blog about this watch)
And lastly, a watch that's not flying under anyone's radar. Coming in at just under the price of the Rolex, this Hermes design could be found in a fashion show or art gallery with its avant-garde presentation. Two realistic moons are covered by mother of pearl dials, signifying time and date against an inky black, starry background.
Taking a page from Rolex's book, some versions of the dial background are made from meteorite, adding to the space-age feel. The case is 18-carat white gold, and the matt black leather strap adds to its universal appeal. This striking piece will certainly not go unnoticed.
10. Rolex Cellini Moonphase
Price: $26,700 (Visit Rolex website)
Did you think we would get through the list without a Rolex? Do they have the best moon phase watch?
For a brand known to be at the height of impeccable watch design, this unique piece that strays from the norm does not disappoint, and it should come as no surprise that it is the most expensive on the list. Its features include:
- White lacquer dial with a blue enameled disc displaying moon phase
- The full moon and the new moon are depicted by a meteorite applique and silver ring
- Everose pink gold, created and patented by Rolex itself
- Self-winding movement
- Alligator leather strap
Every detail on this watch is exquisite, and there's no question that it is in a class all its own.
Which one is the best moon phase? That's for you, your style, and budget to decide.
Curating a list of the top 10 moon phase watches of all time is challenging. With so many incredible timepieces on the market, narrowing the selection to just ten requires a keen eye for detail, a deep appreciation for watchmaking, and a thorough understanding of what makes a moon phase watch exceptional.
When selecting the watches for this list, we considered several factors. First and foremost, we focused on the moon phase complication itself. We looked for watches with an accurate and reliable moon phase indicator that are easy to read and highly precise. We also considered the overall design of the watch, looking for visually stunning models and incorporating the moon phase display in an elegant and functional way.
Another important factor we considered was the brand and its reputation in the watch industry. We looked for watches from established brands with a history of producing high-quality timepieces that stand the test of time. We also considered each brand's innovation and technical prowess, looking for models that pushed the boundaries of what was possible in the world of horology.
Of course, we also took into account the opinions of watch experts and enthusiasts around the world. We scoured the internet for reviews, rankings, and other top 10 lists of the best moon phase watch, noting which models appeared most frequently and which were highly regarded by those in the know. We also contacted our network of watch enthusiasts, asking for their input on which watches they thought deserved a spot on our list.
The watches that made our top 10 list of best moon phase watches are the ones that impressed us the most with their beauty, craftsmanship, and technical excellence. From the classic elegance of the Junghans Moonphase to the daring innovation of the Hermes Arceau L'Heaure De La Lune, each watch embodies the very best of what a moon phase watch can be.
Whether you're a seasoned watch collector or simply someone who appreciates the finer things in life, a moon phase watch is a must-have for any serious timepiece enthusiast. And with our top 10 list as your guide, you can be sure that you're investing in the best of the best when it comes to moon phase watches.
With that, find the one piece that speaks to your style and design preferences- the world of horology is fascinating. We are confident you will not regret learning more about it.
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