Watches can come in all sizes and shapes and can offer a surprisingly large and interesting variety of complications. Complications are meticulously built into the gears at the heart of each timepiece, performing a precisely synchronised operation, often completely hidden to the wearer.
The most common function found in watches is the obvious - time (hours, minutes and seconds). Followed by day, date and month display, often referred to as a “Grand Calendar”. More extreme complications include leap year calendars, so the wearer won’t have to reset the timepieces calendar every four years when an extra day is added to the Gregorian calendar in February.
Why did we choose to use a Moonphase complication?
So why don’t all watches feature a grand calendar, with gears that adjust for the leap year? Tradeoffs.
Each new complication added to a watch requires extra gears, hands and often a larger case to house all of the extra pieces. Adding functions can drastically change the thickness and weight of a timepiece.
Complications also need to be visualised. Limited to only the dial for this objective, designers are mindful to not go overboard and run the risk of having too many sub displays, which can become too busy and even illegible. Last but not least, price. Extra complications often come at a premium price, craftsmanship, design, materials and the level of complexity all have to be accounted for when pricing a timepiece based on complications offered.
We’ve chosen to integrate 2 complications into the Tidal Moonphase - Date & Moon Phase. Date offers the wearer quick access to through a display window above the 6 o’clock position. While the Moonphase tracks a full moon cycle from new moon to new moon, every 29.5 days.
We’ve chosen to integrate the moonphase complication for a variety of reasons. As there are always trade-offs for each included complication, opting to include more calendar functions such as Day & Month would leave little to no display area for our moonphase. Instead, we’ve dedicated a large area of the dial to display the beautiful Moon Phase sub-dial, giving this complication the attention it deserves. The moonphase is not as commonly found on timepieces as other calendar functions are, and is commonly found on high-end watches. (Read our article on the top 10 most interesting moonphase watches here)
The function itself bears remarkable symbolism. While looking at the Tidal Moonphase, one experiences a true understanding of time. Seconds rush away as the second hand swiftly orbits the dial a staggering 1440 times per day, symbolising the importance of the time we have and the notion that every second does count. Meanwhile, at the heart of the timepiece, the second-hand gears are causing a chain effect, enabling the Moon Phase to make 1 rotation every 29.5 days. Untraceable by the bare eye in real-time, but clearly noticeable over time, the changing Moonphase serves an important symbol as well, that not all outcomes are instantaneous, there isn’t always quick wins but outcomes do change drastically over time through gradual increments.
It’s a notion we wholeheartedly believe in. We’ve experienced it ourselves while building the Sekoni Original brand. It didn’t happen overnight, but incremental steps over time eventually lead to raising over $50,000 through Kickstarter funding.