Three sought-after moonphase watches

So, over the past few weeks, I’ve been testing smartwatches. I’ll confess, I’m not entirely convinced by them. Yes, the health apps are useful (apparently, I live 1,500 steps from my local pub) but every single smartphone is better at the notifications and messag­ing thing than any watch could ever hope to be. Also, smartwatches are frightfully ugly. But, admit­tedly, they are becoming better looking. Still, give me a classic, completely redundant but beauti­ful mechanical wristwatch any day.

Simple three-hand watches are timeless in their beauty but I have a soft spot for the moonphase complication, not necessarily for the function itself but the design and execution. German brand Junghans is known for its more modernist watches but it also offers one of the most afford­able, and gorgeous, moon­phase watches out there, the Meister Kalendar. In essence a simple design, this watch is given some verve with a black-and-gold colour scheme that makes the moonphase indicator, at the six o’clock position, more subtle than it would have been with a white dial. Other features include day, date and month all shown in an unobtrusive way. The rose-gold coated stainless-steel case is sized at 40.4mm and the strap is black horseskin leather. The Meister Kalendar is priced at HK$26,480.

Montblanc is a relative newcomer to watches but the brand has staked itself a win­ning position as a maker of fine moonphase timepieces. The Star Roman Quantième Complet “Carpe Diem” special edition is a mouthful to say and an eyeful to look at. A wonderfully rendered moon­phase, the dial has signature design motifs of classic watch­making, including a blue-steel seconds hand, Roman numerals and guilloche dial pattern. The watch features a full calendar – day, date and month – in a 42mm steel case. The strap is black alligator skin and power reserve runs to 42 hours. The watch is priced at HK$37,950.

Finally, we have the Manero Moonphase, from Carl F Bucherer, which tweaks the layout of the standard moonphase and calendar watches in a rather interesting way. As well as a nicely sculpted moonphase indica­tor at the six o’clock position, there are two windows nearer the top of the face that show day and month but the date indication has been placed in a ring on the inner dial complete with a fourth arrow hand. It’s a nice spin and doesn’t overly clutter the dial. The rose-gold case is a retro 38mm and power reserve runs to 42 hours. There are three versions of the Manero Moonphase available that vary in dial colour and materials, and prices for all are available upon request.

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