Watches with calendar functions were once much more popular and common than they are today — modern watches typically offer the date, but only occasionally the day of the week. Most often, day and date are found located together at 3 o’clock courtesy of common movements from Seiko (e.g., NH36) and Miyota (8205), or from the Swiss with ETA (2836) and Sellita (220). Any more complicated than that with the inclusion of the month, however, and modern watches start to get much more expensive.
Calendar watches come in different forms such as triple date, annual, and perpetual. Back in the day — that is, in the good-old golden days of pre-Quartz Crisis watchmaking — basic calendar watches often featured day, date, and month indications. A common but elegant dial layout saw two windows under 12 o’clock for the day and month, with the date indicated by a hand in a sub-dial or centrally mounted with the hours and minutes, kinda like these. Throw in a moon phase and it’s oh-so-nice!
Watches like this are unfortunately rare today or very high-end, but they are still aplenty on the vintage market, sometimes combined with other complications like chronographs, as illustrated below by three colorful examples from popular brands.
Omega Speedmaster Mark 40
What We Like: An Omega Speedmaster, but not the one you tend to think of first, or even second. This Mark 40 from around the 1990s is more colorful and complicated than the sober Moonwatch, combining a calendar and chronograph with a different sub-dial layout and other design differences — yet it’s still quite recognizably a Speedmaster. Tucked into the 12 o’clock sub-dial for the chronograph’s 30-minute counter are small windows for the day and month, and the 9 o’clock sub-dial for the running seconds doubles as a 24-hour indicator. There’s a lot going on here, with automatic winding provided by the ETA/Valjoux 7751-based movement in a wearable 39mm-wide case.
From the Seller: Case and dial in great condition; no stains or patina.
Vulcain Triple Date
What We Like: A “reverse panda dial,” with white chronograph sub-dials contrasting against the black dial, this is a very cool, very ’70s specimen. Inside is a manually wound Valjoux 730 movement as found in many Wakmann watches of the time. This one is very similar to those, but is branded Vulcain on the dial, and it features chronograph and “triple date” (aka “triple calendar”) functions. Considering all the information being displayed, the dial remains remarkably uncluttered and one might not even realize that it is more than a chronograph at first glance.
From the Seller: Case upgraded to steel of the same exact case and case back; the watch was also serviced recently.
Universal Genève Calendar Moonphase
What We Like: Vintage watches from Universal Genève have become very popular for a number of reasons, leading to higher prices. This one has a triple calendar with a clean layout, using sub-dials to display the date and month as well as a moonphase, and only the day of the week is indicated in a window under 12 o’clock. The overall design here is captivating, and the stylized numerals just give it an extra shot of character. Powered by the Universal Genève manually wound 291 movement, this example manages to cram a lot of information and complexity in a steel case that is just 34mm wide.
From the Seller: The watch is in new-old-stock condition with minimal signs of wear. Steel feuille hands. Unsigned crown.