If there has been one most notable complication among the many new watches introduced throughout 2021 so far, it is clearly the Perpetual calendar. First introduced in a wristwatch in 1925 by Patek Philippe, a perpetual calendar movement can display the date, day, month and year with precise precision and even take leap years into account; many models also include other complications, such as a moon phase or power reserve indicator, and virtually all watches with this type of movement are produced with the most sophisticated and well-to-do customers in mind.
Since its inception, the perpetual calendar perpetual calendar, or QP) has occupied a prominent place in the world of watchmaking, both for the status associated with the complication and for the technical prowess required for its manufacture. Today, in a time of continued growth in the luxury side of the watch market, watch brands are actively competing to produce watches with these unusual complications in a way that sets them apart from their peers. The year 2021 has seen many examples of this mission statement. You will find five of them below.
Bulgari Octo Finissimo perpetual calendar
One of the most remarkable releases of the year, perpetual calendar or otherwise, is the Bulgari Octo Finissimo Perpetual Calendar, which sets the brand’s seventh watch thinness record since 2014.
Like previous Octo Finissimo models, the watch features an ultra-thin 40mm case, just 5.8mm thick, available in monochromatic titanium or luxurious platinum. The overall look of the watch is quite distinct, with its perpetual calendar dial presented completely analogically, including with a retrograde date indicator and parallel leap year pointer at the top and bottom of the dial, respectively.
The record perpetual calendar is powered by the Bulgari BVL 305 caliber, a finely decorated micro-rotor mechanism visible through a sapphire display caseback. Like the watch it powers, the movement is also incredibly thin, at just 2.75mm thick. The Bulgari Octo Finissimo perpetual calendar goes on sale later this year, with the titanium edition priced at $ 59,000 and the platinum version priced at $ 89,000.
Third on our list is the latest perpetual calendar offering from Patek Philippe, new Ref. 5236P-001 in-line perpetual calendar. The watch was somewhat overshadowed by the release of the attention-grabbing green-dial Nautilus, but the 5236P-001 on its own shines with the very new calendar indication it offers.
The watch is from the classically elegant Calatrava collection and is notable for being Patek’s first wristwatch with an “in-line” calendar display. This means that it displays the day, date and month on a single line in a long horizontal opening under 12 o’clock. It is a configuration that Patek Philippe has used throughout its history in pocket watches, but never before on a wristwatch, dating from its first revolutionary creation in 1925.
The unusual configuration of the watch face is made possible by the Patek Philippe caliber 31-260 PS QL, a reworked version of the caliber 31-260 REG QA from 2011, with the “PS” for “Small second” and “QL” for “Perpetual calendar online”, or perpetual calendar online. The internal mechanism is wound via a platinum microrotor, exquisitely finished and visible via a sapphire crystal caseback, and has a frequency of 28,800 vibrations per hour and a power reserve of 48 hours.
The Patek Philippe Ref. The online perpetual calendar 5236P-001 comes on a navy blue alligator strap with a platinum folding clasp and is priced at $ 130,108 in the United States.
To complete our list, one of the most surprisingly popular releases of 2021 to date, IWC now-production-standard Big Pilot’s Watch Perpetual Calendar Blue Dial.
The new watch, launched as part of the Watches & Wonders 2021 virtual event, represents the first time the Schaffhausen-based brand has added a standard production version of its perpetual calendar to the flagship Big Pilot’s Watch series. The model was accompanied by a limited edition “Mojave Desert” Top Gun watch (below).
The blue dial watches feature a classic 46.2mm brushed steel case typical of the Big Pilot’s Watch collection with an oversized diamond-style crown and secured to the wrist by a riveted flieger-style leather strap. Under the sapphire crystal, the shiny sunshine blue dial gives rise to a very legible perpetual calendar configuration, all designed according to the classic codes of the Big Pilot style.
The IWC 52615 self-winding caliber beats inside the watch; its lack of a distinct leap year indication keeps the face relatively clean and legible. As for its specifications, the in-house developed movement contains 54 jewels, beats at 28,800 vibrations per hour and maintains a power reserve of seven days (or 168 hours); it is visible with its beautiful finish behind a sapphire crystal case back.
Notably, the IWC Big Pilot’s Watch Perpetual Calendar Blue Dial is one of the most relatively profitable perpetual calendars on the market today, priced at $ 29,900, nearly $ 30,000 less than the second cheapest watch of this year. list, the Bulgari in titanium.
Do you like lists like these? Check out our watchlist focused on another rare complication, the altimeter, here!