From professional surfers who rely on the tides to werewolf hunters who embark on hunting expeditions during Full Moon, our lives are intricately connected to the Moon, which orbits our planet.
Even if you aren’t a surfer or live in the Middle Ages, the Moon still plays an integral role in the solar system today.
Of course, the Sun kicks off the day, but guess what? The phases of the 4.53- billion- year- old rock orbiting our Earth provide the foundation for the months we celebrate today.
From time immemorial, tracking the Moon as it rotates the Earth has been one of the most significant ways many generations before us harvest crops and celebrate events.
And if you know anything about the three wise men, you’ll agree that there is something mystical about the night sky. While the fascinating stories about the Moon have connected us for millions of years, a moon-phase watch provides the opportunity to relish the experience today.
From the ancient Greek model of understanding the solar system to the Renaissance era, the moon-phase complication has proven to be one of the most sophisticated complications of all times.
Read on to learn more about moon-phase watches and how you can set this remarkable timepiece.
What Is A Moonphase Watch?
A moon-phase watch is a brilliant timepiece that accurately displays the different phases of the Moon via a small hole uniquely carved out on the dial. Thanks to its impeccable aperture, this watch is able to display the current phase of the Moon as it appears in the sky.
This incredible timepiece gets its name from the shape of the Moon as it orbits the Earth.
Using this watch, you can easily track the shape and phases of the Moon as it is displayed in the sky.
As if that’s not enough, its impeccable aperture is able to shield part of the Moon that is not clear as it relays the 29.5-day lunar cycle.
While there are different Moon phases, we will focus on the main four phases: New Moon, First Quarter, Full Moon, and Last Quarter.
With a moon-phase watch able to display four of the eight lunar phases, telling the time isn’t as complicated as you imagine.
Let’s break these phases down for easy comprehension:
- New Moon: During this period, the Moon appears between the Earth and the Sun. Given this arrangement, the side of the Moon facing the Earth doesn’t get direct sunlight. To this end, only the light reflected from the Earth is able to illuminate the Moon.
- First Quarter: During this period, the Moon has completed ¼ of its journey around the Earth. This means is that the Moon is about 90 degrees away from the Sun. From our view, you’ll notice that the Moon is half illuminated.
- Full Moon: This phase shows a moon that is fully illuminated by the Sun.
- Last Quarter: The Moon at this stage has completed ¼ of its orbit around the Earth. And because it is the exact opposite of the First Quarter, it means that it is illuminated on the left side.
How a moon-phase watch works
Even though a moon-phase watch looks complicated, understanding the workings of this fantastic timepiece isn’t so difficult.
To start with, a moon-phase watch features a special disc and two identical moons that sit just behind the dial. Thanks to the disc’s ability to rotate one full cycle every 29.5 days, this brilliant timepiece is able to accurately mimic the Moon’s orbit as it travels around the Earth.
The disc is powered by a 59-tooth gear that is capable of advancing one notch every 24 hours. This slow movement may cause many first-timers to believe that their moon-phase watch isn’t working.
The two moons are fitted on each disc to improve its accuracy. Because after every lunar cycle, the second Moon should pop up in the aperture to continue its course.
Setting a moon-phase watch: What you should know.
Now that you know some things about moon-phase watch and how it works, it’s time to show you how to set this impeccable timepiece.
Even though there are different types of moon-phase complications, each with its unique complexities, we want to show you a simple way to approach setting your moon-phase watch.
- Before you kick off the process, you want to first pull out the crown and position the hands at 6:30. This is pretty important as you don’t want to end up damaging the movement while trying to set the moon phase.
- If you did this correctly, you can proceed to surf the internet to see what the Moon looks like in real-time. With plenty of websites providing this information, you wouldn’t have to look at the sky to figure this out yourself. Also, try to see if the Moon is waxing or waning.
- Once you’re able to figure out the phase of the Moon, you can proceed to move the disc until you see the Full Moon appear. For those who are a bit confused, the Moon should appear in the middle of the window.
- The next thing you want to do is count the days since the last Full Moon. Once you have figured that out, simply turn the crown to shift the Moon to its current phase.
- Finally, push the crown back, and your moon-phase watch should be all set.
Frequently asked questions
How accurate are moon-phase watches?
Most moon-phase watches deliver accuracy up to 99 percent. And if the watch run’s without interruption, you’ll only need a correction by one day after 122.6 years. Incredible right? We thought so too.
What is moon phase complication?
Moon phase complication is one of the best things that has happened to the watch industry. From its utility to its technical prowess to functionality, this complication is highly sought after by watch enthusiasts.
Unlike traditional watches, moon-phase complication relies on the lunar cycle for its accuracy.
Why should I buy a moon-phase watch?
To be honest with you, there are plenty of great apps and websites that can provide you with all the details you need to know about the waxing and waning of the Moon. And you can even go outside to see things for yourself.
That said, a moon-phase watch looks all shades of amazing and to add to that, the watch tells an amazing story as it wraps around your wrist.