In this 2023 guide we are exploring on What is a Moon Phase Watch and how does it work?
Even though the sun claims superiority in the solar system, here on Earth, the moon plays a super significant role you just can’t ignore.
And with the advent of moon phase watches, our luminous nighttime friend has continued to enjoy all the attention it deserves.
Using sophisticated engineering and some pretty eye-catching design, moon phase watches able to track time using the lunar cycle.
Though there are many watch enthusiasts and professionals out there who have always argued that lunar-based complications are superfluous but guess what, many collectors have always jumped on the opportunity to get a moon-phase watch anytime they come across one.
And just so you know, there are many reasons why moon phase complications are highly sought after.
For starters, moon phase complications not only leave watch lovers mesmerized, thanks to their superior aesthetics, but also remind us just how vital our lunar companion can be.
Now, the million-dollar question is, what is a moon phase watch, and how does it work?
Well, read on to learn everything you need to know about moon phase watches and why they are such a rare gem.
Moon phase watch: What is it?
A moon-phase watch functions quite differently from traditional watches.
This type of watch tracks time by relaying the 29.5-day lunar cycle via an aperture on the dial.
While they are popularly known as moon phase watches, they are also called moon phase complications.
Complications here mean any functionality on a watch that doesn’t directly relate to the time displayed.
A moon phase watch is a brilliant piece of tech that allows humans to describe the luminous portion of the moon as it travels along its course.
The unique thing about moon phase watches is that they display the Moon exactly as it is in the lunar cycle.
This is made possible using a brilliantly designed aperture, which hides any non-luminous parts.
While moon phase watches may come in different designs, they pretty much function the same way.
Today, there are primarily two types of watches with moon phase complications.
The most common one, “Bosom,” which takes on a more graphical approach, is able to physically capture the moon in its various phases by displaying it inside a crescent-shaped aperture.
The second type of moon phase watch is called the “Radial” moon-phase watch.
Unlike its Bosom counterpart, this one uses an indicator-type hand to track the lunar cycle.
How does a moon-phase watch work?
Without mincing words, the moon-phase complication is one of the most sophisticated techs ever to grace the watch industry.
For starters, moon phase complications come alive thanks to the two nicely fitted identical moon discs placed under the dial.
To function seamlessly, these two identical moon discs are further controlled by a 59-tooth driving wheel, which uses a mechanical finger to advance the dial once every 24-hours.
After every successful 29.5-day lunar cycle, the second moon disc pops up in the aperture to continue the process.
Although the detailing of the underlying moon disc varies from one moon phase watch to another, the functionality of the driving wheel remains pretty consistent.
Even though moon phase watches tend to be accurate, the standard 59-tooth driving wheels that power moon phase watches kind of limit their precision.
What this means is that most standard moon phase watches will lag by one full day every three years.
With this, you will need to manually adjust the timepiece once every three years if you want to keep up with the current lunar cycle.
Amazingly, some luxury brands have gone ahead to include a 135-tooth driving wheel in their moon phase watches to increase their accuracy.
With these types of moon phase watches, you only have to correct the time after 122 years.
This is a huge upgrade to what was hitherto obtainable.
Other brands like Andreas Strehler have launched more sophisticated moon-phase watches that can go for two million years before needing any correction.
Why do people like moon phase watches?
With the advancement in technology and access to seamless information, many people may argue that they don’t need a moon-phase watch to know the current lunar cycle.
Also, with access to sophisticated smartphones, most people will rather check their smartphone for the lunar cycle instead of a watch.
That said, moon phase watches are still insanely popular even today.
Besides looking cool and all shades of fabulous, moon phase watches are highly sought after by an army of collectors who know their remarkable value, especially considering the historical origin of the complication.
Also, moon phase watches are extremely popular among professional surfers who want to stay one step ahead of ocean tides.
To see moon phase watches in action, you’ll not go wrong to opt for popular models like Ochs, and Junior Moonphase watches.
We love their moon phase watches because of their mystic, minimalist design.
Another moon phase watch you’ll love right from the get-go is the OMEGA Speedmaster Moonwatch Professional Chronograph.
Unlike other moon phase watches, this one bursts with functionality and accuracy.
We also love the fantastic specs and functionality that come with the Casio G-Shock Gulfmaster Gwn-1000b-1ajf.
Overall, whether you’re interested in a mechanical or automatic moon phase watch, rest assured you’ll get just the right moon phase watch that fits your personality and style.
Frequently asked questions
Are moon phase watches accurate?
When it comes to accuracy, moon phase watches aren’t performing so badly.
As a matter of fact, experts believe that moon phase watches are 99 percent accurate.
If a moon-phase watch runs without interruption, you’ll only need to correct it by one day after 122 years.
This is all thanks to its incredible mechanical transmission, which can step down the rotation of the hour wheel.
Are moon phase watches expensive?
Compared to traditional watches, moon phase watches are a lot more expensive.
If you consider the mechanics and tech that powers these watches, you’ll understand why moon phase watches are a lot more expensive than other types of watches.
This is not to say that there aren’t affordable moon phase watches on the market.
Today, there are many brands out there that have been able to produce moon phase watches that are slightly more affordable.
Why is it called complications on Apple Watch?
The reason it is called complications on Apple watches is not so far-fetched, especially if you consider complications in traditional Apple watches as anything that adds information beyond the time.