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Celestial Timepiece: The Best Moonphase Watches For Men

1 April 2020• Written by Kelly Sullivan

If you’re a watch enthusiast, no doubt you’ll have your dive watches and sailing watches already in your arsenal, but now it’s time to make room for a timepiece that takes us back to where horology began. There’s been a real pull toward moonphase watches in recent years, with a greater appreciation of the artistic craftsmanship involved and the nod to days of yore. They make fantastic dress watches and tend to be collector’s pieces due to the moonphase complication.

Enjoy this edit of the most refined moonphase watches that showcase the best of haute horology all available to buy today.

What is a moonphase watch?

A moonphase watch tracks our lunar cycle, so traditionally speaking, you should be able to look at your watch and see where in the lunar cycle we are currently. There are, traditionally, two styles of moonphase watch, one with a half crescent aperture and one with a full moon, or radial, aperture.

How does a moonphase watch work?

A moonphase watch has a dial with two moon disks on it. The first complication will complete a typical 29.5-day lunar cycle, visible in the aperture and once that cycle is complete, the next moon 0 or complication- will appear in the aperture as the one before.

Patek Philippe

Patek Philippe Men’s Annual Calendar Moon Phase

A classical style timepiece that puts flawless mechanical watchmaking at the forefront. Patek Philippe is old hand at moonphase watches and this Annual Calendar watch features the classic crescent aperture on a striking gradated blue face.

Case: White gold, 40mm
Strap: Alligator leather
Movement: Caliber 324 S QA LU 24H/206 self-winding
Water resistant: 30 metres


Cartier Ballon Bleu Moonphase

A twist on the classic Ballon Bleu, the blue theme runs throughout this watch, from the hands to the cabochon, crescent aperture and strap. It’s consistent, smart and makes an ideal dress watch.

Case: Stainless steel, 37mm
Strap: Blue leather
Movement: Mechanical movement with automatic winding
Water resistant: 30 metres

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Rolex Cellini Moonphase

A watch that holds so much detail while maintaining a minimal look and feel. The Cellini, pronounced ‘che-lini’ has the date running on the outer circumference of the dial with both a new and full moon display in the radial aperture.

Case: Everose Gold, 39mm
Strap: Brown Crocodile Leather
Movement: Calibre 3195, perpetual, mechanical, self-winding
Water resistant: 50 metres

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Raymond Weil

Raymond Weil Maestro Moon Phase

Raymond Weil packs a lot into the design of this moonphase, from the rose gold bezel, white face and black roman numerals, there's further colour in the crescent aperture and contrasting watch stitching. The moonphase is subtle, tucked in at 6 o'clock and the wave centre gives the watch further texture, contrasting the ribbed dial around the numerals.

Case: Rose gold, 40mm
Strap: Brown Alligator Leather
Movement: RW4280 mechanical self-winding movement with moon phase function
Water resistant: 50 metres

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Vacheron Constantin

Vacheron Constantin Overseas Perpetual Ultra Thin

This is a moonphase watch that will certainly garner attention. The face has a lot going on from the perpetual calendar to the hours, minutes and crescent moonphase. The exposed movement and compass detail on the back are nice displays of engineering.

Swap out the leather strap for the rose gold strap and you’ll have one attention-grabbing timepiece.

Case: 18k rose Gold, 41.5mm
Strap: Mississippiensis Alligator Leather, other straps available
Movement: 1120 QP/1 self-winding
Water resistant: 50 metres

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Hublot Spirit of Big Bang

From first glance, you can see the level of watchmaking that has gone into this Big Bang watch. Showcasing exceptional engineering including the exposed skeleton movement and the subtle moonphase aperture, the Spirit of Big Bang is a contemporary, Hublot take on a moonphase.

Case: Polished titanium, 42mm
Strap: Rubber straps
Movement: HUB1770 Self-winding Skeleton Big Date Moonphase Movement
Water resistant: 100 metres

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IWC Portofino Automatic Moon Phase 37

This moonphase has some luxe detail that adds to the celestial charm of this IWC watch. While it does away with complicated design, the minimalist aesthetic accentuates the beauty of its luxury features including the diamond index markers and crescent aperture.

Case: Stainless steel, 37mm
Strap: Alligator Leather
Movement: 35800 Calibre Automatic, self-winding
Water resistant: 30 metres

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Piaget Gouverneur

You have to admire the craftsmanship that's gone into this watch. The round dial with no less than 128 brilliant cut diamonds on the outer edge of the face reshapes the internal dial to give it an oval shape. Featuring an 18k gold case and index markers, the watch has an ultra-thin movement and nicely showcases the tourbillon alongside the moonphase. Elegant and perfect for any black-tie event.

Case: White gold, 43mm 
Strap: Alligator Leather
Movement: Hand-wound mechanical
Water resistant: 30 metres

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