Today, February 29, 2016 is a very special day for many reasons. However, what makes this day more special than others, especially for those owning a Perpetual Calendar watch, is the magic surrounding the date change that occurred last night and the one that will occur tonight at midnight as your Perpetual Calendars instantly snap from February 29 to March 1st. To celebrate such a special day, we have put together a list of top ten perpetual calendar watches that you could be wearing on a day like today.
February 29, also known as leap day in the Gregorian Calendar, occurs every four years in those years that are divisible by four. Years that are divisible by 100, but not by 400, do not contain a leap day. Therefore, the year 2100, will not have a leap day and is until then, that your perpetual calendars will require manual adjustment. In the Chinese calendar, the leap day only occurs in the year of the monkey, the dragon and the rat.
A leap day is added because a complete rotation around the Sun takes 365 days and 6 hours. Therefore, in a period of four years an extra 24 hours accumulate and the adjustment to the calendar needs to be made to align the Gregorian calendar with the sun's position.
To celebrate this leap year and leap day, here are 10 of the top perpetual calendar watches in the market and some of our favorites at the moment:
Patek Phillipe Perpetual Calendar Chronograph ref. 5270
The Patek Philippe Perpetual Calendar Chronograph Ref. 5270 was originally launched at Baselworld 2011 as a new complicated wristwatch with a rich 70-year heritage of tradition and innovation. At Baselworld 2015, Patek presented a new iteration of the ref. 5270 in 18K rose gold. The new Patek Philippe ref. 5270R-001 is without a doubt the quintessential Perpetual Calendar Chronograph —in a perfectly sized case measuring 41 mm in diameter— and one of the most coveted references among Patekaholics. Full hands-on review here on our website.
Patek Philippe Perpetual Calendar ref. 3448 with Tiffany & Co. Dial
This fascinating Patek Philippe 18K Yellow Gold Perpetual Calendar with Moon Phases ref. 3448 for Tiffany & Co. circa 1970, features an 18K yellow gold case measuring 37.50 mm in diameter and 12 mm in thickness. The watch features a silvered dial with day and month apertures at 12, a date and moon phase indicator at 6 o'clock, dauphine hands, pearl minute track, raised gold hour markers and with the Tiffany & Co. imprint on the dial as this particular watch was originally sold by them. Full hands-on review here on our website.
Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Ultra Thin Perpetual
The Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Ultra Thin Perpetual ref. 1302520 is nothing but elegant and a very easy-to-read perpetual calendar featuring the traditional Jaeger-LeCoultre one push piece corrector for all complications on the calendar. This elegant watch is fitted with a very thin rose gold case measuring 39mm in diameter and only 9.2mm in thickness. Full hands-on review here on our website.
A. Lange & Söhne 1815 Rattrapante Perpetual Calendar
The A. Lange & Söhne 1815 Rattrapante Perpetual Calendar was presented at the SIHH 2013 and that same year, it was awarded two prizes at the Grand Prix d'Horlogerie de Genève. It not only received the Grande Complication Prize but also the Public Prize. This fascinating timepiece available in Platinum or Pink Gold is not only amazing from an horological standpoint but also extraordinary when it comes to its visual appeal and looks. The A. Lange & Söhne 1815 Rattrapante Perpetual Calendar ref. 421.032 is fitted with a pink gold case measuring 41.9mm in diameter and 14.7mm in thickness. Full hands-on review here on our website.
A. Lange & Söhne Datograph Perpetual
Our friends from Saxony, have decided to expand its range of dial and metals for its Datograph chronograph collection several months ago. The Datograph Perpetual —available in 18K pink gold and silver dial up until now— is now also available in 18K white gold with a grey dial making it even more appealing to watch connoisseurs. The case measures 41 mm in diameter and 13.5 mm in thickness —in white gold as ref. 410.038 or in 18K rose gold as ref. 410.032. Full hands-on review here on our website.
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar ref. 26574OR
The new Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Quantième Perpétuel —Perpetual Calendar— ref. 26574, joins all other Royal Oak Perpetual Calendars previously released since 1983 but with a larger case at 41 mm and a new automatic calibre. Audemars Piguet has an uninterrupted history of creating exceptional calendar watches that goes back to the company’s origins over 140 years ago. Sales of Audemars Piguet’s first full calendar wristwatches with phases of the moon began in 1924 and according to the Archives, the first perpetual calendar wristwatch was made and delivered in 1950. Full hands-on review here on our website.
H. Moser & Cie. Endeavour Perpetual Calendar Funky Blue
The H. Moser & Cie. Endeavour Perpetual Calendar Funky Blue is an exceptional timepiece fitted with a 40.8 mm white gold case and equipped with a number of ingenious features including what H. Moser calls the 'Flash Calendar', an instantaneous —literally a fraction of a second almost invisible to the naked eye— date mechanism that allows the wearer to adjust the calendar forward or backwards without the risk of damaging the mechanism. Full hands-on review here on our website.
Blancpain Calendrier Chinois Traditionnel
In 2012, Blancpain presented a world-premiere with the first wristwatch to feature a traditional Chinese calendar. Included under Blancpain's Villeret collection, the 'Calendrier Chinois Traditionnel' a.k.a. Traditional Chinese Calendar ref. 00888-3631-55B is fitted with an 18K red gold case measuring 45mm in diameter and 15mm thick. In addition to telling the hours and minutes, the watch features a Gregorian calendar, a Chinese calendar that includes all the animals in the Chinese zodiac in a small aperture right above the double-hour indicator at 12. Full hands-on review here on our website.
MB&F Legacy Machine Perpetual
Perhaps one of the top five biggest news of 2015 and a watch that we think for sure will be a prize recipient at the GPHG this year. The new MB&F Legacy Machine Perpetual is a perpetual calendar timepiece that is reinventing the most traditional horological complication. Developed from the ground up with independent Irish watchmaker Stephen McDonnell, breaks all codes and perspectives on how we've looked at perpetual calendars up until now. While conventional perpetual calendars are generally modules comprising the complication which is fitted on top of an existing movement, the calendar indications are synchronized by a long lever —called 'grand levier' in French— running across the top of the complication and passing through the center. Clearly something impossible when you have a suspended balance on top of the dialAvailable in platinum or 18K 5N+ red gold, the Legacy Machine Perpetual is fitted with a case measuring 44 mm x 17.5 mm. Full hands-on review here on our website.
Hublot Big Bang Chrono Perpetual Calendar
The new Hublot Big Bang Chrono Perpetual Calendar is the quintessence of the watchmaker's art in a Big Bang case and the first Perpetual Calendar for the brand. The new from Baselworld 2015 Hublot Big Bang Chrono Perpetual Calendar sums up Hublot's approach perfectly when it comes to fusing tradition and modernity. Measuring 45 mm in diameter, the Big Bang Chrono Perpetual Calendar is available in a King Gold version—an alloy of red gold and platinum exclusive to Hublot— or in a titanium version. Full hands-on review here on our website.