Why do we love moon-phase watches?

We explain the fascination behind the moon-phase indicator and look at some prime examples from masters of the craft, A. Lange & Söhne.

Peter Iantorno August 6, 2014

There's something special about moon-phase watches. It's difficult to explain why we love them so much because, let's face it, in this day and age who really needs to know about the waxing and waning moon? But despite being a pretty redundant feature in terms of actual usefulness, a moon-phase indicator brings with it a certain gravitas that can't be ignored.

A good moon-phase indicator displays an incredible level of skill and accuracy on the part of the watchmaker, and isn't the knowledge that artisans have slaved for days on end over your piece of wrist candy half the reason why you buy a luxury watch in the first place?

For many buyers that really is the crux of the matter; they're not bothered about keeping track of the moon (if they wanted to do that then they'd simply look up in the sky) but the mystery, intrigue and above all, luxury associated with the complication means that it's highly sought after.

When it comes to moon-phase indicators, there aren't many better watchmakers in the business than A. Lange & Söhne. The company has become something of a specialist in the craft, producing 15 manufacture calibres with moon-phase displays since its first almost 20 years ago and have nine in the current collection. 

Here are a few of our favourites:

Lange 1 Moon Phase

Characterised by its asymmetric indications, this watch gives a realistic portrayal of the waxing and waning moon. LANGE 1 MOON PHASE

Grand Lange 1 Moon Phase

New for 2014, this model features an indicator display in the centre of the hour and minute circle. GRAND LANGE 1 MOON PHASE

Lange 1 Tourbillon Perpetual Calendar

Two classic complications combine in this most famous of the brand's model families. LANGE 1 TOURBILLON PERPETUAL CALENDAR

Richard Lange Perpetual Calendar

The new benchmark for accuracy, featuring the changing constellation of the moon relative to the Earth and Sun. Richard Lange terraluna front and back

Saxonia Annual Calendar

The date on this elegant timepiece must be adjusted only once per year - at the transition from the last day of February to the first day of March. SAXONIA ANNUAL CALENDAR

Langematik Perpetual

When it was presented in 2001, this was the first self-winding wristwatch with a perpetual calendar and an outsize date. LANGEMATIK PERPETUAL

Datograph Perpetual

An ingenious combination of a flyback chronograph with a perpetual calendar. DATOGRAPH PERPETUAL

1815 Rattrapante Perpetual Calendar

This precise perpetual calendar will require no correction until the year 2100. 1815 RATTRAPANTE PERPETUAL CALENDAR

Grand Complication

The brand's most complicated timepiece, the moon-phase display is one of many of its technical subtleties. GRAND COMPLICATION