20 BEST Annual Calendar Watches (Different from Perpetual!)
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20 annual calender watches (different from perpetual calender)

20 BEST Annual Calendar Watches (Different from Perpetual!)

There are fewer hotly debated topics amongst watch enthusiasts than the highly useful and most elementary of calendar complications, the date complication. Does it belong? And where, 3, 6, 9, 4:30! Where?

While some believe that, from a complication standpoint, there is none more useful for your day-to-day than a date complication, others see it as a mar on a dial, breaking its symmetry and ultimately being the reason for not purchasing a timepiece. 

Strangely enough, as complications get more complicated (e.g. day-date, annual calendar, perpetual calendar), enthusiasts and collectors seemingly change their tune. They look at these complications as must-haves for a well-rounded collection and the most sought-after in all of Haute Horology. 

With that said, strap in and thank the Romans for the development of the calendar because we are going to dive into the world of annual calendar timepieces, discuss a bit about its history and origins, compare it to its older brother (Perpetual Calendar), and showcase the 20 best annual calendar watches.

History of Annual Calendar Watches

As far as watch complications are concerned, the annual calendar is a relatively new complication. It was the mid-nineties, we were a few years out of the Cold War, Seinfeld and F.R.I.E.N.D.S. were on everyone’s TV, and the watch world was slowly recovering from the quartz crisis.

Because of the efforts of watch brands like Patek Philippe and its President, Philippe Stern, watch enthusiasts’ interest in mechanical complications was on the rise. 

The story goes that the idea for the annual calendar was developed as a graduate project of an engineering student at the Geneva School of Engineering after Patek challenged the school to invent a new movement that would invite a new sector of the market to purchase more mechanically complicated timepieces at a more financially accessible price point. 

This is Patek we are talking about, so the “accessible price point” is subjective at best. Patek loved what they saw, awarded the young engineer with a prize, and he went to work with Patek immediately. Patek brought the first annual calendar watch to market with the release and debut of the Patek Philippe ref. 5035 at the Basel Fair 1996.

In the fall of the same year, this watch was awarded “Watch of the Year”. With its incredibly legible and well-balanced three-register dial and, more often than not, gold case, the 5035 appealed to many perpetual calendar lovers because of its luxurious design and less expensive price tag.

Annual Calendar Watches vs Perpetual Calendar Watches

So what is an annual calendar timepiece, and how does it compare to its older brother, the perpetual calendar? Well, to begin, let’s discuss the functionality of both and see the differences between the two complications.

Annual Calendar

An annual calendar timepiece displays and correctly advances the day, date, and month taking into account and differentiating between 30 and 31-day months. With that said, the only manual change that needs to be made by the owner is once a year for the month of February.

Perpetual Calendar

A perpetual calendar timepiece was created to correctly advance the day, date, month, and year until the year 2100, taking into account the month of February and leap years without any manual adjustments by the owner. 

The first perpetual calendar wristwatch, notice I said wristwatch, was brought to market in 1925 by Patek Philippe (shocker!) with the ref. 97975. With that said, the earliest known example of a perpetual calendar was in a pocket watch made by Thomas Mudge in 1762. 


So after comparing the functionality of both the annual and perpetual calendars, it is pretty evident that the difference is minimal. Aside from the manual adjustments that must be made once a year and the overall cost, these two siblings are very similar.

Annual Calendar Watches Purpose

So you might be asking yourself, what purpose does an annual calendar watch serve in today’s world? That is a question that anyone with a mechanical timepiece on their wrist should be asking themselves every day. 

In a day and age when we have an infinite amount of knowledge and information at the tips of our fingers, the last thing we are ever in need of is an incredibly complicated mechanical timepiece to tell us where we are in a calendar year. But the annual calendar is a reminder of what it means to be a skilled artist. 

A reminder that even though a smartwatch is more practical and efficient, there is something romantic about a mechanical timepiece that harkens back to a time when the accuracy and innovation that you wore on your wrist helped you keep track of your day-to-day life as it slowly moved under the arrow of time.

Best Annual Calendar Watches

Now that we have had the opportunity to learn a little more about annual calendar watches and how they work let’s dive into our list of the 20 best annual calendar watches. These are ranked from the most affordable to some that might require taking out a second mortgage on your home. 

It is worth noting that due to some of these timepieces being out of production, the pricing is as close to MSRP as we could find through authorized dealers, not gray market, etc.

Longines 1832 Annual Calendar (ref. L4.827.4.92.2) Case Diameter- 40mm | Case Thickness- 12.3mm | Price $2,359

Longines 1832 Annual Calendar (ref. L4.827.4.92.2)

The Longines 1832 Annual Calendar comes in as the most affordable annual calendar on our list. But don’t mistake its price point as a fault or assume that it means it is lacking in quality. Those who have had the opportunity to handle the flagship 1832 line in the metal know that this aptly named line (1832 being the year it was founded) is an amazing point of entry to the annual calendar complication at an amazing price point without compromising on quality and finishing. 

At 40mm, the Longines Annual Calendar sits right in the sweet spot for most average wristed enthusiasts. Its steel case and beige dial are subdued and incredibly clean. The applied indices and framed month/date window give this piece a bit of depth, character, and light play that would have been otherwise missing with a printed dial.

Carl F. Bucherer Heritage Bicompax Annual Calendar (ref. 00.10803.08.32.01) Case Diameter- 41mm | Case Thickness-14.15mm | Price $7,800

Carl F. Bucherer Heritage Bicompax Annual Calendar (ref. 00.10803.08.32.01)

For those who are fans of the John Wick films, Carl F. Bucherer is a name that will sound relatively familiar. The titular character of the series, John Wick, played by the nicest guy in Hollywood, Keanu Reeves, can be seen wearing a Carl F. Bucherer Manero AutoDate throughout the series. 

While the John Wick franchise has definitely made an impact on the cultural zeitgeist of the modern action film, it is the Carl F. Bucherer Heritage Bicompax Annual Calendar that has made an impact on myself and those looking for a beautiful panda or reverse panda dialed chronograph with an annual calendar and a big date! 

This is such an insanely neat piece that offers so much from one of the oldest family and independently-owned Swiss watch manufacturers in the world.

Omega Globemaster Annual Calendar (ref. Case Diameter- 41mm | Case Thickness- 14.1mm | Price $8,700

Omega Globemaster Annual Calendar (ref.

What can be said about Omega that hasn’t already been said? A Swiss watch giant that has, since its founding in 1848 by Louis Brandt, created one of the most iconic timepieces in history, the Speedmaster. Oh, and if you haven’t been paying attention or happen to be a hermit living in a cave, it was this watch that went to the Moon. 

At 41mm in diameter and with a case thickness of 14.1mm, the Globemaster works on a wrist like mine, a little over seven inches, but might be pushing the limits in size for some enthusiasts. With that said, I think the Globemaster more than makes up for its size with its highly stylized design, which includes a “Pie Pan” dial, a hallmark, and a callback to the original line of Constellation timepieces from 1952. 

The Globemaster also comes with a Tungsten Carbide bezel, the most scratch-resistant metal known to man. So, if you are one of those enthusiasts who is a little rough on things, the Globemaster might just be the piece for you.

Zenith El Primero Winsor Annual Calendar (ref. 03.2070.4054/02.C711) Case Diameter- 42mm | Case Thickness-13.85mm | Price $10,183

Zenith El Primero Winsor Annual Calendar (ref. 03.2070.4054/02.C711)

Depending on who you ask, the Zenith El Primero, which literally means “the first”, was one of the first manufacturers to develop and bring the automatic chronograph movement to market. I say “one of” because there is quite a debate in the watch world about whose automatic movement was actually the first one.

Was it Zenith, Seiko, or the Chonomatic Group (a joint venture between Heuer-Léonidas, Breitling, Hamilton-Büren, and Dubois-Dépraz)?  Regardless, Zenith has a very storied history in the watch world, and the Zenith El Primero Winsor Annual Calendar is another timepiece that, as far as annual calendars go, has something we have not yet seen on our list, a day function.

Like the Globemaster, the 41mm case diameter and 14mm case thickness might be a deciding factor for some when purchasing this watch; I believe that some of the extra added features and Zenith’s rich history can make up for some of its shortcomings.

Montblanc Heritage Chronometerie Annual Calendar (ref. 112535) Case Diameter- 40mm | Case Thickness- 9.55mm | Price $11,400

Montblanc Heritage Chronometerie Annual Calendar (ref. 112535)

Listen, I know that the name Montblanc doesn’t always bring to mind a rich and storied history of watchmaking. But, since the company’s entrance into the world of horology in 1997, Montblanc strived to have their watches reflect what they were best known for; luxury writing instruments.

Since then, Montblanc has really pushed the envelope when it comes to investing in more complex complications. This is where our number five entry on the list, Montblanc Heritage Chronometerie Annual Calendar, enters. This 40mm, 18kt gold-cased annual calendar has so much to offer.

With its silver sunburst dial and four-register layout, the Montblanc Heritage has something new to offer that we have yet to see on this list; a moonphase. The addition of a moonphase gives the owner a true sense of luxury and refinement that will always be a great conversation piece.

Ulysse Nardin Torpilleur Annual Chronograph (ref. 1533-320le-0a-175-1a) Case Diameter- 44mm | Case Thickness- 13.6mm | Price $12,700

Ulysse Nardin Torpilleur Annual Chronograph (ref. 1533-320le-0a-175-1a)

In its 177-year history, Ulysse Nardin has been at the forefront of technological advancement in the old-world art form of watchmaking. They were the first company to use a silicon hairspring with their release of the 2001 edition of the Ulysse Nardin Freak.

This watch straddled the line between insanity and genius and is still seeing constant innovation. With that said, Ulysses Nardin is no stranger to doing things differently, and in the case of the Torpilleur Annual Chronograph, different is big and bold. The Torpilleur comes in as the third largest timepiece on our list.

At 44mm, the individually numbered Torpilleur has a dual register chronograph layout on a stunningly white varnished dial classically accented by Roman numerals, a mainstay in the Marine Collection. 

Rolex Sky-Dweller (ref. 326934) -0006 Variant Case Diameter- 42mm | Case Thickness- 14mm | Price $15,900

Rolex Sky-Dweller (ref. 326934) -0006 Variant

Like the rest of the Rolex catalog, the Rolex Sky-Dweller is a watch that is synonymous with excellence and reliability. Oh, and an insanely growing price tag and inability to walk into an AD and purchase. Since its release over a decade ago (2012), the Rolex Sky-Dweller is a timepiece aimed at frequent, refined, and cultured world travelers. 

What made the Sky-Dweller such a neat piece with its release was that it was a completely new design without any ties to historical Rolex pieces. The Sky-Dweller has come in a multitude of variants. But, the one I would like to discuss today is the -0006 variant which comes in a 42mm Oystersteel case with white gold fluted bezel, a bright black dial that can simultaneously track two time zones, and of course, the annual calendar

So, if you have a great relationship with your AD and consistently travel to Europe for long weekends, I think the Sky-Dweller is the piece for you. 

IWC Big Pilot Annual Calendar (ref. IW502710) Case Diameter- 46.2mm | Case Thickness- 15.8mm | Price $21,413

IWC Big Pilot Annual Calendar (ref. IW502710)

The IWC Big Pilot Annual Calendar is just that. BIG. Coming in as the biggest watch on our list, the Big Pilot Annual Calendar is a whopping 46mm and has a thickness of 15.8mm, which is actually not too bad for its size. The Big Pilot certainly has a wrist presence best suited for my tree-trunked armed readers. 

The Big Pilot is the first watch on our list to have a power display that helps you monitor the impressive seven-day power reserve. Though the Big Pilot Annual Calendar is not a watch for everyone, I believe it is a great entry on our list from a manufacturer that has always made an impact in the world of horology.

Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra Annual Calendar (ref. Case Diameter- 43mm | Case Thickness- 14.6mm | Price $23,300

Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra Annual Calendar (ref.

The Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra Annual Calendar is only the second gold-cased watch on our list. The 43mm elegant AT is cased in Omega’s Red Gold, which is darker with more red/orange hues and is much different from Omega’s newest Sedna and Moonshine golds. 

The beautiful case is accented by a “Teak Concept” patterned gray dial that makes the case vividly shine. While I might be a bit of an Omega fanboy, I do think that the two Omega entries on our list are great options for someone looking to purchase an amazing precious timepiece with a useful complication.

Vacheron Constantin FiftySix Annual Calendar (ref. 4000E/000A-B439) Case Diameter- 40mm | Case Thickness- 11.6mm | Price $26,400

Vacheron Constantin FiftySix Annual Calendar (ref. 4000E/000A-B439)

The Vacheron Constantin FiftySix Annual Calendar is the second entry on our list to utilize a moonphase. While I earlier described a moonphase as a great conversation piece, it is worth mentioning that there is something romantic and poetic to a complication that can sometimes be underutilized. 

While the moonphase is not the focus of this article, I do believe it was very well-executed and helps to tie an incredibly well-balanced dial together. The FiftySix has a brilliantly silver-toned dial that is accented by a blue date hand, which helps distinguish the date functionality from the hours, minutes, and running seconds hands. I think that the FiftySix Annual Calendar is a great addition to an already stellar line by VC. 

Glashütte Original PanoMaticCalendar (ref. 1-92-09-02-05-62) Case Diameter- 42mm | Case Thickness- 12.4mm | Price $26,600

Glashütte Original PanoMaticCalendar (ref. 1-92-09-02-05-62)

The Glashutte Original PanoMaticCalender is a watch that needs to be seen to understand its true beauty. To anyone who isn’t a watch enthusiast, the dial of the PanoMaticCalender might be considered a little strange, bizarre, and difficult to read. But the dial is exactly what makes this annual calendar beautiful and unique. 

The opaline silver dial gives the watch an almost iridescent shine while the applied red gold indices and date window surround tie everything together with the beautiful red gold case. The blued seconds hand and moonphase give the PanoMaticCalender a pop of color that helps provide a cool tone to the warm reddish hue that dominates this precious metal timepiece.

Blancpain Quantième Annuel GMT (ref. 6670 1127 MMB) Case Diameter- 40mm | Case Thickness- 11.1mm | Price $31,000

Blancpain Quantième Annuel GMT (ref. 6670 1127 MMB)

Blancpain is a name that is synonymous with innovation within the watch world and one that cannot be easily categorized. There is a dichotomous relationship within the brand that signifies a separation between the complex: complete mastery of complications and their impact during the earliest days of dive watches. Take the former, for example, and Blancpain’s entry on today’s list. 

At 40mm, the Blancpain Quantième Annual GMT, which is part of the Villeret line, is the perfect example of a luxurious and classic timepiece by a company that also produces some of the finest dive watches in the industry. There are always two sides to a coin, and the Quantième is a watch that shows the complication-driven side of Blancpain, which has made them such masters of their craft.

Parmigiani Fleurier Tonda PF Annual Calendar Stainless Steel (ref. pfc907-1020001-100182) Case Diameter- 42mm | Case Thickness- 11.1 | Price $39,475

Parmigiani Fleurier Tonda PF Annual Calendar Stainless Steel (ref. pfc907-1020001-100182)

The Parmigiani Fleurier Tonda PF Annual Calendar is, for me, the standout timepiece on this list. The 42mm sleek and modern stainless steel case is adorned with a platinum hand-knurled bezel and comes in at a slim 11.1mm. For those thinking that it is all show and substance, you’d be wrong. 

Atop a gray guilloche dial is the obvious, what we’ve come to expect from an annual calendar watch, day, month, moonphase, but here’s the kicker, the date is a strategically placed retrograde date at the top end of the dial. This ultra cool date function means there isn’t an awkwardly placed date window on the dial breaking the Tonda’s beautiful symmetry. If money were no issue, this would be the watch for me.

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Annual Calendar (ref. 25920ST) Case Diameter- 36mm | Case Thickness- 8mm | Price $40,100

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Annual Calendar (ref. 25920ST)

The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Annual Calendar is an outlier on our list due to its size. Coming in at 36mm, the Royal Oak is the smallest watch on the list, but this feature-packed mid-sized watch definitely punches up with the big boys.

With its DNA firmly rooted in the 70s Genta design, the Royal Oak utilizes its minimal dial space for the best. With its tapisserie dial, applied indices, and lowered chapter ring acting as the date indicator, the Royal Oak has a great depth to the dial that is missing with some timepieces.

The only issue I see with this timepiece is its off-center month sub-dial. Definitely not for those with OCD. But one cool feature of the month sub-dial is the months printed in red, which correlates to the 31 printed in red, indicating those months are months with 31 days.

Cartier Rotonde de Cartier Annual Calendar (ref. W1580002) Case Diameter- 45mm | Case Thickness-14.05 | Price $44,283

Cartier Rotonde de Cartier Annual Calendar (ref. W1580002)

Coming in as the second largest watch on our list, the Cartier Rotonde de Cartier Annual Calendar is a watch that uses its large dial and the space given to its advantage. Cased in white gold and working inward with concentric circles, the Rotonde uses the outer ring to denote the months, while the inner ring denotes the days of the week. 

These circles are broken up by the always present and always classic Roman numeral hour markers. One incredibly neat design aspect of this timepiece is the use of a guilloche lower dial, acting as a beautiful background to the wonderfully symmetric dial. The Rotonde also features a well-placed big date at the top center of the dial, right above the Cartier name.

Patek Philippe Nautilus Annual Calendar Moonphase (ref. 5726/1A) Case Diameter- 40.5mm | Case Thickness- 11.3mm | Price $56,180

Patek Philippe Nautilus Annual Calendar Moonphase (ref. 5726/1A)

Patek Phillipe is the reason that this list exists. So there was never an instance when their watches would not make it. The Nautilus, next to the Royal Oak, is one of the most popular and sought-after timepieces on today’s market. 

So how do you make an already incredible watch just a bit better? Add an annual calendar and perfectly execute the layout of the date, day, month, moon phase, and, just for good measure, a 24-hour indicator.

The horizontally embossed dial on the Nautilus is a beautiful touch that graduates from blue to black at the very edges of the dial. While it has no equal, the Nautilus knows how to take an already proven design and stand out from the rest that has come before.

A. Lange & Söhne Saxonia Annual Calendar (ref. 330.025) Case Diameter- 38.5mm | Case Thickness- 9.8mm | Price $58,436

A. Lange & Söhne Saxonia Annual Calendar (ref. 330.025)

Like the Glashutte Original, the A. Lange & Söhne Saxonia Annual Calendar is a German-made timepiece that is a true work of art. The level of finishing of any A. Lange & Söhne is always a sight to behold, and that has never been more true than it is with Saxonia. 

Launched in 2010 and coming in at 38.5mm cased in platinum, the Saxonia is a harmonizing design that combines the calendar features, including big date, and perfectly sews them in with the timekeeping and moonphase capabilities. The solid silver dial combined with the platinum case and solid gold moonphase disc makes this timepiece a statement piece with a lot of heft.

Patek Philippe Annual Calendar Chronograph (ref. 5905/1A) Case Diameter- 42mm | Case Thickness- 14.3mm | Price $63,870 

Patek Philippe Annual Calendar Chronograph (ref. 5905/1A)

Making its second entry on our list is the Patek Philippe Annual Calendar Chronograph, a 2021 release with a flyback chronograph and an annual calendar, making this Patek a true work of art. With its all-steel construction and coming in at 42mm, this curvaceous timepiece offers the sizing of a modern watch with the wrist presence of a more luxurious timepiece. 

Its concave bezel makes this piece a joy to wear, much less intimidating than the 14.3mm case thickness might indicate. The sunburst olive green dial helps keep this Patek a little more playful and casual.

Patek Philippe Annual Calendar Travel Time (ref. 5326G) Case Diameter- 41mm | Case Thickness- 11.07mm | Price $78,660

Patek Philippe Annual Calendar Travel Time (ref. 5326G)

Making a third and final entry on our list, the Patek Philippe Annual Calendar Travel time, like the Parmagiani Fleurier, is a stand-out piece for me. The 41mm white gold case gives the timepiece a heft that reminds you it is on your wrist. 

What makes this piece so incredibly useful and over cool is the Annual Calendar Day, which shows the date and month in two windows centered near the top of the watch, the ability to track two time zones (both local and home time), but also local and home day/night indicators within the local and home time apertures! This is just a magnificent piece that needs to be seen.

F.P. Journe Octa Calendrier Calibre 1300.3 Case Diameter- 38 or 40 mm | Case Thickness- 10.6mm | Price $175,802 (Est.)

F.P. Journe Octa Calendrier Calibre 1300.3

F.P. Journe only produces about 900 timepieces per year, so the likelihood that you see them in the wild or up for sale is rare. That said, I think that is what makes the F.P. Journe Octa Calendrier Calibre 1300.3 such a great piece. 

Not only is it an amazingly beautiful design with a platinum case, white gold dial and guilloche silver sub-dial, and retrograde date function, but it is a true Unicorn that, for the lucky individual who owns one, will likely always hold a spot in their heart.


I hope you all had a great time reading this article. In my research, I learned a lot on the topic of annual calendar timepieces, and I hope you did too. Until next time, thank you.

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