By Gordon Henderson
I would like to side step our normal updates about the latest in horology news and talk personal affectations, in particular this editor’s love for the lunar complication aka moon phase complication. Why the lunar complication you ask? It all starts with what many in the watch world refer to as their grail watch: The watch that is out of the financial reach for most mere mortals, and therefore regulated to an unrequited love that subsists on photos, articles and following the relevant hash tags of the watch that just isn’t meant to be.
For me that watch is none other than the Patek Philippe 5270. Unveiled at Baselworld 2011, it is modern sized at 41mm, and awesome. As a perpetual calendar chronograph it has three major complications in one: chronograph, calendar and moonphase. As I continued to fawn over the piece I began to realize that the part of the watch that caught my eye the most was the lunar complication. The section has quite a bit of detail — necessary to delineate the different iterations of the moon phase.
The artistic portion of the design stayed with me, so much so that I began to research different brands and their interpretations of the lunar complication. Part of me was also hoping that if others had fewer complications, it would mean a reduction in price. I was correct about the reduction, but not as much as I had hoped. Thus, with my research, I then began to fall in love all over again with a host of different moonphase timepieces that to were out of financial reach.
There is also another component of the moon phase that I love, which is the connection between space and time. That connection is at the heart of astrophysics, quantum mechanics and a bunch of other stuff that is way over my head. The relationship between space and time as an avid Trekker (I am not some crazy Trekkie that irrationally loves everything Star Trek; there is a big difference between the two) ties in my love of the great beyond and horology.
I do not yet own a watch featuring the moonphase complication and am unable to make up my mind on how I should save, and then spend, my hard-earned dollars. Call it paralysis by analysis. To make up my mind about a piece rules out the other pieces in terms of ownership and I am not yet at a point in my life where I am comfortable with that. As it turns out, I now love four watches with this coveted complication: the Patek 5270; the A Lange & Sohne Grand Lange 1 Moon Phase; the Glashutte Original Senator Panorama Date Moon Phase; the Frederique Constant Slimline Moon Phase. That’s big to small in terms of price and the question I ask myself is how long can I wait while saving up without running out and buying one. How long could you wait?