Embrace the lunar tick

Laura McCreddie-Doak
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Designers of women’s watches are understandably drawn to the expressive beauty of the moonphase complication. Laura McCreddie looks at three brands offering this adornment across different price points

Heritage Zenith Star Moonphase - £3,200
Zenith tends to be perceived as a rather masculine brand – it had a watch on Felix Baumgartner’s wrist when he leapt from space – but as this model proves, it knows what it is doing too when it comes to women’s watches. There is so much that stands out with this timepiece. The subtle use of diamonds, nestling in the corners of the cushion-shaped case; the inner circle of blue roman numerals and the masculine note added by the alligator leather strap. It isn’t the most feminine of moon phases but all the better for it.

There’s something incurably romantic about a moon phase complication. Functionally, it’s intended to represent the moon as it appears in the night sky: as the real version travels through the heavens, so its horological representation moves through its phases through an aperture on the dial.

But emotionally, it speaks of our connection to the universe, of ancient times when the celestial waxing and waning was used to determine the passage of time. It’s manner of representation still retains some of that whimsy – it appears as a face that looks as though it belongs to a children’s book, unlike the cool mathematical rigour of usual dial markings. Here’s are three examples of how brands showcase the moonphase.

Jaquet Droz Mother-of-Pearl Eclipse
The Eclipse is a playful take on the moon phase: rather than a rotating disc charting the phases, an index moves across the moon’s face.

Although this 39mm version is a reworking of the originally 41mm men’s version, the delicate iridescence of the mother of pearl dial framed with the diamond-set case feels more lunar than its male companions. Emphasising the celestial theme is a wavy moon-tipped hand that indicates the date and the eight stars surround the moon phase in reference to a watchmaker’s lucky number.

Storm Alvas Moon Phase
Moon phases are often associated with high-end mechanical watches; it is one of the few complications that isn’t usually found in quartz watches, which can seem a bit elitist.
However, this year, Storm decided to launch its Alvas Moon Phase. And it’s a really sleek, sophisticated take on this complication. Being an electronic watch keeps the case ultra thin, giving it a pared-back feel. It’s available in black, slate and brown but it is the polished stainless steel version that really shows off the moon phase to maximum effect. And for under £200, it’s an absolute steal.