By definition (“Mechanical watches with at least one calendar or astronomical complication”), the “Calendar” category includes watches with calendar complications of different levels of complexity. As a result, the Ulysse Nardin FreakLab “only” has the date (but has a tourbillon as well), whereas the Slim d’Hermès offers a perpetual calendar with moon phase (and a second time zone). Based purely on complexity, therefore, the Hermès piece would win hands down.
But the Quantième Complet from Blancpain’s Villeret collection is my favourite. First of all, it has a moon phase display (which women love, apparently). Graphically, it is simple and has a wonderful balance thanks to its size and its centred position. The day and month, displayed in windows, is instantly readable. Then you just have to follow the beautiful serpentine blued-steel hand to easily read the date. I think this immediacy of reading is a great advantage. Another practical advantage of this model is that the self-winding movement, with 72 hours of power reserve, allows each of these indications to be adjusted very simply.
In purely technical terms, the Slim d’Hermès Perpetual Calendar is the most complicated calendar watch in the category. It is the only one of the six finalists with a perpetual calendar, one of the most complex horological complications.
But from all the criteria for choosing a calendar watch, I think the purest style with instant legibility is the most important. This is why I would go for the Blancpain Villeret Quantième Complet. To display the date the brand has chosen to continue the tradition of watchmakers in the 18th century, by using a blued-steel serpentine hand. This watch also has correctors hidden under patented lugs, offering a practical and aesthetic benefit.
Paul O’Neil, editor-in-chief, WorldTempus
Like all of our round tables on the GPHG 2015, each contributor submitted their choices independently. I thought it worth mentioning that because as you can see, Camille and Michèle have both chosen the same watch but, more interestingly, for the same reasons. My choice in this category, however, was decided more on price. It is refreshing to see that the jury has been bold enough to pick the Claude Meylan Lac full calendar watch as one of its finalists. The brand is more known for its skeletonized pieces, so the classic styling of this watch comes as a surprise. As does its price, which is less than a quarter of that of the next cheapest watch in this category, which is… the Blancpain Villeret Full Calendar. It costs 14,000 Swiss francs, while the Claude Meylan offers unbeatable value for a mechanical full calendar complication at just 3,250 Swiss francs.