Since the beginning of time, we mortals have measured its passage through the waxing and waning of the moon. If you’re intrigued by the motions of the moon for practical or romantic reasons, you’ll need one of the best moon phase watches to track lunar cycles in style.
In our technological era, it’s easy to forget about the importance of the lunar cycle, but its position can affect us, even our ability to get a good night’s rest. Not only can moon phase watches help us track our sleep cycle, but it’s great for tracking the tides if you’re frequently by the ocean.
Functionality aside, this special complication increases the value of a watch and makes for the perfect addition to a watch collection. And, let’s face it, some of these moon phase watches are simply beautiful.
Whether you’re seeking the best watch money can buy or lunar tracking on a budget, we have the top 12 best moon phase watches on the planet.
Type: Full moon aperture | Water resistant: Yes | Material: Stainless steel with leather strap | Extra features: Annual calendar, chronograph, automatic | Size: 42mm
With a vintage high-end face and stunning blue hands, the Longines Master Collection has all the trappings of luxury. It even comes with all the complications you’d find on the very best moon face watches, like a chronograph and annual calendar. But don’t expect to break the bank here. This watch is rather affordable.
When you consider that Longines is a brand known for its exceptional quality, it’s clear why this moon phase watch is a best seller. And you don’t even have to wind it.
Type: Full moon aperture | Water resistant: Yes | Material: Stainless steel with leather strap | Extra features: Orientation, temperature indication | Size: 44mm
Sure, Citizen may not be the first watch brand that comes to mind when you think of the best moon phase watches. With varying price points of up to thousands of dollars, they may not make the greatest investment, but they’re exceptionally accurate and durable. So if you’re looking for an attractive sporty watch for everyday wear under 500 bucks, the Calendrier is your man.
The attractive royal blue face is complex, yet the four circular sub-dials are arranged in a way that’s pleasing to the eye. They keep track of the month, day, date, and of course, moon phase. As for an added eco bonus, it’s sustainably powered by sunlight.
Type: Half crescent aperture | Water resistant: Yes | Material: Stainless steel with leather strap | Extra features: 46 hour power reserve, Swiss-made caliber GPO3300-0115 automatic movement, calendar with date display | Size: 40mm
From one of Switzerland’s oldest watchmakers comes a truly stunning and understated watch. Not many complications clutter its white opaline dial, but its clean look makes it great for formal occasions and everyday wear alike.
As a part of the 1966 collection, it’s named after the year it won a Centenary Prize for its precise chronometer and technical innovation. Undoubtedly beautiful and refined thanks to precise in-house-built GP03300-0115 Swiss automatic movement, it’s one of the best moon phase watches on this list in terms of value.
Type: Half crescent aperture | Water resistant: Yes | Material: Stainless steel with alligator leather strap | Size: 41mm
Why be like everyone else when you were born to stand out? The Drive’s soft octagonal face encapsulates Cartier’s history with unique shapes to give you something a little different than you’re used to. It’s the finer details that add up to give us an interesting watch with all of the right luxury features.
Bold roman numerals and rich blue hands make up for the lack of complications on this watch. It’s certainly going for sophisticated rather than complex, so it’s something to keep in mind if you’re looking for a moon phase watch with lots of functions.
Type: Half crescent aperture | Water resistant: Yes | Material: Silver and alligator leather strap | Extra features: Swiss-made caliber 59800 hand-wound movement | Size: 45mm
It’s all in the details of this gorgeous watch. The face may be large, but its setup is surprisingly clean considering all of the information it contains. A separate power reserve display, date window, and seconds sub-dial leave you beautifully in control. Additionally, the contrast between the silver-plated dial and gold hands looks exceptionally rich against the burgundy alligator strap.
If you’re apprehensive to pull the trigger on an expensive watch, remember that the value of IWC Schaffhausen watches tends to appreciate over time. It requires hand-winding, but something so precious deserves special care.
Type: Half-crescent aperture | Water resistant: Yes | Material: | Extra features: Tachymeter scale bezel, chronograph, anti-magnetic | Size: 44.5mm
What better choice than the first watch worn on the lunar surface? From Britain’s Flying Corps to the US Army, Omega is synonymous with in-flight exploration, and the Speedmaster is its brainchild.
If you look closely into the half-moon aperture, you’ll notice a photo-real picture of the moon. This kind of elegant design combined with a complex face as dark as space itself makes this decently priced luxury watch irresistible. The best combination of practical and beautiful.
Type: Half crescent aperture | Water resistant: Yes | Material: Stainless steel with leather strap | Extra features: 38 hr. power reserve, date graduation, FC-775 caliber movement | Size: 41mm
Frederique Constant may be a much newer Swiss brand than the classics we know and love, but just as the name implies, the luxury brand is here to stay. High-quality movement and consistent value over time mean this stunning watch is worth it.
This model hits modernism on its nose, meaning it’s ready to be your daily watch. Pair it with a suit, jeans, or men’s joggers – it doesn’t matter, the world of style is your oyster with this bad boy.
Type: Half crescent aperture | Water resistant: No | Material: Gold plated | Extra features: Day of the month | Size: 52mm
If you thought pocket watches were a thing of the past, think again. While it’s definitely more novelty with the option to engrave, there’s something nostalgic about keeping a physical watch when everyone else relies on apps and iPhones for telling time.
Polished in shiny gold, the watch comes with a matching Albert chain just in case you fancy attaching it to your pocket. And even when it’s closed, the moon face can be seen through a central window.
Type: Half crescent aperture | Water resistant: Yes | Material: Stainless steel | Extra features: Date window, 5 day power reserve | Size: 42mm
Stainless steel with an eye-catching gleam, the Clifton Baumatic is a fresh take on the sports watch the classic Swiss brand is known for. There aren’t a ton of functions like traditional sports watches, but its understated feel is precisely why it’s so beloved. No need to get bogged down in bulk.
Finer details like rhodium-plated indices and a white dial feel fresh and shiny, so the focus can stay on what really matters: the mechanics. With in-house BM14-1975 C1 automatic movement, it’s their most tech-advanced watch to date. Even the sharp point of the hands indicates precision.
Type: moon phase and date indicator | Water resistant: Yes | Material: Stainless steel, Aligator | Extra features: 50-hour power reserve, exhibition case back | Size: 42mm
Bring the textures of the natural world into your wardrobe with this stunning moon phase watch from Montblanc. If I were you I wouldn’t leave the house without it, even on grocery runs.
If you’re wondering what makes this watch stand out, well just use your eyes. Not only does this watch contain enough detail that every time you look at it you see something different; But this watch also contains a secret just for you and the truest of enthuisats. Flip the watch over and be dazzled by a small window to show you the inner workings of the watch.
Type: Full moon aperture | Water resistant: Yes | Material: 18k rose gold with leather strap | Size: 44mm
If this watch was designed to take your breath away, then mission accomplished. Akin to a piece of art, this stunning moon phase watch is unlike any you’ve seen before. Set against a gorgeous starry sky is the largest and first-ever three-dimensional moon made of marble and aventurine.
It makes sense that Arnold and Son would make one of the best moon phase watches. It’s named after John Arnold, the 16th-century English watchmaker to the best astronomers of the time who coined the term ‘chronometer.’
Back that heritage with the notion that only 28 limited edition Luna Magnas exist in the world, and you can see why this watch is truly special. If it feels out of reach, financing options are available.
Type: Half crescent aperture | Water resistant: Yes | Material: Full grain leather or stainless steel mesh strap | Extra features: Moon phase, day-date | Size: 39mm
At first glance, you’ll think it’s Swiss. Vintage style with a clean interface and roman numerals is what the Singapore-based company pays homage to, but they do it at bargain prices. It’s the perfect introduction to the best moon phase watches.
While it certainly doesn’t have the bells and whistles found on luxury moon phase watches, their quality is good where it counts—the glass. It’s made of sapphire crystal, the strongest and most durable option.
What To Look For In A Moon Phase Watch
There are three general types of moon phase watches. A bosom or full moon will display the moon in its entirety in the aperture to reflect the current phase of the moon. A half-moon reveals the cycle of the moon through a half-moon-shaped aperture. And a radial moon phase watch uses a hand to indicate where the moon is in its lunar cycle.
The best moon phase watches will have stainless steel or gold around the face. As for the watch bands, durable stainless steel or high-quality leather are good options. The glass over the face is where you’ll want something reliable like sapphire crystal. It’s the most expensive, but it’s also the hardest and most durable substance. Mineral glass, on the other hand, cannot withstand scratches as well as sapphire crystal.
Obviously, you’ll want more features (also known as complications) besides knowing the phases of the moon. These extra features mainly include time, date, month, time zones, and an annual calendar. The most common complication of a moon phase watch, a chronograph, is a stopwatch built into its movement. Sometimes, you can even tachymeters that measure speed on the bezel of the watch.
It’s easy to see why moon phase watches are intriguing. While these expensive watches are a novelty not everyone can afford, they should include features that are worth the investment.
Like our top pick, the Longines Master Collection, the best moon phases watches should have a beautiful design you love and a clean look that’s easy on the eye. And, even if it’s costly, the best moon phase watches should contain at least one exciting complication, like a chronograph.
Moon phase watches are expensive due to the Intricate mechanisms, premier design, complications, and precious materials involved. It’s rare to find a decent moon phase watch under $500.
Your moon phase watch should come with instructions for setting, but setting it yourself is easy enough. Hop online and check the current phase of the moon, then set the hands to 6:30 so it sets at midnight and protects the mechanism. Press the corrector button and advance to the correct phase. Luckily, this only needs to be roughly every 2.5 years.
Reading a moon phase watch is pretty simple. Either the hand points to the phase (radial), or you will be able to physically see which phase the moon is in according to how much the moon is revealed through the aperture.
Underneath the moon phase aperture are two identical moons on a disc, which is controlled by a driving wheel with 59 teeth. This round number amount is used to adjust for the lunar month, which is actually 29.5 days. Using a mechanical finger, the disc is advanced a notch every 24 hours.