The date indicator is the most common of the complications in a mechanical watch, and it is also the most useless, in my opinion. After all, the vast majority of mechanisms with a date display function are not so “smart” to recognize the month and the number of days in it, and even fewer of those that “think” whether it is a leap year or not (perpetual calendars do not count).
The process of setting the date can also be quite tedious: turning the crown in one direction for “days” or something else, as in the case of the “quick date correction” function, is also not that great pleasure - there is no time for this. Watches that offer a power reserve of several days and guarantee the owner an uninterrupted supply of correct information are also still in the minority, so only the most notorious advocates of accuracy, who meticulously monitor the correctness of the readings on the wrist, date indication is true.
Why then do watch manufacturers continue their experiments and offer us multiple versions of watches with a date display? The answer seems to be quite simple: the common date window is now nothing more than a design element, and a small aperture should be treated as an ornament, albeit a conditionally functional one.
There is a widespread opinion among so-called purists that the date indicator (window) in the absence of other calendar functions spoils the dial, violating its “natural purity” and “balance”. At the same time, and it's hard not to agree, the arrow indicators are much more appropriate and very beautiful, remember Armin Strom and their recent creation in the System 78 collection, the Orbit watch with a retrograde “on demand” date indicator.
But watches with a date window are still attractive and desirable, somewhere in our subconscious we all strive for classics, stability and proven options, that is, the familiar. And it's good that the offer of mechanical watches with this familiar "decoration" is huge - it means that there is plenty to choose from.
The Norqain Freedom 60 N2200S22C/C221/20TRO.18S chronograph has a small date window at 4 o'clock, it fits perfectly into the overall layout of the dial, without overloading this complex information resource. In addition, it looks familiar, because the used caliber NN18 is based on ETA 7753, and 7753 gave life to derivative movements that were used in their watches by Panerai, Montblanc, Hublot, Bremont, Oris.
In its original form, ETA 7753 can be found in watches from Longines, Hamilton, Baume&Mercier, Tudor, Tissot and others. Readers who are well acquainted with the chronographs of these brands will surely immediately notice for themselves the indisputable advantage that combines all these models into one big family - the date is corrected by pressing a special button at 10 o’clock, which greatly simplifies the process if such actions become necessary.
Of course, this button is not the only advantage of the Freedom 60 chronograph from the dynamically developing Swiss brand. Recently, this particular model was analyzed in detail in this blog, I sincerely urge you to read it.
The Graham Chronofighter Vintage GMT 2CVBC.B15A.L127S watch is also a chronograph and also with a date indicator, in addition to the function of indicating time in the second time zone (moreover, in 24-hour format) displayed in the model name. But the date indicator (at 12 o’clock) is rightfully called “big” here, because instead of the usual, like, say, Norqain Freedom 60, one disk with date markings from 1 to 31, this watch uses two - one for tens, the other for units, which allows the numbers to be printed larger on the discs, and therefore the data to be presented in a "large" format, increasing readability.
True, the correction of the “big date” in these watches, powered by the G1733 caliber, is done by turning the crown, when it is halfway pulled out, counterclockwise until you set the current one. Turning the head in this position clockwise sets the zone time indicator hand in motion, it is with a red tip. It is noteworthy that there is another way to find out the time in a second time zone - to do this, turn the bezel with 24-hour markings so that the GMT hand points to the time in the time zone of your choice.
BUT! It is impossible to set the date (and time) between 20:00 and 02:00, as this may damage the mechanism. If the clock has stopped, turn the hands so as not to fall into this period.
The Ball Engineer Master II Aviator Dual Time GM2086C-S1-BK watch also boasts a rather expressively bulging big date window. The dial of this model is not overloaded with information - only one auxiliary 12-hour dial to indicate the time in the second time zone, at 6 o'clock. It is perfectly balanced by the round frame of the date window with classic rectangular apertures for tens and units, separated by a thin partition. Such a “cloisonné” option is often found in “big dates”, and such a frame usually serves one purpose - to visually hide a noticeable difference in the heights of the pointer disks. Compare the approach of two brands from the German Glashütte: A.Lange & Söhne put such a separator, but Glashütte Original does not.
The date is corrected by turning the crown in the semi-outstretched position counterclockwise at any time except between 20:00 and 2:00. You've probably already figured this out.
The super popular TAG Heuer Grand Carrera Caliber 8 GMT Automatic WAV5111.FC6225 would have looked great even without a large date indicator (maybe such an option exists), but we prefer watches with a date today. Date correction in this watch also requires the use of a crown, a quick option, but against the background of other advantages, the absence of a button for simple switching is definitely not a disadvantage. The external advantages are obvious, the internal ones are placed in the name of the model - Caliber 8.
Caliber 8 is a self-winding movement with a big date and a second time zone (hours and minutes) with a power reserve of up to 42 hours. It is based either on the ETA 2892-A2 with an additional module, or on the Soprod SOP9351, and is certified as a chronometer, as proudly announced by the inscription on the dial and on the movement itself.
The creators of Raymond Weil Maestro 2237-PC5-05608, charming in its apparent simplicity, placed a date window at 3 o'clock, it contrasts favorably with the dark gray matte dial, attracts attention. Gold-plated case, applied gold-colored Arabic numerals, leather strap, fine finish and attention to detail, open mechanism, clean lines and thoughtful design - all this naturally brought this model to our short review.
You'll find a date window framed in a red round frame at 6 o'clock on the Cvstos Challenge Jetliner II PS. This is a barrel-shaped watch, popularized first by Franck Muller and then by Richard Mille. Despite the fact that a comparison with the latter suggests itself, this matter, frankly, is empty, it is not worth our time with you. It is better to spend it on studying the design features of the case, which consists of three elements, fastened with Cvstos Technology design screws, and a movement with a special system of two cylindrical permanent magnets, which are designed to ensure smooth operation and the correct position of the small second wheel.
The date display is a mandatory element of watches with a wider range of calendar functions, and the complexity of execution and the cost of these mechanical miracles depend on the completeness of this set. We consider the crown of creation to be the clock with the so-called perpetual calendar, but there are both full and annual, and models with a pair of date-day of the week are also very popular.
The Cuervo y Sobrinos brand has in its catalog the Pirata model, just with the display of the day of the week and date, this is a watch with a chronograph, and if sea adventures or just the spirit of filibusters are close to you, pay attention to this watch. The round case made of steel and blackened titanium should remind you of the profile of a 17th century cannon, the engraving on the inner ring on the side of the dial reads Pirata de el tiempo de la vida, the hands are sharp as daggers, the "sinister" black color of the dial with the appropriate Arabic numerals add up to the desired picture - truly a wonderful gift to a pirate of the 21st century!
At the heart of the automatic caliber CYS 3061 with a power reserve of up to 42 hours is Valjoux 7750, which is not bad. The rather "small" degree of water protection is surprising, although we all remember very well that most pirates did not know how to swim at all, and being overboard meant going to feed the fish at the bottom of the sea. Why does a drowned man need a watch?