day-date watches
Seiko Presage "Urushi" Pwr Rsv Day/Date Retrograde Ref. SARD011

5 Gnomon’s Pick of Day-Date Watches: Simple Yet Practical

Simple and practical yet the most helpful complication ever

Date Published
September 28, 2022
Author
Gnomon Watches
Category
Shop Highlights

The day-date feature is one of the most practical features in a watch. It looks simple but definitely helpful to tell the time, date, and day – a complete package of time-telling experiences. As such, many people consider day-date watches as a must in collecting watches, especially for their everyday watches. Only with a simple glance on the wrist, you will get full information about the day.

Nowadays, day-date function comes in various designs and layouts. That makes people have plenty of options to choose from based on their preferences. As such, it indirectly also leads to many affordable day-date watches in the market. In addition to that, they are available in both dressy and sporty designs that can suit your style. 

In this article, we’re going to look closer at the best day-date watches you can find in the market, both at affordable prices and luxury ones. So, let’s dive into the recommendations.

A Brief History of Day-Date Complication

Before going into the recommendation of the best day-date watches for men, let’s first explore how this complication started. The story goes back to the late 19th century when the pocket watch was still in trend. An intelligent watchmaker named A Hammerly patented a pocket watch integrated with date complications in 1915. It was known as the pointer date.

The pointer date works by pointing to the current date number that is printed on the outer dial. Not so long after the pointer date, Hammerly also introduced his weekday display placed under the 12 o’clock on the watch dial. The journey of day-date complications continues until the first timepiece with a day-date feature was released by Rolex in 1956. 

It definitely a more modern timepiece with advanced features. It is equipped with a modern calendar and date aperture. Besides, the day date watch by Rolex is both a self-winding chronometer and waterproof. Until today, Rolex day date watches are still the leading ones in the industry.

How Day-Date Complication Works

As simple and practical as the function is, the way day-date complication works can be understood easily – yet it doesn’t define the process of crafting it. A day-date watch has two small discs placed beneath the dial. One disc consists of the day of the week while the other will be printed with the dates of the month. 

So, how day-date complication works? Once the watch reaches midnight, the disc will automatically move forward by one position. In other words, every 24 hours, the disc will change to show the correct day and date. 

In addition to that, you can also adjust the day and date manually if necessary. Sometimes, the watch stops for any reason and that needs you to set it back manually. In another case, a manual setting for the day-date function is needed when a month only has 28 or 30 days. 

Read also: How Do Moon Phase Watches Work? A Guide to A Cool Complication

Recommendation of Day-Date Watches

The fact that day-date watches have been everyone’s favorite for decades makes a watch with this feature available in various designs. Below, I’ve collected some of the best day-date watches for men that are worth a collection.

Rolex Oyster Perpetual Day-Date

As the predecessor of day-date complication, Rolex definitely deserves the first place of my recommendation – we definitely can leave this behind. Truth be told, there are many designs and editions of Rolex day-date watches but let’s settle on this Rolex Presidents. 

The date display can be easily spotted in an aperture at the 3 o’clock position. What’s so unique about Rolex day date watches is the magnifying cyclops lens that becomes Rolex’s hallmark. The lens is placed on top of the aperture date and outside the watch crystal. It functions as none other than to magnify the date and make it easier to read. 

Seiko Presage “Urushi” Pwr Rsv Day/Date Retrograde Ref. SARD011

The next best day-date watch for men you should own is the Seiko Presage “Urushi” Pwr Rsv Day/Date Retrograde. Taking a short glance at the dial, you’ll notice some sophisticated elements placed on it, from the power reserve indicator to the day-date function itself.

Seiko Presage "Urushi" Pwr Rsv Day/Date Retrograde Ref. SARD011
Seiko Presage “Urushi” Pwr Rsv Day/Date Retrograde Ref. SARD011

Instead of showing only the current time, the Presage “Urushi” displays all dates in a month and days in a week on the dial- called a retrograde display. In other words, it doesn’t move between discs but the day and date function need to jump and fly back precisely at the end of every week and every month. 

That makes the watch appears interesting along with its enchanting design. The dial background goes well with the universal coolness of the” black and gold” combination. For all these features, this is my favorite affordable day-date watch that costs only $1,060  USD.  

Hamilton Khaki X-Wind Day Date Automatic Blue Ref. H77765141

Next, I’m going to present another design for day-date watches. The Hamilton Khaki X-Wind Day Date Automatic Blue is a utilitarian, sporty, vintage, and chic timepiece. Specifically designed as a pilot watch, it features a range of complications from day-date function to drift-angle calculation function. 

Hamilton Khaki X-Wind Day Date Automatic Blue - Bracelet Ref. H77765141
Hamilton Khaki X-Wind Day Date Automatic Blue – Bracelet Ref. H77765141

In this day-date timepiece, you can see both day and date displays placed nicely at 9 o’clock corresponding with the lefty crown. That somehow makes a symmetrically balanced layout despite a crowded dial. At the heart of the watch is the automatic Caliber H-30 that has a power reserve pumped up to 80 hours. This is one of the most affordable day-date watches you have at $1,080 USD.

Read also: 5 Best Hamilton Automatic Watches for Your Manly Sporty Look

Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra Co-Axial Chronometer Day-Date

There are a number of reasons why the Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra Co-Axial Chronometer Day-Date should be on your radar. It’s Omega, so you won’t be disappointed with how enchanting the day-date complication is in this watch. It also presents a nice-looking dial layout with its simple yet robust design – thanks to its shark’s teeth hour markers. 

Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra Co-Axial Chronometer Day-Date - Source: Omega
Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra Co-Axial Chronometer Day-Date – Source: Omega

The black dial with the Teak Concept pattern is where you can splendidly see the day and date function. The day indicator is placed at 12 o’clock while the date is located at the 6 o’clock position. After all, this day-date watch could be a perfect all-rounder sporty watch for any kind of occasion.

TAG Heuer Carrera Chronograph Ref. CV2A1R

A sporty chronograph watch by Tag Heuer, the Carrera Chronograph Ref. CV2A1R. When it comes to sports watches, Tag Heuer could be a reliable brand to rely on. Despite being sporty, the watch isn’t that bulky which makes it dashing and appropriate for many occasions that call for a dress watch.

Moving on to the dial, it looks quite crowded but is well-placed to make it uncluttered. Among the chronograph sub-dials, the day-date function can be spotted at the 3 o’clock position. Both date and day are displayed respectively next to each other behind an aperture.

Final Thought

The day-date complication in a timepiece is indeed a practical and simple function. With the availability of day-date complications, the wearer can get information about time, day, and date – what else would you need? With that being said, day-date watches become very common as a basic feature in a timepiece. That also makes many affordable day-date watches available in the market.

You might also like: An Easy Guide to Watch Complications with Examples

Gnomon Watches first opened her doors for business online in early 2002, founded by bona fide horology suitors who share a profound passion for watchmaking and fine craftsmanship.

More Stories
how moon phase watches work
How Do Moon Phase Watches Work? A Guide to A Cool Complication