A moon-phase complication is a highly desired complication for most watch enthusiasts. While some desire it for its utility and technical prowess, others desire it simply for its beauty. The duration of a lunar cycle (from new moon to new moon) is 29 days, 12 hours, 44 minutes and 3 seconds. This complication will track the current phase of our moon in the lunar cycle, indicating if it is a new, full, half or quarter moon.
By utilizing a rotating disk, the watch indicates the cycle of the moon by showing the illuminated portion of our moon, as it would be seen from Earth. The phases of the moon are typically displayed through an aperture on the dial, which shows an actual graphic image of the moon. Just as the moon travels across the sky, the image travels across the dial of the watch.
Moon Phase Location & Design
The beautiful display of the moon-phase cycle will differ in various timepieces. Often times we see the moon phase display in bright and vibrant colors, adding bursts of color to the dial of the timepiece, but not always. Some Swiss watch brands take a more subtle approach, with the moon-phase indicator blending in with the dial color. Although a popular position of the moon phase display is just above the six o’clock position, there is no universal location.