Why, you ask? Well, two major reasons. First, poorly designed and positioned date windows can wreck the entire aesthetic of an otherwise completely fine watch face beyond repair, such as by cutting into numerals/ sub-dials, or by sabotaging the symmetry of the dial. Secondly, consumer researches have it that the biggest reason for the existence of a date function in modern watches, are that average consumers still do demand it for its practicality. And voila! Loathing date windows became the simplest way of declaring one as being more than just an "average consumer", but rather a real, discerning watch lover who takes pride in appreciating the "non-practicality" of mechanical watches. In short, it's en vogue to denounce date windows categorically.
Having said that, good date window designs do exist, with some of them being downright brilliant and beautiful. In such instances, not only do they not come across as a source of annoyance, they make the watches. In this episode of Analysis, we examine some of the best watch window designs and ponder upon what make them so great. But first, a little history lesson.
Who Started it All?
The Real Problem: Bigger Watch, Same Movement
Guess what, they are! We have three such examples to share with you today. From the modern era we have the amazing A. Lange & Söhne Lange 1 and the F.P.Journe Octa Calendrier. From the yesteryear we have the Universal Geneve Polerouter as a subject for the study of date window design. Let's get started.
A. Lange & Söhne Lange 1
The big date function is not exclusive to the Lange 1 in the brand's eclectic collections - it can also be seen on pieces such as Saxomat and Datograph - nonetheless it's safe to say the date windows are much more integral to the Lange 1 than other Lange watches they grace, give how they pleasingly balance out the small second dial, with which they share the part of the dial left open by the off-centered time display.