Patek-Philippe-5905P-014-Weir-_-Sons

16 Best Annual Calendar Watches to Buy in 2024

In 1996, Patek Philippe introduced the annual calendar complication, changing the watch industry forever. Patek recognized that it had “introductory” offerings with the Calatrava collection, and complicated, expensive pieces in the Grand Complications, but had nothing in the middle. Looking for a gateway complication to bridge the gap between these two markets and to help customers experience the beauty of a Patek complication without breaking the bank, Patek Philippe introduced the reference 5035. Unlike a perpetual calendar, where you simply set it once and forget it, with an annual calendar, you adjust the wristwatch once a year (at the end of March). The result is a less complicated movement, and a more economical offering for collectors. This complication was a tremendous success for Patek, and many Swiss brands quickly adopted similar movements in their own collections. Across the industry, watch brands and collectors alike appreciated the value associated with the annual calendar. And since 1996, it has become one of the most popular and practical complications.

In this guide, we take a look at 15 of the best annual calendars on the market. Let’s get started!

Patek Philippe Annual Calendar Ref. 5035G

Recognizing Patek Philippe’s role in developing the annual calendar, it is only fitting that we begin with a Patek Philippe. First up is the 5035, the reference that started it all for the annual calendar. Characterized by its subsidiary displays with month and day of week, the 5035 also features a date window at 6 o’clock and a 24 hour indicator at the bottom of the dial. This display became the template for the annual calendar complication, and we have seen this formula continued to be used to this day. Offered in a variety of different dial variations, the black dial may be the most popular.

Patek Philippe Calatrava Annual Calendar Travel Time Ref. 5326G

A recent introduction to the Calatrava collection, the Annual Calendar Travel Time Ref. 5326G is one of the watches that redefined the Calatrava collection. A far sportier design than the Calatravas of old, the 5326 was designed with a modern collector in mind. Alongside the annual calendar, the pilot-esque 5326 features a travel time complication, a dark charcoal textured dial, arabic numerals, syringe hands, and a clous de Paris finish on the case flanks. Powered by a micro-rotor movement, the watch is traditional Patek on the back, and progressive Patek on the front. Together, it works. 

Patek Philippe Ref. 5905P-014 Weir & Sons

Patek-Philippe-5905P-014-Weir-_-Sons

Upon first glance, the Patek Philippe Ref. 5905P-014 Weir & Sons looks just like any other 5905 annual calendar with flyback chronograph. But when you see the vibrant green dial this piece is outfitted with, you realize its something special. One of only 25 pieces made for Weir & Sons in Dublin, this exclusive edition was made to celebrate the retailer’s 150 year anniversary. The caseback is engraved with the anniversary, and Patek has decorated the box and matching cufflinks to celebrate Patek’s relationship with this historic retailer. It’s watches like the 5905P that are noticed by the most discerning collectors. Whether others recognize it or not, this watch is extremely rare, one of just 25 pieces. This is a true limited edition gem for Patek Philippe. 

Patek Philippe Nautilus Annual Calendar 5726 Moon Ref. 5726/1A-010

If you are a Patek Philippe and sport watch lover, but want something a little more complicated, the Nautilus Ref. 5726 might be the perfect watch for you. Not every collector wants complications (like the annual calendar) in their Nautilus, but the 5726 is a great balance of Genta’s design language with high-end watchmaking. And, to top it off, this particular annual calendar reference also comes with a beautiful moonphase. 

Patek Philippe Annual Calendar Regulator Ref. 5235/50R-001

Our last piece from Patek is an annual calendar with a unique layout that you don’t see often. The 5236R features a regulator display, showing the hour in the top subdial, the minute with the central minutes hand, and the seconds in the lower subdial. At the top of the display, Patek has incorporated apertures for the annual calendar. Part of the advantage of Patek’s aperture display is that while Patek successfully fits a lot of information on the dial, the apertures provide a less cluttered approach to an annual calendar (than say, a subsidiary dial variation). Beyond the annual calendar display itself, this is an extremely unique timekeeping system from Patek. If you are looking for an annual calendar unlike anything else on the market, pick up a Ref. 5235/50R-001.  

Laurent Ferrier Galet Annual Calendar Montre Ecole Vintage Ref. LCF025.AC.J2B

Laurent Ferrier watches are prized for their minimalist aesthetics and clean designs. And the Galet Annual Calendar Montre Ecole is a great example of what the brand does best. Fashioned from unassuming stainless steel, this piece has a beautiful creamy dial and a softly rounded case. These watches aren’t overly austere or pretentious. The first words that come to mind to describe the look of this piece are warm and inviting. Beyond the immediate aesthetics, the watch has a really intuitive layout with apertures for the day and month and a pointer date. This example is one of only 5 made in this color scheme. 

Breitling Premier B25 Datora Salmon Dial Ref. AB251020/K1P1

Breitling Premier B25 Datora Salmon Dial AB251020/K1P1

The story of the annual calendar complication is value, and arguably there is no better value annual calendar than the Breitling Premier B25 Datora with salmon dial. An annual calendar chronograph with vintage influences, the B25 is one of the brand’s most successful modern pieces. Its salmon dial and brown strap are tasteful nods to earlier eras of Breitling’s history. Some people even refer to it as a “Patek-lite” because of its resemblance to the Ref. 5270P-001.

F. P. Journe Octa Calendrier Black Mother of Pearl

One of Journe’s lesser known models, the Octa Calendrier is arguably one of Journe’s most beautiful references. This particular variant, 38m with a black mother of pearl dial, is one of only 15 pieces made for Sincere Fine Watches. A part of Journe’s Octa collection, Journe has masterfully maintained a thin profile, even with an annual calendar complication. An extremely exclusive Journe limited edition, this beautiful piece pairs Journe’s design language with a useful complication. 

A. Lange & Söhne Saxonia Annual Calendar Limited Edition Ref. 330.039

A. Lange & Söhne’s Saxonia Annual Calendar is another one of the best value complications in the high end watch space. Featuring an exquisite (and I mean really beautiful) hand finished micro-rotor movement, this piece has a traditional annual calendar layout and, of course, incorporates Lange’s iconic big date at 12 o’clock. It’s a comfortable complication to wear, and costs far less than the modern comparable complications from Lange’s main competitors. The white gold Saxonia Annual Calendar truly feels like a Germanic reimagination of the complication, and in truth, that’s what Lange is really all about. 

IWC Big Pilot Annual Calendar Edition Le Petit Prince Ref. IW502703

If you like the large design ethos of the IWC Big Pilot, their Annual Calendar Le Petit Prince Ref. IW502703 is a great annual calendar option. This sizable 46.2mm tank really makes its presence known and felt. The thematic blue dial “petit prince” motif is extended to the automatic winding rotor on the rear of the watch. On the dial side, we see an aperture display reminiscent of what we’ve seen from traditional annual calendars. However, this particular watch also boasts a full 7 days of power reserve at full wind, and of course, the large iconic onion crown. This timepiece is the way to go for the aviation watch enthusiast looking for an annual calendar (or simply someone with huge wrists). 

Parmigiani Fleurier Tonda GT Chronograph Ref. PFC906-1020001-400181

The Parmigiani Fleurier Tonda GT Chronograph is such a subtle annual calendar that, upon first glance, you may not even recognize that it’s an annual calendar. The watch adds an annual calendar within the subsidiary dials of the chronograph alongside an outsize date (similar to a Lange). This is done in such an understated fashion that you might not realize that its anything more than a chronograph. The watch also comes with a nice, sporty, panda-esque dial, a white dial and soft gray subsidiary registers. An attractive, comfortable, independent offering with an annual calendar complication and a chronograph, this is a great piece. 

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Annual Calendar Ref. 25920ST/O/0789ST/01

While Audemars Piguet has made many annual calendars under the Royal Oak family, this particular reference is one you may have never seen before. Produced in the early 2000s, the Ref. 25920ST/O/0789ST/01 displays the month in a single off-center subsidiary dial at the bottom of the main dial, and the date with a central pointer. At just 36mm, and with a blue tapisserie dial, this reference is not as bulky as some of the other annual calendars on this list. But unlike most other annual calendars, this AP only displays the month and date, and not the complete calendar (including day and moonphase). 

​​Richard Mille RM60-01 Automatic Flyback Regatta Chronograph “St. Barth”

If you are looking for an unconventional Richard Mille (at least for Richard Mille standards), the RM60-01 Automatic Flyback Regatta Chronograph “St. Barth” is an interesting piece. This watch breaks with Richard Mille convention in a number of ways. Firstly, unlike most RM watches, this one features a round case rather than a tonneau. Second, this is one of the very few RM watches to feature a calendar complication that provides more information than the date. Interestingly, the watch was designed to accompany regatta racers in timing boating events. For the lover of RM, this is a great piece to help diversify a collection. 

Rolex Sky-Dweller Ref. 336934

While Rolex isn’t known for complicated watchmaking, the Sky-Dweller, Rolex’s most complicated watch, features dozens of functions and movement idiosyncrasies, including an annual calendar display and a dual time functionality. If you’re looking for a splash of color, consider this reference, with its mint green factory dial. And with a stainless steel case, it is one of the more affordable options on this list (at least at retail). At 42mm, the Sky-Dweller is a large watch (at least by Rolex standards), but it is still a favorite among collectors.

Omega Globemaster Annual Calendar Ref. 130.33.41.22.10.001

The Omega Globemaster is one of Omega’s most underappreciated subcollections, and the annual calendar Ref. 130.33.41.22.10.001 is one of our favorites from the collection. Inspired by the pie pan dials of many vintage Omega references, the Globemaster features a faceted dial and a fluted bezel (much like that of the Datejust). This particular variant has a pointer display for the month, with each month situated between the hour indexes, and a date window at six o’clock. As a modern, everyday, dressy piece with a heritage-inspired aesthetic, this watch checks a lot of boxes for collectors!

Blancpain Villeret Annual Calendar GMT Ref. 6670-3642-55B

Blancpain never quite seems to get the respect it deserves. And the Blancpain Villeret Annual Calendar GMT 6670-3642-55B is an awesome dress watch with a lot of exciting details (that most collectors have never seen it before!). If you like guilloché, this watch features a unique application, since the center of the guilloché is actually the off-center 24-hour sub display rather than the center of the watch itself. This makes for a really interesting aesthetic. Executed in rose gold, this 40mm piece features a GMT complication in addition to the annual calendar. 

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