The ability to tell the day and the date, along with the time, may very well be a luxury watch’s greatest and most functional attribute. We’ve compiled a list of our favourite day-date watches, starting with the ever so humble Seiko 5 and working our way up.
Seiko 5 Day-Date Automatic
Ah, the good old Seiko 5. One of the first true mechanical watches I bought. Currently sitting on top of my garage roof for experimental purposes. Damn near the best watch you can get for under $100, the Seiko 5 is not only the most affordable watch on this list, and it’s also probably my favourite. Combining one of the most legible dials with the long-standing and very typical nature of Seiko’s renowned reliability, this is a complete day-date package.
Tissot T-One Automatic
Tissot’s T-One is the ideal choice for this list. Combining some very austere and subtle looks with sound mechanics and a fairly wallet-friendly price-tag, the T-One Automatic comes on a very interesting stainless-steel bracelet and features a multi-textural, multi-layered dial. A step up from the Seiko 5 and featuring an ETA 2834-2 automatic movement, the T-One Automatic is definitely deserving of its position on this list.
Oris Big Crown ProPilot Day-Date
Similar to the Seiko 5 from an aesthetic perspective, the Oris Big Crown ProPilot Day-Date is quite an unconventional, albeit interesting proposition. At 45mm in diameter and 22mm in case thickness, the Oris Big Crown ProPilot Day-Date’s case is obviously big. Now, this won’t be for everyone, but for those of you who that have been bestowed with beefier wrists than the average man, the Oris Big Crown ProPilot Day-Date could certainly fill that daily void.
Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra Co-Axial Day-Date
An odd submission, and one that many of you may not be aware even existed (I didn’t!), the Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra Co-Axial Day-Date is a brilliant watch. Featuring Omega’s COSC Co-Axial calibre 8602 and a very distinctive dial recalling the wooden decks of luxury sailboats, the Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra Co-Axial Day-Date is simple, effective and a very decent all-rounder.
Breitling Navitimer 8 Automatic Day-Date
The first of the two Breitlings featured on this list, the Navitimer 8 Automatic Day-Date is the brand-new platform of the Navitimer. Youthful, exuberant and altogether a refreshing take at such an iconic watch, the Navitimer 8 Automatic Day-Date is available in a stainless-steel case with either a blue or a black dial, and on either a leather strap or a stainless-steel bracelet. This is a fun, friendly, approachable and wearable watch that really is both super useful and a joy to actually wear.
Breitling Premier Automatic Day-Date 40
The second Breitling day-date timepiece, but unlike the Navitimer 8 Automatic Day-Date, the Premier Automatic Day-Date 40 is a classier, dressier and more formal affair. Featuring the same dial layout as the Navitimer 8, the Premier Automatic Day-Date 40 is sleek and beautiful. Easy to wear and a shirt cuff and able to hold its own amongst some very stiff competition, the Premier Automatic Day-Date 40 is Breitling’s answer to the age-old adage of what else they can offer the consumer.
IWC Portofino Hand-Wound Day-Date
Simplistic, direct and clear, the IWC Portofino Hand-Wound Day-Date is far from inexpensive, but what it lacks in affordability it more than makes up for in elegance, timelessness and a subtle beauty that is very typical throughout IWC’s collection of watches. Certainly one of the more dressier day-date options here, the IWC Portofino Hand-Wound Day-Date is a beautiful rendition of the functional day-date complication.
Rolex Day-Date 40 Everose Gold
Arguably the king of day-date complications, the Rolex Day-Date 40 is exquisite in every sense of the word. Combining a 40mm wide Everose gold dial with an olive-green dial, the Rolex Day-Date 40 Everose Gold (specifically the Reference 228235) is the bee’s knees. The fluted bezel and presidential bracelet make for a striking appearance, and this is further exemplified by that beautiful green dial. If I had $49,950 burning a hole in my pocket, this is what I’d be buying if I were in the market for a day-date watch.
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Day-Date
Perhaps the most prestigious piece on this list, the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Day-Date is just spectacular. Sitting in one of horology’s most iconic cases, the Royal Oak Day-Date is the quintessential day-date watch, edging very close to Rolex’s Day-Date 40. The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Day-Date is a bit more wearable with an ability to be dressed up and down, both very easily. This is a very special watch that is unfortunately not available to purchase anymore, but if you can find one of the second-hand market, then pull the trigger and wear it proudly!
Vacheron Constantin Fiftysix Day-Date Automatic
The final piece on the list is Vacheron Constantin’s Fiftysix Day-Date Automatic. Don’t be mistaken by its highly luxurious look, the Fiftysix Day-Date Automatic is a functional, wearable and super useful watch. Featuring a day-date complication and a power reserve indicator, along with a fresh look from a manufacturer steeped in tradition, the Fiftysix Day-Date Automatic is definitely one to consider if you’re in the market for something on the upper end of the scale.