Watch Complications Guide

Indeed a watch tells the wearer what time it is. The rest of the watch has an additional function called complication. Some complications that you often encounter, for example, dual time zone or chronograph. A complication is more complicated in watchmaking, and you can also get it like tourbillon or moon phase. A date display is generally considered to be the most straightforward complication, and the further you want to know about the calendar, the more complicated your watch will be. 

If you are a frequent traveller, travel complication and date is one of the most useful and elegant solutions ever made by the watch industry.

These are the complications you should need to know.

Date Complications

The simplest complication is the addition of a date display, the most common varieties of date displays are:

Date Window

The window is also referred to as an aperture. On some watches, the colour of the numbers alternates between red and black, which is called “Casino” date display.

Big Date

This display allows a much larger view of the date and is significantly more legible than the traditional date window. The variation sometimes has two windows, the left one displaying 0-3, and the right window showing 0-9.

Pointer Date

A centre hand with an arrow or crescent pointing to the date along the outside periphery, or chapter, of the dial. This is sometimes called a “Bankers” date.


The Day-Date adds the day of the week to the date complication. It is typically set using the crown; moving it in one direction changes the day, while the other direction changes the date.

Triple Calendar

Also called a “complete calendar,” the triple calendar is a further elaboration of the date display, adding not only the day of the week but also the month of the year.

Perpetual Calendar

The Perpetual Calendar is the most complex type of calendar feature that exists on a watch, making it highly expensive and rare. It accurately displays the date, day, month, and year, and even takes into account the leap year. It will need correction in 2100, however, when the leap year is ignored.

You should know!

It is not recommended to adjust or change the date, day and other functions in the complication date at the danger zone between 9 pm and 3 am. If you keep doing it, the worst possibility is the date misalignment in the window. And it might damage the component in the movement because the gear is forced to move from the proper place.

Every movement of a watch brand does have different component complexity; make sure you read the guide.

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