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4 Watches for the Leap Year

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Though it only happens once every four years, some watchmakers with an obsession for precision have accounted for leap years in their timepieces. Here are four watches that won’t need to be reset on Feb. 29.

1. Jaeger-LeCoultre Odysseus Perpetual Calendar

If you were to strap on this watch right now, it wouldn’t need to be adjusted until 2100 — now that’s planning ahead. The Jaeger-LeCoultre Odysseus watch is a vintage piece with a classic and modern appeal for an everyday dress watch. This watch has it all — perpetual calendar, day, date, month, year and moonphase. It also features an 24-hour indicator that tells you when it’s unsafe to make adjustments (between 10:00 p.m. and 3:00 a.m.).

Though the watch doesn’t have a leap year indicator, it will survive the extra day every four years until 2100 without adjustments. For a watch with so many moving parts, it’s a sigh of relief every leap year. The watch is also automatic, meaning it winds as you wear it, so you won’t even need to worry about that.

2. Patek Philippe Perpetual Calendar Ref. 5159G

This release from Patek Philippe has a vintage feel with a modern edge. The case feels vintage, the size and finish says modern. However, what impresses us is always the complications. Patek Philippe’s finest examples in watchmaking are reserved for their Grand Complications collection, where Ref. 5159G is included.

The watch features a mechanical self-winding movement, perpetual calendar, retrograde date hand, day, month, leap year, moonphase and sweeping seconds hand. The watch is so accurate, moonphase included, that it doesn’t need to be adjusted for 122 years and 45 days. And even when that day finally comes, the watch only needs to be adjusted by one day.

3. Audemars Piguet Jules

Introduced at SIHH 2010, the Jules Audemars Perpetual Calendar is a lot different than what you would expect from Audemars Piguet today. The watch was originally introduced in 2008 in celebration of the 30 year anniversary of AP’s first ultra thin movement. With 355 total parts, this movement is only 4mm high with a diameter of 28.4mm.

The watch features much the same as the others, including perpetual calendar, day, date, leap year and moonphase. Like the JLC Odysseus, this watch doesn’t need to be adjusted until March 1, 2100, giving you plenty of time to prepare for your next big adjustment. What stands out about this watch most is what doesn’t. After the rise of the Royal Oak, we expect oversized and conspicuous watches. However, with the Jules, Audemars Piguet reminds everyone of their watchmaking tradition.

4. Franck Muller Casablanca Ref. 5850 QP

Franck Muller, only founded in 1991, likes to combine traditional watchmaking with modern aesthetics. The brand is known for its tonneau-shaped case and unique designs. However, what’s most impressive is the skill and expertise of Franck Muller himself. Muller graduated from the Watchmaking School of Geneva in the ’80s, then went to work repairing watches and handling fine watches.

In 1984, Muller designed his own tourbillon wristwatch. This was exceedingly impressive, as during this time, only master watchmakers at brands like Patek Philippe and Vacheron Constantin were capable of creating this kind of timepiece. In 1991, Muller founded his own watch company specializing in complicated wristwatches. The Casablanca Perpetual Calendar is just one examples of the brand’s expert watchmaking. This watch features day, date, month, a 24 hour indicator, moonphase And leap year indicator.

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