One of the most popular watch styles is the Day Date and yet it is hardly ever marketed with any great fanfare. But it’s no accident that many of the very best Makers have Day Dates in their range as they know that to so many people, it is the perfect wrist assistant.
They tell you the Time, the Date and the Day, the three most pertinent and popular functions of the wristwatch. They also are available at very affordable prices. There are Solar, Kinetic and Quartz, Manual wind mechanicals of all sorts of shapes and sizes, but for me the old classic mechanical Automatic is still around, is in good supply and still fun to own. That feeling of cogs and wheels and springs and things – ticking along on your wrist – no electronics, no touch screen, no Bluetooth, no Wi-Fi and no Internet – but self contained and still a true mechanical technical marvel.
It’s really difficult to beat – no battery, no light requirement and with mechanics that can easily with the movement of your wrist, outlast you. Mind you if you suddenly “snuff” it, your watch, after a decent interval, perhaps out of respect will also stop! But it only sleeps – waiting till the next live person comes along and suddenly it’s ticking away – recording time as it was made to do – something a bit science fiction about that and maybe even a bit surreal! In fact if you think about it – you are simply the custodian of the mechanical watch . . . .
Anyway I feature a few different models here – The first is one of my vintage ’70’ watches – the Tressa Crystal.
It never needs a battery, being a proper mechanical automatic movement and it shows the Time, the Date and the Day. Those three can be adjusted easily using the crown and a small pusher @4 – also it has a traditional geared analog hands display. Basically, strap it on and away she goes – it’s a set and forget watch and it’s very affordable.
Note – it may look as if it’s a bit like the first Citizen solar dial – but it’s not – though I wonder where Citizen got the idea from ?)
The next images, in no particular order or price range – just a few I’ve spotted here and there.- they feature Day and Date and are Automatic models and these can be from Dress styles to Divers and all have a common feature – very easy to use. And of course being automatic, they require nothing from you, except for you to wear them.
A great feature of the Automatic (have I mentioned it?) is that it doesn’t have a battery, it doesn’t require a light source and setting Time Zones or Summer Times is not complicated (so many specialist or complication watches can make a real song and dance about it).
Here, it’s just a case of, crown out, move hands, crown in – job done. No instruction booklets or prodigious memory required for what can often be a hugely over-complicated push button sequences that do your head in!.
Maybe this is a more apt description of an ABC watch! Because it’s as simple as A, B, C!
And yes – there are complication watches as shown of course that can show the Time, Day and Date plus many other functions, but frankly I sometimes wonder if we need them complicated.
But that said there are a few today that overcome some of these annoying and silly instruction book requirements. Such as Radio Controlled and GPS models for example can, used correctly, show the correct Time and Zones and the latest models have tried really hard to reduce required command functions should changes be required.
But for me the mechanical Automatic is still on top in the practicality and no-brainer stakes, so easy to use and will last many lifetimes.
As an Undertaker, funeral guy (watch collector) acquaintance said to me once –
“Basically my friend as long as you are ticking, so will your watch and if not – call me or at least leave a note. Maybe I can do a deal!”
So the basic data provision of Time, Day and Date as an instant view really hasn’t changed much over the years. It is still one of the true prerequisites for any watch that somehow manages to sell year after year after year, with little change.
And in keeping with this theme, there are of course some modern digital watches that manage to display the same data and as a default view. These include digital and ana/digi models and some even manage an easy to remember pushbutton sequence to access more complicated functions. As long as you have a battery or access to light – if solar – which defeats things a bit I suppose.
These models appear in most price ranges, but for me I tend to look at the affordable ones first.
Two of the better affordable models are the Cssio LCW-M180D-1AER
and the Casio Tough Solar Model WVA-470 Wave-Ceptor
Both are well specified models offering many functions such as Radio Control, Solar Power, Stopwatch, Alarms etc.
However a good feature for me is they both manage to show the Time in analog and the Day and Date in a digital display as the default view, so meeting those three “must have” indications. The former model is part of Casio’s Lineage series and as close as you’ll get to “get and forget” models today and represent great value and are relatively inexpensive.
There are also a few Diver’s watches around featuring the Day and Date window plus Diver capabilities that offer extreme good value for money and well worth a look.
Once again though it is no surprise that today Casio models feature quite prominently especially in the quest for watches that people “want” to wear. Models that offer the basics properly (so important) and now of course coupled with a higher technological level that hitherto was just not possible.
Take the Casio LCW Lineage series for example – these manage not only to give the wearer the essentials – of Time, Day and Date as the default view, but also “get & forget” features such as Radio Control and Solar Power. And Casio with these analog and digital hybrids offer in addition highly effective intuitive ease of use. I also like the fact they have “come of age” in comparison to the older Casio WVA-470 and don’t advertise on the dial the advanced technology within – they are nicely understated and rather refined in my view.
I have the WVA-470 myself and I like it a lot, but the newer LCW-M180 is much more elegant and in fact a real class act (I’m tempted again just writing this!).
So as to the question of Day and Date watches, I have to admit the Casio LCW (my review soon) is probably the successor to the older mechanical Day date Automatics and a worthy one at that. Though that said, don’t write off the Automatics just yet, I have a feeling they will be around for a long time yet.
Who knows they may be the true survivors – but only Time will tell . . . . . . .