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As you can see in the chart above, the Miyota caliber 9039 and 9015 are nearly identical with exception to two main differences:
The calendar complication
The height of the hand stack
The most notable difference when the 9039 and 9015 are compared is that the 9039 does not have a date option. The 9015 is available with 3 date options. This is not to say that a watch with the 9015 has to have a date. Before the 9039 was introduced, watch brands seeking to design a no-date timepiece would simply cover the date wheel with the dial. This Borealis Olipsio is a good example of using a 9015 without a date aperture cutout in the dial – now they can just use the 9039.
Because of the lack of a date setting position, the crown on the 9039 only pulls out one click for time setting. The 9015 has two time setting positions: position 1 for adjusting the date and position 2 for the time.
This is why using a 9015 without a date is not ideal because it will still have the calendar setting position and functionality.
Hand Stack Height:
Another difference between these two movements is that the 9039 is capable of being used in a slightly thinner case than the 9015.
9039 minimum case thickness: 8.25mm
9015 minimum case thickness: 8.6mm
The has lead the watch community into thinking that the 9039 is a slimmer movement, but in fact they both have a height of 3.9mm tall. The reason the 9039 can fit in a thinner case is because the hands are lower than on the 9015: