Phantom Date Watches

Phantom Date

Phantom Date Watches

What is a Phantom Date on a watch movement?

A Phantom Date is when a watch doesn’t have a cut-out on the dial for a date window, even though the movement is still equipped with a calendar complication. Some collectors call it a Ghost Date.

This happens when watch brands design a “no-date” timepiece but they do not use a no date watch movement, or they do not make modifications to the movement to remove the calendar components.

Phantom Dates can be found on all types of movements (i.e., automatic or quartz) that originally have a datewheel.

Crown Positions:

On a watch with a date, there are typically three crown positions:

  • 0 – Hand-winding or nothing
  • 1 – Pull out one click to set the date
  • 2 – Pull out two clicks to set the time

A no-date dial with a Phantom Date will still have the date setting position, and you can even hear the date flipping when turning the crown. A proper no-date watch will only have two crown positions.

Does it mean it’s a fake?

Some watch brands sell no date watches with a Phantom Date and others do not. For the brands that do not have a Phantom Date (Rolex and Tudor for example), having a Phantom Datewheel clicking around is a big red flag. In other words, no your watch model and brand before jumping to conclusions in either direction.

Is it a problem?

It’s not a problem per se, but some watch collectors find it to be annoying to have a Phantom Date. It is not ideal because there are extra moving parts that aren’t being used for anything. Depending on the price of the watch, if you are getting a no date dial then you may want a proper no date movement. With that said, it’s not a big deal, and certainly not uncommon for a no date to have a Phantom Date – especially from microbrands or more affordable watches.

One potential (but also uncommon) issue with the Phantom Date could be if the watch user inadvertently pulling the crown into date setting position instead of time setting position, then advancing the datewheel between the danger zone of 9pm-4am. This could jam up the movement.

Also, if the watch company isn’t attention detailed, then they could just press the hands on in any position instead of lining them up at 12:00AM upon installation. If this happens, you may hear the datewheel flip at a random time such as 8:20PM or 2:50AM, depending on when they put the hands on.

Does your watch have a Phantom Date? Are you bothered by it? Please add it in the comments below…

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Tudor Caliber T600 Watch Movement | Caliber Corner
2 years ago

[…] Phantom Date […]

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Monopusher Chronograph Watch Movement | Caliber Corner
2 years ago

[…] SW510 MP b – Same as above, but without a date (meaning no ghost date). […]

Roy Benny
Roy Benny
2 years ago

I don’t care if it’s Swiss made or not, having an ETA no date just feels like having a broken watch. I wish ETA would make a 2824 version without a date option.

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ETA Caliber G10.212 Watch Movement | Caliber Corner
2 years ago

[…] It’s unlikely that a big brand like Omega (or Swatch) would ever put out a watch with a phantom datewheel, especially when they are both owned by the same conglomerate that owns the movement manufacturer. […]

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What movement is in the Swatch MoonSwatch? Watch Movement | Caliber Corner
2 years ago

[…] Phantom Date […]

Ronnie
Ronnie
1 year ago

The Longines Avigation ‘Big Eye’ watch has a date complication but no date window.

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Sellita Caliber SW300-1 Watch Movement | Caliber Corner
1 year ago

[…] Phantom Date […]

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Miyota Caliber 8N24 Watch Movement | Caliber Corner
1 year ago

[…] The Miyota caliber 8N24 is is a manual wind skeletonized watch movement made in Japan. It has 21 jewels, beats at 21,600 bph and tells the time via a standard 3 hand display. It is a true no-date movement with only one crown position (time-setting) and no phantom crown position. […]

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Sellita Caliber SW400-1 Watch Movement | Caliber Corner
1 year ago

[…] The SW400-1 b is a proper no date 3-hander with only one crown position for setting the time – unlike when watch brands try to make a no date watch with the ETA 2824-2, causing the phantom date phenomenon. […]

Heinrich Bollendorfer
Heinrich Bollendorfer
1 year ago

I have a few (2) phantom-date watches. Especially around Halloween, I do like (like now) their hidden date-feature. Happy Halloween 2022, people ! ☠️

Fred
Fred
1 year ago

My Raymond Weil Freelancer David Bowie Limited Edition has a phantom date. It rolls over at about 10 (PM, I guess).

Heinrich Bollendorfer
Heinrich Bollendorfer
1 month ago
Reply to  calibercorner

The one disadvantage for the “phantom date” watch owners is, that they can ruin their watch when setting the time, not knowing this feature being on their watch. Especially normal unknowing (about phantom dates) clients. The ruination of their watch should go on the watch factory, nót on the client(s) of the watch brand …

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Miyota Caliber 8N26 Watch Movement | Caliber Corner
1 year ago

[…] 3 hand display. It is a true no-date movement with only one crown position (time-setting) and no phantom crown position. This series is based on the original Miyota 8200 or 8 series of movements, known for the […]

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Sellita Caliber SW261-1 Watch Movement | Caliber Corner
1 year ago

[…] Phantom Date […]

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Davosa Caliber DAV 3021 Watch Movement | Caliber Corner
1 year ago

[…] Ceramic, Ternos Medium, Newton Lady Automatic, Ternos Sixties (this is a no-date, possibly with a phantom date please confirm if you know), Apnea Diver (also a no-date), Argonautic, Axis Automatic (Add your […]

VGP
VGP
9 months ago

Use 2841 part to decrease Phantom Date from 2824-2

SPH
SPH
6 months ago

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