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Probably the most requested complication in watches, the humble date function exists to inform the user of the date of the month.  The two most popular styles of date display are the window and the pointer.  The date window, pioneered by Rolex in 1945, shows the date in a cut out on the dial.  This has become the more popular display method, as it eliminates the need for a hand sweeping around the dial that has nothing to do with the time.  The date pointer is more traditional, and shows the date using a hand that points to a date on a ring, normally printed on the outside edge of the dial.