Making a Case for the Minimalist Watch
Anyone who’s spent a fair amount of time looking for a new watch knows there’s a vast ocean of timepieces out there: sports watches, dress watches, diving watches, military watches, chronographs... the list goes on and on.
But ultimately, all you need is a trusty everyday watch that’s sleek and pared-down, works with anything you’re wearing and, most importantly, tells time. We’re calling it “the minimalist watch” and we’ve waded through them all to find the five best examples—all at reasonable prices. (Which could come in handy for any naked wrists on your gift list.)
Five minimalist watches that you, or someone you know, should be wearing right now:
Junghans Max BillHere’s the original and perhaps the dressiest of the bunch. Designed by a forefather of minimalism (who happened to be Swiss and a watch guy). This one’s the manual wind, which gives it a more nostalgic feel, but you can upgrade to automatic movement for an extra hundred bucks or so.
Kent Wang BauhausYou know Kent Wang as the guy who made a splash in the #menswear scene with his spread-collar polo shirts, and his watches seem to have the same simple yet refined vibe. No logo, no numbers. Just time, man.
Braun by Dieter RamsAnother luminary in the canon of minimalism, Dieter Rams was commissioned by Braun (in the 1970s) to create a line of watches and silently ticking travel alarm clocks. We like this one for its metal band—and that it’s the least cluttered of his watch designs (which were recently rereleased).
TID No. 1Another logoless dial, this time from Swedish watchmaker TID. This one’s the most field-watch-like of the bunch, with a military NATO strap. Something to note about this watch is that the winding crown is on the left side of the watch—similar to this Heuer "Jo Siffert" Autavia--for the lefties out there who might wear their watch on the opposite wrist.
The Swatch Once AgainFor 50 bucks, you’re not going to do any better than this watch—not that bad, all things considered. Swatch has built an empire on minimalist (and inexpensive) watches, and this one is the archetype—rubber strap and all. Especially great if you’re looking for some ’80s street cred.
- Najib Benouar