A selection of watches chosen for their minimalistic style and function. There are numerous great watches on the market and those detailed below have been reduced down from a longer list. There were so many that I wanted to include but had to be firm with myself to be true to the title. The timepieces here have been selected for their purity of design and function, featuring the minimum required to provide their basic purpose - to indicate the time.
IV11Q748 by Danish Design.
Style, Simplicity, Quality, this is the philosophy of Danish Design which results in ultimately appealing watches. Commissioning popular Scandinavian industrial designers such as the award winning Martin Larsen and Anna Gotha, they have created a range that are perfect for wearing in both casual and business environments. The IV11Q748 Mono-hand watch has a stainless steel case, a mineral or scratch resistant sapphire glass, and a comfortable black leather strap. Completely void of any numbers or indices, the wearer tells the time by looking at the position of the minute hand and the white dot that marks the hour. At 36mm diameter, this can be worn by a man or lady.
Ora Lattea by Nava.
Designed by Denis Guidone, the ‘Ora Lattea’ is the most minimalist watch in the Nava Design Collection. James Wines of SITE ArchitectureNY said of Guidone’s designs, “For Denis Guidone, materiality and function seem to be consistently and exquisitely reduced to a conceptual premise where use becomes the embodiment of form – in fact, idea, service, and aesthetic emerge in his work as inseparable”.
His designs follow the idea of subtraction, and leading the subtraction principle to its maximum, Denis has removed all but that which is required for reading the time. The watch face has three black dots; the larger to indicate the hour; the smaller to indicate the minutes; and one on the central spindle. It could be argued that the central dot is not necessary but I feel it helps to give a reference point for the hour and minute dots. The face has no other markings, not even the Nava logo which has been embossed on the side of the stainless steel case. It has a mineral glass, and a leather strap and at 42mm dia. the black and white Ora Lattea watch holds quite a striking appearance on the wrist. A ladies 36mm dia. watch is also available.
S+arck Veiled Stainless Steel Watch by Fossil.
Designed for Fossil by Philippe Starck, a master of modern minimalism, his veiled watch has a look so streamlined that you need a second glance to realize that this is a watch and not a metal bracelet.
The face is segmented in the same way as the black ion coated stainless steel band, and is completely flush creating the illusion of one continuous bracelet. Nothing detracts from the clean lines; even the time adjustment crown is set flush into the back of the watch, and has a hidden clasp.
It is water resistant up 3 ATM and has an quartz analogue movement. It also comes in silver stainless steel and is available for both men and women.
Gamma Ray LED by 01The One.
Anton Kraft is the inspiration behind 01TheOne watches. Rather than follow style dictators and consumer forecasts, his idea was to create a line perfectly suited to independent people who are trend-setters rather than followers of fashion.
The Gamma Ray Square LED watch has a bold, black face featuring a unique time display, framed by a solid stainless steel case. The outside circle of green LED lights, represents the minutes in increments of five, the inner circle the hours, and the four square details in the center represent single minutes. Being so different it takes a little practise before reading the time becomes second nature. The watch is held securely on the wrist by a quality, thick black leather strap.
Ceramica Chronograph by Rado.
Sometimes a time-piece is necessary for more than just knowing the time of day; sometimes you want to time an event such as a race; this is where the split-second accuracy of a chronograph is required.
The Ceramica Chronograph by Rado is similar in styling to the Philippe Starck veiled watch but that is where the similarity starts and ends. The quality of the Ceramica Chronograph watch is in a completely different class, from the materials used in its manufacture, to the quality of workmanship in its making. To quote Rado, “Only the best materials are good enough for Rado watches. Hardness alone is not enough: innovation, solidity, and skin-friendliness are just as important.”
All Rado watches are fitted with sapphire crystal, coated with an ultra-fine layer of metal, with a seamless transition between the glass and the ceramic case. The high-tech ceramics used for the case and band is innovative, durable, and skin-friendly.
Rado claim unrivalled wearing comfort. For Rado, luxury is not limited to the aesthetic perfection and exquisite materials, optimal wearing comfort is just as important.
The Ceramica is just one of many beautiful watches that Rado have in their range and viewing is highly recommended.
LED by Felix Runde for TokyoFlash.
Last, but by no means least, I want to tempt you with things yet to come. This watch brings reality to the phrase, ‘Less is More’. It brings harmony between square and circle, analog and digital, design and function; an absolute credit to its designer, Felix Runde.
Two LED lights revolve around the darker recess, which creates a good contrast, even in sunlight. The LED’s are of different brightness creating the illusion of differing size lights, the larger to indicate the hour, and the smaller for the minutes. There are no moving parts, just light.
Unfortunately you cannot buy one because this is only a concept time-piece, it is not yet in production, which is frustrating because I really, really want one.
As I said at the beginning, this is just a small selection of minimalist watches available. There are many more that I could have included, some of which did not fit the ideal of minimalist as completely as those listed above, or where design overruled function, but if a minimalist watch is what you are looking for, I hope the article has been helpful. If is has, or you have found it to be of interest, please use the voting buttons below.
Derek Slark (author) on January 03, 2014:
Pratoocool, thank you for taking the time to write a comment. I agree with you that the Starck watch is a great design and suberb value for money, and I have considered buying one myself. However, if money were not an issue, my preference would be for the Ceramica Chronograph by Rado that, in terms of quality, is so much superior.
Neha on December 26, 2013:
Exciting hub! I really love cool watches in wardrobe and love adding more each month.
Especially the Philippe Starck watches, which are too adorable....
The best part of Philippe Starck products is that they are more concentrated on the quality. The products are enhanced to with the best quality so that the customers get maximum with the everyday products without wasting their money.
In the recent times, people are seeking the choices that represent their individuality. They prefer the products, which represent their lifestyles & uniqueness, while maintaining with trendiness as well.
For all those who are looking for watches that are not only functional but fun as well, the Philippe Starck watches collection is the worth mentioning. Despite their exceptional designs the Philippe Starck watches are still much affordable.