40 Best Minimalist Watches - A Complete Guide for 2024
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40 Best Minimalist Watches - A Complete Guide for 2024

The concept of minimalism has become an attractive idea in our modern world of excess.  For many, the term has been elevated to a point where it embodies a lifestyle of drawing bold lines betweeb what is deemed necessary and what is superfluous. Still, the term tends to get thrown around loosely; often,  describing an object or process as "minimalist" seems to indicate an absence of thought put into it. Among the areas where the idea of minimalism is best expressed is through the world of industrial design and watches. Watches, despite not being necessary tools at they level they once were, are still objects whose design needs to be in service of a specific function. When these worlds of aesthetics and utility meet in an exceptionally clean and legible fashion, the pinnacle of horological minimalism is achieved; it's not less for the sake of less, but the least possible to do the job.

In this buying guide, we have compiled a list of the best minimalist watches that should be on your radar. The degree to which each of these pieces sustains the levels of minimalist principles previously mentioned vary, but all of them succeed to a point in their approach to tackling their inherent function.

A Few Ground Rules

We are not going to be able to cover every watch in the industry but plan to add to this list in the future. Secondly, the idea of what constitutes something as “minimalist” is subjective, however, we will be using the themes previously addressed as well as looking at time-only watches with no complications in order to try to have a definitive standard to determine what watches qualify.
Bulova Classic Ultra Thin Minimalist Watch

Bulova Classic Ultra Thin Quartz

Reference: 98A167
Specifications: Price: $187, Case Size: 40 mm, Lug Width: 20 mm, Water Resistance: 30 m, Movement: Quartz 9T22, Crystal: Mineral;
Description: With a sleek and dressy design, the Bulova Classic Ultra Thin exhibits a high level of minimalist design with thin dial elements and hands while the dial presents a pleasing concentric texture that elevates the overall look. It's moderately sized at just 40mm but it's the ultra-thin profile that should be broadly appealing for most buyers interested in this style of watch. Bulova does make several versions of this and we believe this two-toned look has a rich, dress watch appeal.
Mondaine Official Swiss Railway Classic Minimalist Watch

Mondaine Classic Swiss Railway

Reference: A660.30314.16SBW
Specifications: Price: $275, Case Size: 36 mm, Lug Width: 18 mm, Water Resistance: 30 m, Movement: Quartz Rhonda 513, Crystal: Mineral;
Description: Mondaine's dedication to clear and legible design is prominent across the entire collection, but it's within the Classic collection that the brand really captures the minimalism in its purest form. Simple bold dial elements, and hands with a splash of red, really create an impressive visual that goes well with the 36mm case. Grab-and-go capabilities provided by an accurate and reliable Rhonda 513 quartz movement.
timex marlin

Timex Marlin Hand Wound

Reference: TW2R47900ZV
Specifications: Price: $199, Case Size: 34 mm, Thickness: 10.5 mm, Lug Width: 18 mm, Lug-to-Lug: 41 mm, Water Resistance: 30 m, Movement: Manual, Crystal: Acrylic;
Description: The Timex Marlin is a piece that embodies the 1960s unlike any other affordable watch out there. Since the release of the Timex Marlin mechanical a few years back, many have started to look at Timex in a new and perhaps original light, as a maker of nicely designed watches at affordable prices. With its Arabic numerals, sword-style handset, and retro looks, this is a great option for those looking to delve into both the world of mechanicals while delivering a tasteful design in the process.

Laco Augsburg

Reference: 861988
Specifications: Price: $410, Case Size: 39 mm, Thickness: 12 mm, Lug Width: 18 mm, Lug-to-Lug: 46 mm, Water Resistance: 50 m, Movement: Miyota 821A, Crystal: Sapphire
Description: Despite the change in ownership of Laco over the years, the German brand does have a history dating back nearly 100 years to 1925. They first obtained their reputation of exceptional timepieces by being one of the original providers of B-Uhr watches during the mid 20th century. When looking at the defined idea of minimalism, there is perhaps no better example in watchmaking than that of the flieger. It was designed to be minimal out of the need to maximize efficiency on the battlefield. The Augsburg is the most affordable option into this world of fliegers, given its use of a Miyota caliber within

Seiko Dolce

Reference: SACM171
Specifications: Price: $416, Case Size: 33.5 mm, Thickness: 5.3 mm, Lug Width: 17 mm, Lug-to-Lug: 40.5 mm, Water Resistance: 30 m, Movement: Quartz Seiko 8J41 (+/- 10 Sec per Year), Crystal: Sapphire
Unimatic Minimalist Watch

Unimatic UC-2

Reference: UC-2
Specifications: Price: €400, Case Size: 38.5 mm, Case Height: 13.7 mm Lug Width: 22 mm, Water Resistance: 300 m, Movement: Automatic Seiko NH35A, Crystal: Domed Sapphire;
Description: An Italian-made field watch, the UC-2 by Unimatic is a utilitarian take on the minimalist design approach. This model is built with the intention to serve in difficult environments combining practical sizing, lots of Super-LumiNova C3 treatment, and a domed sapphire crystal make it solid option in the microbrand realm. 

Junghans Max Bill Hand-Wound

Junghans Max Bill Hand-Winding

Reference: 027/3701.04
Specifications: Price: $795, Case Size: 34 mm, Thickness: 9.0 mm, Lug Width: 18 mm, Lug-to-Lug: 37 mm, Water Resistance: 30 m, Movement: ETA 2801-2, Crystal: Plexiglass
Description: With roots back to 1861, Junghans is a brand with a strong history in the production of clocks and has solidified itself as a strong pillar in the expression of Bauhaus design in the world of watchmaking. Much of this reputation was made famous through their partnership with the celebrated Bauhaus designer, Max Bill. The company produces all its watches in its Schramberg, Germany headquarters upholding a world-acclaimed aesthetic and producing some of the most recognizable dials in all of watchmaking, with this perhaps being the number one. This hand-winding reference comes in with a case size of 34mm and has a thickness of 9 mm, making it a great choice for both men and women.

Stowa Antea 1919

Reference: Antea 1919
Specifications: Price: $800-$900, Case Size: 39mmm Thickness: 8.2 mm, Lug Width: 20 mm, Lug-to-Lug: 47.80 mm, Water Resistance: 50 m, Movement: Manual or Automatic, Crystal: Sapphire
Description: Stowa began constructing mechanical watches back in 1927 and are best known for their development of great flieger watches at accessible prices, while also being part of the original five makers that developed watches for the German Air Force during WWII. However, they still are responsible for developing other well-designed pieces within their catalog with the Antea collection perhaps being one of the best examples of this. The Antea 1919 features bold, black indexes which contrast nicely with the matte white dial. The dial also features black stick-style hands that nicely match the look of the hour markings. In addition, Stowa offers a substantial amount of customization, giving the buyer the opportunity to configure the watch with different movements as well as dial design attributes.


Hamilton Intra-Matic ChampagneHamilton American Classic Intra-Matic

Price: $845, Case Size: 38mm, Thickness: 10.2mm, Lug-to-Lug: 43.9mm, Crystal: Sapphire, Water Resistance: 50 meters, Movement: Auto ETA 2892

Hamilton’s Intra-Matic models take their inspiration from a series of dress watches, made in the 1960s and early 1970s, which were among the brand’s first to contain self-winding movements (“Matic” in the name referring to the “Automatic” movement, of course). Those models’ minimalist mid-century design codes live on in this handsome Champagne-sunburst-dial model, a mainstay of Hamilton’s vintage-look American Classics collection. The modest 38mm case has a gleaming polished finish; the wide dial hosts thin baton hands and even thinner baton hour markers, a date window at 6 o’clock, and a retro Hamilton logo in a period-evocative font at 12 o’clock. Inside the case, behind an exhibition back, is the automatic ETA 2892-A2, a reliable Swiss-made movement with a power reserve of 42 hours.

muhle glashutte panova

Mühle Glashütte Panova

Reference: M1-40-72
Case: 40mm, Thickness 10.4mm, Lug-To-Lug: 47.5mm, Lug Width: 20mm Crystal: Sapphire, Movement: Automatic SW200-1, Water-Resistance: 100m, Material: Mineral, Price: $999

If it’s a rugged and minimalist everyday watch you’re after, then the Mühle Glashütte Panova is a piece that fits that criteria, but is sometimes overlooked, even in this niche style. The Panova’s minimalist dial design strips back any unnecessary elements and instead focuses on a simple and highly legible layout in a handful of attractive dial colors combinations and strap options. It’s also fitted with a modified Sellita SW200-1 featuring a custom rotor and a proprietary woodpecker regulating pin. The well-sized 40mm steel case includes practical everyday features you would expect at this price point such as a sapphire crystal, screw-down crown and case back, and a water resistance rating of 100m.

Tissot Heritage Petite Seconde

Reference: T119.405.16.037.01
Specifications: Price: $995, Case Size: 42 mm, Thickness: 11.4 mm, Lug Width: 20 mm, Lug-to-Lug: 52 mm, Water Resistance: 50 m, Movement: Manual ETA 6498-1, Crystal: Sapphire
Description: When thinking of the Swatch Group brand that has nailed thoughtful reissues from the brand’s archive, most tend to think og Longines;, however, Tissot has managed to also develop their fair share of worthy pieces. This Tissot reference is no longer in production but is one of the most appealing minimalist designs the brand has released in the past decade. The watch has a beautiful sense of balance and exudes the endearing traits watches carried during the early- to mid-20th century. The watch contains a lovely hand-wound ETA 6498-1, but given the movement’s 36 mm in diameter, it presents the biggest challenge for the watch in trying to keep to the case size down. As a result, the watch is at 42mm in diameter. Other than this, we have a real winner, and a design that Tissot might hopefully revisit in the future.

Stowa Antea Back to Bauhaus

Specifications:  Price: $1,000, Case Size: 35.5, 36.5, 39 mm, Thickness: 6.9-9.2 mm, Lug Width:18, 20 mm, Lug-to-Lug: 44.6-47.8 mm, Water Resistance: 30-50 m, Movement: Movement: Manual or Automatic, Crystal: Sapphire
Description: These watches were designed by Hartmut Esslinger, founder of frog design and inventor of the Apple design langauge. Stowa offers a substantial amount of customization in these pieces to configure them with different movements as well as dial design attributes. The Back to Bauhaus models come in three different case sizes of 35.50 mm, 36.50 mm, and 39 mm and include several dial color options of white, black, blue, green, brown, and pink.

Junghans Max Bill Automatic

Junghans Max Bill Automatic

References: 027/3502.00, 027/3400.00, 027/3501.00
Specifications: Price: $1,045, Case Size: 38 mm, Thickness: 10 mm, Lug Width: 20 mm, Lug-to-Lug: 40 mm, Water Resistance: 30 m, Movement: Auto ETA 2824-2, Crystal: Plexiglass
Description: As already mentioned, Junghans is one of the best examples of putting the principles of minimalist style design to work. When they worked with legendary Bauhaus designer Max Bill in the mid 20th century, they managed to develop a dial style that became synonymous with the brand. The modern-day Max Bill Automatic is that design and has been essentially completely unchanged for over 50 years. The watch has a dial that achieves a level of legibility through the mastering of space, and much of this comes through the manufacturer’s time in developing wall clocks.  With its mix of a simple dial surface, thin but legible markers, and mix of domed plexiglass, the watch plays tricks on the eyes to appear as if it is the only thing in the room once you glance its way.

Laco Pilot Watch Original Heidelberg

Laco Heidelberg

Reference: 862094
Specifications: Price: $1,130.00, Case Size: 39 mm, Thickness: 12 mm, Lug Width: 18 mm, Lug-to-Lug: 46 mm, Water Resistance: 50 m, Movement: Auto ETA 2824-2, Crystal: Sapphire
Description: This classic watch from Laco is one of the best-value flieger watches you can pick up on the market. Without any brand identity or logo, the dial maintains the design's originally intended purpose. The dial comes in with a matte black surface, leaf-style hands, lumed markers, and the triangle at the 12 to help with orientation.

anOrdain New Model 1

Specifications: Price: $1,400, Case Size: 38 mm, Thickness: 11 mm, Lug Width: 18 mm, Lug-to-Lug: 46 mm, Water Resistance: 50 m, Movement: Auto SW200-1, Crystal: Sapphire
Description: anOrdain is a small independent brand based in Scotland that was founded in 2015. They have made waves in the independent community given their simple designs and commitment to delivering stunning enamel dials. The dial is made of vitreous enamel in a creamy off-white color that works exceptionally with the heat-treated blue hands. The numerals are designed by an in-house typographer and are inspired by cartographic maps of Scotland’s highlands.  By not trying to do too much with cluttering the design, it allows these areas of attention with the dial, hands, and numerals to really shine.

Sinn 556 I B

Reference: 556 I B
Specifications: Price: $1,470, Case Size: 38.5 mm, Thickness: 11 mm, Lug Width: 20 mm, Lug-to-Lug: 45.5 mm, Water Resistance: 200 m, Movement: Auto SW200-1, Crystal: Sapphire
Description: Sinn's 556 series is one of several models from the fan-favorite German tool-watch brand that we have managed to handle over the years. While the 566 I has a classically simple dial, the IB, with its absence of a date, is even more suitable for this list. The Sinn 556 is a master of legibility and carefree wear. With a case size of 38.5mm, applied markers, and 200 m of water resistance, this is a real winner for those looking for an everyday piece that simply embodies all that is needed.

Rado True Automatic

Reference: R27071152
Specifications: Price: $1,900, Case Size: 40 mm, Thickness: 10.4 mm,  Lug-to-Lug: 47 mm, Water Resistance: 50 m, Movement: Auto ETA C07.611, Crystal: Sapphire Case/Bracelet: Ceramic
Description: When looking at some of the most underrated Swiss brands, Rado is certainly in the mix despite being part of a large brand structure within the Swatch Group. Rado in recent times has redefined themselves with the release of several vintage-inspired pieces within their archive yet to get to the core of what they do best, you need to take a look at their work with ceramics. The True automatic is a model that is distinctive in its design while being both suitable for dressy situations and everyday wear. In short, finding a piece constructed from ceramic at this price range is rare, and when combined with the 80-hour power reserve of the piece within, you have an interesting choice here.

Sinn 1739 St I S

Reference: 1739 St I S
Specifications: Price: $1,980, Case Size: 39mm, Thickness: 9.1 mm,  Lug Width: 20 mm, Water Resistance: 50 m, Movement: Auto SW300-1, Crystal: Sapphire
Description: If I tell you to close your eyes and to tell me the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the word “Sinn” I can say with almost complete certainty that you are not thinking of a dress watch. Yet just because your mind doesn’t go there, doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t at least give a look in that direction.  Sinn 1739 St I S, features silver hands and appliques which are meticulously attached by hand and is contrasted beautifully with the watch’s black, sunburst dial. It exhibits a highly elegant feel but still illustrates a sense of utilitarian undertones that we expect from Sinn.

Longines Heritage Classic Sector

Reference: L2.828.4.73.0
Specifications: Price: $2,150, Case Size: 38.5mm, Thickness: 11 mm, Lug Width: 19 mm, Lug-to-Lug: 47.3 mm,  Water Resistance: 30 m, Movement: Auto ETA A31.501, Crystal: Sapphire
Description: As mentioned prior, few brands have mastered the idea of releasing a heritage model in a modern sense better than Longines. The Longines Heritage Classic, among all the pieces that Longines has released in their heritage collection over the last several years, might be the quintessential example. Its balanced design is in no way is rudimentary: through its use or cooler toned colors, symmetrical dial, and perfect utilization of the dial space, this is as good as design gets for around $2,000.

Nomos Tangente

Nomos Tangente

Reference: 101
Specifications: Price: $1,900, Case Size: 35mm, Thickness: 6.8 mm, Lug Width: 18 mm, Lug-to-Lug: 45.2 mm, Water Resistance: 30 m, Movement: NOMOS Alpha Manual, Crystal: Sapphire
Description: For those that have been watching our videos for some time, you know that we are big fans of Nomos. Since their start in 1990, they have ascended to become one of the largest independently owned watchmakers in the world and being the number one seller of watches by volume in Germany. Being known for their avant-garde designed timepieces and lineup of in-house movements, Nomos delivers some of the best value in all of watchmaking.

Meistersinger Nº 01

Reference: DM303
Specifications: Price: $2,000, Case Size: 40mm, Thickness: 11.5 mm,  Lug Width: 20 mm, Water Resistance: 50 m, Movement: Manual SW 210, Crystal: Sapphire
Description: One could argue that the lack of additional hands on a watch might be sacrificing function, but Meistersinger offers a refreshing take on the wristwatch with their one-handed styling. The DM303 comes with a clean cream dial and is powered by the SW210 within. These watches are not going to be for everyone, but are some very fun and unique options to add to a collection.
Oris Art Blakey Edition

Oris Art Blakey Limited Edition

Reference: 01 733 7762 4081
Specifications: Price: $2,100, Case Size: 38 mm, Thickness: 11.4 mm,  Lug Width: 20 mm, Lug-to-Lug: 44 mm,  Water Resistance: 30 m, Movement: Auto SW 200-1, Crystal: Sapphire
Description: The Oris Art Blakey Limited Edition celebrates the American jazz drummer and bandleader Art Blakey, who won a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2005. The watch is based on the Oris Artelier and features a dial decorated with the eight claws of Art’s bass drum and a caseback in the style of a cymbal.
Nomos Orion 35

Nomos Orion

Reference:  301
Specifications: Price: $2,020, Case Size: 35 mm, Thickness: 7.9 mm, Lug Width: 18 mm, Lug-to-Lug: 44.8 mm, Water Resistance: 30 m, Movement: NOMOS Alpha Manual, Crystal: Sapphire
Description: The Nomos Orion is a piece that perfectly embodies the elements of minimalism that are described at the top of this guide. It also delivers with a beautiful Alpha Manual caliber on the other side. To put it simply, it's probably the best dress watch you can find for around $2,000.

Rolex Oyster Perpetual

Reference: 114300
Specifications: Price: $5,700, Case Size: 39 mm, Thickness: 11 mm,  Lug Width: 20 mm, Lug-to-Lug: 47.3 mm, Water Resistance: 100 m, Movement: Auto Rolex 3132, Crystal: Sapphire
Description: Back in 1927, famous British Swimmer Mercedes Gleitze was offered a Rolex Oyster to be worn around her neck in an attempt to swim across the English Channel. Her attempt came up short, but it was a huge win for Rolex as the case did not let in any water, becoming the first “waterproof” watch. This term is no longer used in watchmaking (except by Rolex); nevertheless, the attempt paved the way for future creations from Rolex with the Oyster case being the backbone of their cases for years to follow. The Oyster 114300 is perhaps one of the best modern watches Rolex makes. It delivers a very minimal design and tasteful design without the typical flash that comes with modern Rolex. And did we mention that it is also the most attainable model the brand currently makes as well?

Glashütte Original Sixties

Reference:  1-39-52-04-02-04
Specifications: Price: $6,400, Case Size: 39 mm, Thickness: 9.4 mm, Lug Width: 18 mm, Lug-to-Lug: 45 mm, Water Resistance: 30 m, Movement: Auto GO 39-52, Crystal: Sapphire
Description: Like the Timex Marlin mentioned earlier, this watch serves as a window into the '60s, albeit at a much higher level of watchmaking that is hard to match for the price. The Glashütte Original Sixties collection is one of the entry points into the brand and reflects the spirit of mid-20th-century dress pieces in a contemporary package. The watches come in a variety of dial colors with some being very eccentric, but within the watches, it is all business with the German brand's extraordinarily finished 39-52 caliber.

Zenith Elite

Reference:  6150
Specifications: Price: $6,700, Case Size: 42 mm, Thickness: 9.4 mm, Lug Width: 21 mm, Lug-to-Lug: 51 mm, Water Resistance: 100 m, Movement: Auto Zenith Elite 6150, Crystal: Sapphire
Description: With the success of the El Primero, Zenith's many other watches and calibers tend to get overlooked. Back in 1994, Zenith released their Elite caliber at Baselworld, the movement receiving heavy praise. The family of calibers have been a source of exceptional finishing, an optimized gear train, and lengthy power reserves. The modern Zenith Elite watches are some of the most beautifully refined dress watches on the market, while offering the internal specifications to match.

Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Ultra Thin

Reference:  Q1278420
Specifications: Price: $6,950, Case Size: 38.5 mm, Thickness: 7.6  mm, Lug Width: 20 mm, Lug-to-Lug: 46 mm, Water Resistance: 30 m, Movement: Auto JLC 896, Crystal: Sapphire
Description: Similar to Zenith and the El Primero, the same can be said with Jaeger-LeCoultre’s Reverso and its knack of outshining the rest of the brand's catalog. The Master collection delivers some of the best calibers at this price point. JLC, unlike many watchmakers, have proven time and time again that they still know how to make a great dress watch as the world tends to lean into a more casual state of mind.  This Master Ultra Thin reference offers a purely symmetrical dial with a running sub-seconds at the 6. For more details on the master collection, I recommend checking out my video where I take a closer look at several models that reside within it.

IWC Portugieser Automatic

Reference:  IW358304
Specifications: Price: $6,950, Case Size: 40.4 mm, Thickness: 12.3  mm, Lug Width: 20 mm, Lug-to-Lug: 48 mm, Water Resistance: 30 m, Movement: Auto IWC 82200, Crystal: Sapphire
Description: The IWC IW358304 is an organized and symmetrical reinterpretation of their Reference 325 that was released in the 1930s. The 325 was one of the earlier dress watches from the brand that lifted them to becoming the mainstream luxury watchmaker that they are today. The influence of this earlier reference is felt easily throughout many of the watches with the Portugieser collection. It exhibits 6 o’clock small seconds, a detailed minute track, heat-blued hands, Arabic numerals, and a railway minute track that matches the period.

JLC Reverso Tribute Small Seconds

Reference: 397846J
Specifications: Price: $7,650, Case Size: 45.6 x 27.4  mm, Thickness: 8.5 mm, Lug Width: 20 mm, Water Resistance: 30 m, Movement: Manual 822/2, Crystal: Sapphire
Description: The Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso is perhaps the best conversation starter in all of watchmaking. There are many watches that can draw attention with cheap frills, but the Reverso is one that manages to keep it. In 2019, JLC introduced this beauty to the Reverso catalog and as the name suggests, to pay tribute to the iconic 1931 release. The watch comes in a striking burgundy dial with polished applied markers that epitomize refined elegance that will never tire the wearer with its legendary flip.

Grand Seiko SBGW259

Grand Seiko SBGW259

Reference:  SBGW259
Specifications: Price:  $8,000, Case Size: 38 mm, Thickness: 10.9 mm, Lug-to-Lug: 47 mm, Water Resistance: 30 m, Movement: Manual 9S64, Crystal: Sapphire
Description: Grand Seiko has climbed into the top five in luxury watch sales in the U.S. back in 2019, and one of their most recent creations, the SBGW259, is a 60th-anniversary tribute to the original Grand Seiko model from 1960. The watch was released as a trio among the SBGW257 and  SBGW258; the case of the model highlighted here is made of Brilliant Hard Titanium, which offers a lightweight experience that has been popularized by many other GS models released from their Elegance collection in the past few years. However, overall the most intriguing aspect of these is their symmetry and simplicity, as well as their Spring Drive movement.

Cartier Tank Louis

Reference: WGTA0011
Specifications: Price: $12,400, Case Size: 33.7 mm x 25.5 mm, Thickness: 6.6  mm, Lug Width: 18 mm, Water Resistance: 30 m, Movement: Manual 8971 MC, Crystal: Sapphire
Description: Similarly to the Reverso, it is hard to argue the cultural impact, as well as the level of timeless elegance — achieved by the Cartier Tank Louis. It delivers in so many ways from a design point of view, from the perfect ratio of the case dimensions, its beautiful array of Roman numerals within the confines of the dial, and the lack of a second hand. This watch knows its function, which is to simply be art on the wrist.
H. Moser & Cie. Pioneer Centre Seconds

H. Moser & Cie. Pioneer Centre Seconds

Reference: 3200-1214
Specifications: Price: $12,900, Case Size: 42.8 mm; Thickness: 14.2 mm, Lug Width: 51 mm, Water Resistance: 120 m, Movement: Automatic HMC 200, Crystal: Sapphire
Description: A darling in the Swiss independent scene for sometime, H. Moser & Cie has seen a huge burst of attention over the last year or so as the market has caught up to the excellent work already in the collection while the company continues to add some incredible models including the Pioneer, a formidable non-precious metal option that stands out with it's minimalist design in a competitive high-end market.

Bulgari Octo Finissimo

Reference:  102713
Specifications: Price: $13,900, Case Size: 40 mm, Thickness: 5.15  mm, Lug-to-Lug: 45.6 mm, Water Resistance: 30 m, Movement: Auto BVL 138, Crystal: Sapphire, Case: Titanium
Description: Whenever someone tries to argue that every watch brand keeps putting out the same watch over and over, they would do well to look at the Octo Finissimo. At the time of its release, the world of horology had never seen anything like it. With anything as avant-garde as this piece, you are going to have both fans and detractors, but regardless of what side of the aisle you are on, there is a collective appreciation for what it managed to accomplish. This unique octagonal design was the record holder for the thinnest automatic movement when it came out, but has since been out-thinned by its counterpart the Octo Finissimo Tourbillon, whose movement is 1.95 mm thick. The watch’s case, bracelet, and dial are made from titanium, therefore, not only is the watch extremely thin, but it is also extremely light. The movement within this piece, although only 2.35 mm thick, boasts an impressive power reserve of 60 hours and runs at a frequency of 21,6000 vph.
A. Lange & Sohne Saxonia

A. Lange & Söhne Saxonia

Reference: 201.026
Specifications: Price: $17,050, Case Size: 35 mm, Thickness: 7.3 mm, Lug Width: 19 mm, Water Resistance: 30 m, Movement: Manual L941.1, Crystal: Sapphire
Description: So you have roughly $15,000 and you are looking for one dress watch to call yours for the rest of your life? If that is the case, get the Lange Saxonia and call it a life. This reference was featured in 2015 and is one of the most exceptional high-end dress watches out there.  Among watchmakers, there is no one that masters the use of space like Lange; it's still perplexing how well the flagship Lange 1 model manages to fit its many complications on one dial. The Lange Saxonia might not need to utilize its space as efficiently as that of the Lange 1, but it does epitomize Germanic simplicity.

Vacheron Constantin Patrimony

Reference: 81180/000G-9117
Specifications: Price: $18,100, Case Size: 40 mm, Thickness: 6.79 mm, Lug Width: 20 mm, Lug-to-Lug: 45.6 mm, Water Resistance: 30 m, Movement: Manual VC 1400, Crystal: Sapphire
Description: When analyzing the pantheon of high-horology dress watches the Vacheron Patrimony needs to be included. This reference coming in white gold has a pencil style handset, doesn’t feature running seconds, houses one of their manual wound Geneva seal movements, the 1400 caliber, and adds in the impressive thickness of 6.79 mm.

Omega DeVille Trésor

Reference: 435.
Specifications: Price: $18,800, Case Size: 40 mm, Thickness: 6.79 mm, Lug Width: 20 mm, Lug-to-Lug: 44.5 mm, Water Resistance: 30 m, Movement: Auto OMEGA 8929, Crystal: Sapphire
Description: The Trésor line was first introduced by Omega in 1949. More than a half-century later, the Omega DeVille Trésor has stayed true to its original, timeless design with some modern twists. The reference 435. comes in with a 40mm in diameter, is made of 18k yellow gold, and features a rare red enamel dial that links to Omega’s iconic brand color. Given the Trésor’s elevated status within Omega's catalog, this Trésor is fitted with Omega’s Co-Axial 8929 movement, which undergoes strenuous master chronometer testing through METAS.
Breguet Classique 5157

Breguet Classique 5157

Reference: 7147BB/29/9WU
Specifications: Price: $21,500, Case Size: 38 mm, Thickness: 6.1 mm, Lug-to-Lug: 46 mm, Water Resistance: 30 m, Movement: Auto 502.3 SD, Crystal: Sapphire
Description: When it comes to high horology dress watches, it is hard to construct a list without mentioning Breguet. Breguet is one of the oldest surviving watchmaking brands and a pioneer of numerous watchmaking technologies such as the tourbillon. Having started in 1775, Breguet has been around for going on 250 years and was founded a year before the U.S.A. declared its independence. The reference showcased here is part of Breguet’s Classique collection, reference 7147BB/29/9WU. The watch’s case is constructed from 18k white gold and features a coin-edged side.  The watch additionally features an offset small seconds subdial at the 5 o’clock and Arabiac numerals that pair beautifully with the hand style made famous by the manufacturer.

H. Moser & Cie. Endeavour Centre Seconds Concept

Reference: 1200-1218
Specifications: Price: $22,000, Case Size: 40 mm, Thickness: 10.7 mm, Lug-to-Lug: 46 mm, Water Resistance: 30 m, Movement: Auto HMC 200, Crystal: Sapphire
Description: Moser has roots back to 1805 and saw a revival in 2005, when the brand was officially relaunched after falling on harder times during the mid-20th century decades prior.  However, since their relaunch, they have wasted no time making a splash on the world of horology, carving out a reputation for impeccable dials and an eccentric attitude towards design and their branding that is unlike anything else you will find from high-horology manufacturers.  This attitude and direction led to them winning several GPHG awards for their innovations, most notably with their take on the perpetual calendar in 2006, and release of their release of the Straumann Double Hairspring in 2007. This piece epitomizes simplicity as well as Moser’s typical traits that make them one of the most beloved independents out there. With this piece featuring no type, no numerals, and no date on the dial, this is one of the simplest dials you’ll find; however, the blue fumé surface still provides more than enough to this dial. The movement within is the caliber HMC 200 self-winding movement, which contains 27 jewels, has their proprietary double hairspring, and is finished with Geneva stripes while containing diamond polishing throughout.

Patek Philippe Calatrava

Reference: 5196G
Specifications: Price: $22,680, Case Size: 37 mm, Thickness: 7.68 mm, Lug Width: 20 mm, Lug-to-Lug: 45.5 mm, Water Resistance: 30 m, Movement: Manual 215 PS, Crystal: Sapphire
Description: What the Rolex Datejust is for luxury, the Patek Calatrava is for high horology. The Calatrava is Patek’s take at understated and minimalist perfection. The Reference 5196G is fitted with Patek’s old reliable 215 PS manual winding movement. The caliber contains a total of 130 parts, 18 jewels, and has a power reserve of 44 hours.
Laurent Ferrier Galet Square Micro Rotor

Laurent Ferrier Galet Square Micro Rotor

Reference: LC013.AC.JG1
Specifications: Price: $46,000, Case Size: 41 mm, Thickness: 12.3 mm, Lug-to-Lug: 47.5 mm, Water Resistance: 30 m, Movement: Auto FBN Calibre 229.01, Crystal: Sapphire
Description: Laurent Ferrier is a one of the most popular small independent brands among high-end collectors, occupying a price category that's generally reserved for some of the most prestigious and exclusive models in the world. The Galet Square is one of two major collection pillars for the brand and within both collections we see simplified designs dominate the catalog. This Sunburst Gold edition offers up some of the most refined minimalist looks of any model they currently offer and captures the aesthetic extremely well.

Rolex 1926

Rolex Oyster Perpetual 1908

Price: $22,000, Case Size: 39mm, Thickness: 9.5mm, Crystal: Sapphire, Water Resistance: 50 meters, Movement: Automatic Rolex Caliber 7140

In 1908, Hans Wilsdorf renamed Wilsdorf & Davis, the watchmaking firm he’d founded with his partner, as Rolex Watch Company Ltd. In that same year, the formerly London-based company was registered in Geneva, Switzerland, where it has been based ever since. The Perpetual 1908, executed in the style of Rolex’s stylishly dressy Cellini collection, is a tribute to the elegant watches of Rolex’s early 20th Century days. Its 39mm case in yellow gold or white gold features a bezel with a domed top edge and finely fluted sides, along with curved, chamfered lugs. The dial is in either white or black, with applied Arabic numerals at 3, 9, and 12 and faceted index markers at the remaining hour positions. The movement inside, Caliber 7140, is chock full of modern Rolex innovations including the Chronergy escapement and the antimagnetic Syloxi balance spring and on display behind a sapphire caseback.

Patek Philippe Golden Ellipse

Patek Philippe Golden Ellipse

Reference: 5738P
Specifications: Price: $52,390, Case Size: 34.5mm x 39.5mm, Thickness: 5.9 mm, Lug Width: 20 mm,, Water Resistance: 30 m, Movement: Manual 240, Crystal: Sapphire, Case Material: Platinum
Description: The Ellipse is one of the more peculiar high horology watches in terms of case shape, but nevertheless, a legend in its own right. When it first appeared in 1968, Patek’s Golden Ellipse was a striking example of challenging the status quo of traditional rounded dress pieces of the period. This platinum case reference has case dimensions of 34.5 mm x 39.5 mm and has a thickness of just 5.9 mm. Its design was developed using the concept of the golden ratio as its guide. With this in mind, it probably makes it the perfect option for inclusion on this list.

Credor Seiko Eichi II

Credor Eichi II

Reference: GBLT997
Specifications: Price: $54,000, Case Size: 39 mm, Thickness: 10.3 mm, Lug Width: 19 mm, Water Resistance: 30 m, Movement: Spring Drive 7R14, Crystal: Sapphire
Description: Japan's Credor represents some of the finest watchmaking practices and techniques in the entire world. They offer some of the best-finished movements by any brand, regardless of region or country of origin and their north-of-$50k price point is actually a value when compared to other models currently selling in this price range, especially if we are talking about elite levels of watchmaking. Both rare and interesting, the Eichi II is a minimalist future classic in the making. 

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Teegala R.

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