8 Minimalist Watches That Prove Less Is More

Free of such distraction as tachymeter scales, moon phases, and power reserves, these watches’ minimalist aesthetics are a breath of fresh air. No, you can’t time a lap on them or use them to calculate airspeed, but what they offer instead is just as useful. In addition to hours, minutes, and seconds, these watches display something that we’d all be well-served to remember: in timekeeping as in life, sometimes less is more.

Panerai Radiomir 8 Days

The essential design of this watch remains unchanged since it was created for the Royal Italian Navy in the 1930s. It was designed to be easy to read underwater or in a gale, but its clean face and simple Arabic numerals look just as good on land.

$7,700, panerai.com

Rado True Thinline Les Couleurs Le Corbusier Spectacular Ultramarine 4320K

In addition to being a master of modern architecture and furniture design, Le Corbusier was also a pioneer of colour theory. This watch, part of a nine-piece limited-edition set in high-tech ceramic, is a tribute to this legacy.

$2,600, rado.com

Nomos Club Sport Neomatik

Nomos is all about marrying contemporary design with traditional watchmaking. This piece, with its bold contrasting sans-serif numerals and a German-made in-house movement, hits on both levels.

$5,440, nomos-glashuette.com

Swatch Elementary

Created in honour of the 100th anniversary of the Bauhaus, this piece adopts geometric shapes and primary colours inspired by the iconic designs of alumni like Wassily Kandinsky, Marcel Breuer, and Josef Albers.

$95, shop.swatch.com

Mido Baroncelli Heritage Gent

There’s a reason so many famous architects, industrial designers and fashion designers are fond of wearing black: not only does it go with everything, it looks good in just about every situation. That’s certainly true of this watch.

$1,450, midowatches.com

Hamilton American Classic Intra-Matic Auto

Hamilton watches were everywhere in the 1950s and 1960s, when the clean lines of modernism defined everything from blenders to cars to skyscrapers. This watch is a time traveler from that era, but it looks just as good in this one.

$1,025, hamiltonwatch.com

Issey Miyake U

Steve Jobs, whose love of minimalism inspired the design of the iPod, Macbook and iPhone, was a big fan of Japanese fashion designer Issey Miyake. This beautifully simple new watch, designed by automotive designer Satoshi Wada for Miyake’s label shows exactly why. Every detail is considered, and nothing is there that shouldn’t be.

Contact for price, isseymiyake-watch.com

Movado Red Label

With its pure black dial marked with a single dot at 12 o’clock, it doesn’t get much more minimal than Movado’s Museum Watch. Designed in 1947, this midcentury classic has been updated with a two-toned bracelet, a gold PVD-finished case and a robust Swiss automatic movement inside.

$2,295.00, movado.ca