Seven minimalist watches to invest in now

These minimalist watches are united by a focus on clean design and technical excellence, for timeless style

Minimalist watches, by Laurent Ferrier (left) and Rado (right)
Left, Laurent Ferrier Classic Micro-Rotor Evergreen; right, Rado True Thinline
(Image credit: Courtesy of brand)

When it comes to watchmaking, some brands out-dazzle each other with gems and otherworldly designs when all we want is wrist zen. Minimalist watches with a pared-down essence of style are a strong trend. And to paraphrase Mies van der Rohe, God is in the minimal details.

7 minimalist watches for timeless style

Cartier Tank Louis Cartier

black minimalist watch by Cartier

(Image credit: Cartier)

This is the distilled essence of French watchmaking with its deep gloss dial and architectural case. The Louis Cartier is the equivalent of a black Chanel dress and an understated instrument of time, and black goes with everything, right? Set in gold, the Tank Louis Cartier might just be the perfect one-watch collection.

Bulgari Octo Finissimo Ceramic

Bulgari minimalist watch in ceramic

(Image credit: Courtesy of brand)

The ascent of Bulgari’s Swiss-based watchmaking division has made the Roman jeweller a force to be reckoned with. This time, designer Fabrizio Buonamassa Stigliani offers up a dark reinterpretation of the architectural Octo Finissimo. Stealth is the word when the spectacular wrist presence of the Finissimo is toned down with a muted shade of black ceramic.

Laurent Ferrier Classic Micro-Rotor Evergreen

Driven by a quest for subtle perfection, the small team of Laurent Ferrier has a bespoke approach to the art of wristwear. With impossibly slim spear-shaped hands and elongated indices, the result brings a quiet balance to the Classic Micro-Rotor in pink gold (pictured top). With the studied calm of a sartorial brushed dark green, time itself seems less than important.

Vacheron Constantin Traditionelle

Green watch by Vacheron Constantin

(Image credit: Courtesy of brand)

In this story of minimalist-watch joy, the new Traditionelle from Vacheron Constantin seems more detailed than the rest. But with its subtle shade of green and gold, it emanates a calm confidence only the world’s oldest existing watch brand could offer. And that includes the zen feeling of a manual winding movement finished and assembled by hand.

H Moser Endeavour Vantablack Tourbillon

minimalist watch on man's wrist, in black, by H Moser

(Image credit: H Moser)

Vantablack is the darkest form of black known to man (and artist Anish Kapoor, in his Vantablack sculptures), and H Moser & Cie uses it to full effect. An infinite feeling of deep space sets the stage for the company’s Tourbillon in a classic 42mm gold case. It takes a strong will to not get drawn in by the twirling mechanical art of the prima ballerina at 6 o’clock, set in a deep abyss of black.

Kurono Grand Urushi Aoyama

three minimalist watches, with red, green and black dials respectively

(Image credit: Courtesy of brand)

Kurono is the accessible brand of Hajime Asaoka, the sensei of independent Japanese watchmaking. This 37mm threesome offers traditional Japanese urushi lacquer dials within a smooth case. The deep gloss emanates from a plant-based lacquer that takes up to two months to dry, lending an ethereal air to the dials. With a thickness of only 9.5mm, these svelte watches offer showstopping dials at their most minimal.

Rado True Thinline

Rado was the first brand to offer a ceramic bracelet, and the high-tech gloss is still its calling card. The Rado True Thinline (pictured top) is perhaps the ultimate expression of its design nous, with a paper-thin 4.9mm case. This sleek expression of darkness is in fact the slimmest the brand has ever produced, with a 39mm scratch-resistant case and a quiet, stealthy presence.