Do a search for “minimalist watch” and you get endless articles on the subject. We feel like we can offer a different view on what is a truly minimalist watch. While we admire the iconic watches like the Rolex Submariner, we want to show variations or models that dared to take a stab at a simpler aesthetic, without losing the core functionality of being able to read time well. Also, as you will see, we are pretty infatuated with black-faced watches for the next level of color consistency.
German-made with a German name. The dark, minimal Defakto Vektor looks like it’s from a different era or even different world. Powered by a Miyota 9015 automatic movement, the beautiful sphered plexiglass dome contains the contrast of the bold black dial and red hands. Of course, the back lets you see-through into the amazing movement of such a work of art.
Well known for allowing you to customize premium brand name watches, Bamford last year built a replacement watch for clients who sent theirs in for maintenance or servicing. It was such a spectacular “replacement” that customers wanted one to keep. Thus, the Bamford Mayfair was born. While we like the completely blacked out version, like the other watches, you can customize the Mayfair to your liking.
This is a watch that focuses on the essential almost to a fault, all without sacrificing practicality like being able to read the time easily. Powered by a Miyota 2035 Japanese quartz movement, the 40mm milled stainless steel case is given a black ion coating for durability and an utilitarian look and is set on a black leather wristband from Swedish organic tannery Tärnsjö Garveri.
We thought we were into black. The Fuyu surpasses our obsession with an all-black face, indexing and grained-texture Italian leather strap. The matte quality to the sandblasted finish helps your watch attract as little attention as possible.
This Swiss made, modernist, dress watch is arguably the most minimalist in our list. It truly has nothing extra, except maybe for the “SWISS MADE” text at the bottom of the face if you want to nitpick. The black signature lug-less M-Line case design at 37mm diameter is paired with a supple black Milanese calf leather strap. If you are looking for unity in color, this will end your search.
Simple but bold and with lots of character is how we see the Richardt & Mejer Signature Watch. We know words like bauhaus, Scandinavian design and minimalist (we know we use it a lot), gets thrown around a lot, but this striking watch would not only qualify, it would lead the pack.
The only smart watch that qualifies to be on our list, this one needs no further introduction. It’s Apple.
Linjer was founded on the belief that shoppers shouldn’t have to compromise quality for a good deal. This is one of the few watches we could find with not a trace of branding, something that needs a lot of restrain. The details, like debossed minute markers and domed sapphire crystal brush case show a luxurious, understated quality that’s had many backing their overwhelming Kickstarter campaign.
Bonus – Seiko Chariot
This one is just to make everyone jealous. This simple, no-nonsense watch of late Apple CEO Steve Jobs, the Seiko Chariot has a cult following. It was the straightforward design that matched the ethos of the Steve Jobs that attracted our attention. The same style is heavily present in the products of Dieter Rams, the designer whose principles we base our site heavily on. While the actual watch of Steve Jobs sold for $42,500, the re-release of the watch in Japan presented a black version which was, of course, instantly sold out.