In our overly materialistic world, the philosophy of minimalism has become more and more attractive to those who embrace a life of simplicity and sufficiency, drawing a hard line between having enough and having too much.
As with anything, minimalism has been adopted into every aspect of life, from personal beliefs to industrial practices, and the watch world isn’t an exception.
Therefore, there are more and more watch brands that embrace minimalist designs in watchmaking, blending both the form and the function in a balanced and uniform sum of parts that not only looks great but also performs the necessary.
We’ve been exploring this trend for some time now, so we’ve got a good idea of what the industry offers in terms of minimalist watches.
Therefore, if you’re interested, we’ve got 25 stunning examples of affordable minimalist watches to show you:
- 25. Timex Fairfield
- 24. Braun Classic Analog
- 23. Daniel Wellington Classic St. Mawes
- 22. KOMONO The Walther Tobacco
- 21. Tissot PR100 Black Dial
- 20. Bulova Classic Ultra Thin Quartz
- 19. Nordgreen Pioneer
- 18. Rossling & Co Regatta Ink Black
- 17. Paulin Commuter Automatic
- 16. Undone Type 20 Classic
- 15. Unimatic UC-2
- 14. Mondaine Classic Swiss Railway
- 13. Timex Marlin Hand Wound
- 12. Tissot Heritage Petite Seconde
- 11. Stowa Antea Back to Bauhaus
- 10. Junghans Max Bill Automatic
- 9. Nomos Ludwig 33
- 8. Sinn Uhren Modell 556 I
- 7. Mühle Glashütte Panova
- 6. Void Watches PKG01
- 5. Oris Art Blakey Limited Edition
- 4. Longines Heritage Classic Sector
- 3. anOrdain New Model 1
- 2. MeisterSinger Nº 01
- 1. Laco Augsburg
25. Timex Fairfield
The Timex Fairfield is a real beauty, especially when it comes with a deep blue dial and light brown leather strap. The silver toned case does justice to the overall design, and the price tag of $89 aligns with the philosophy of minimalism.
The movement is undoubtedly quartz, the water resistance rating sits at only 50m, and it also comes with Timex’s Indiglo for readability in the dark. There’s not much to say about this, and it’s what makes it iconic.
24. Braun Classic Analog
Braun have always been adepts of simplicity, and their Classic Analog watch shows just that. The white dial welcomes the thin black hands and Arabic numerals, creating a superb contrast.
The silver tone of the case is right at home with the rest of the watch, and the modern and simple design makes everything fit together nicely.
The price tag sits below the $100 mark, the size is 38mm, and the 50m of water resistance make it a good everyday watch. Inside, there’s a no frills quartz movement that does what it needs to.
23. Daniel Wellington Classic St. Mawes
Daniel Wellington is one of the watchmakers who might have started this trend of minimalist watch design.
Their Classic St. Mawes has such a classic simplicity to it that’s hard to reproduce. The dial itself has almost nothing going on apart from the slow motion of the hour and minute hand, as there’s no seconds hand to rush things.
The hour indices are long and thin, and the minute track follows suit, but with shorter indices. The case bezel is so slim so as not to fill unneeded space.
The watch comes in a few color choices, from grey to rose gold, and paired with a matching leather strap, it will looks absolutely stunning.
22. KOMONO The Walther Tobacco
With The Walther Tobacco, KOMONO has managed to go beyond the classic minimalism by adding depth to its dial, making it un-boring. The two sub-dials bring a sense of depth and asymmetry to an otherwise plain white dial.
The minute ring comes in the same yellow hue of the gold toned case, and completes the design.
Surprisingly, for a watch that costs a bit over $100, a water resistance rating of 100m is nice to see. Inside, there’s a reliable and long lasting Japanese quartz movement, so the watch should run smooth and without issues.
21. Tissot PR100 Black Dial
The Tissot PR100 Black Dial features one of the simplest faces in the world of watches, fitting to almost any kind of event, dressy or not. The black dial and the 33mm case will compliment any outfit, so the watch itself becomes extremely versatile.
At the 6 o’clock position, there’s a subtle but large date window, and the Tissot logo completes the symmetry in the opposite position. The metal bracelet or the black leather strap will both look incredibly good with this timepiece.
20. Bulova Classic Ultra Thin Quartz
The Bulova Classic Ultra Thin Quartz is a very dressy timepiece, even if its price of under $200 doesn’t mention that. The simple yet elegant design will elevate your outfit no matter the occasion, while keeping your wallet happy and full.
The watch comes in several variants, but we find the two-toned one with a black dial, silver case, and rose-gold accents to be the one to opt for. Thanks to its ultra thin 40mm case, it will fit wonderfully on almost any wrist.
19. Nordgreen Pioneer
For a little over $250, you could have a Nordgreen Pioneer, born in Copenhagen, Denmark, the capital of minimalism as a way of life.
The watch looks sophisticated, but it also adheres to a simplicity of design, with an impeccable dial in a gray 42mm case.
18. Rossling & Co Regatta Ink Black
The Regatta Ink Black from Rossling & Co is simply gorgeous. It’s one of those watches that blend more with less in such a way that no true minimalist would feel it’s too much.
Powered by a Japanese automatic movement, this watch is a true marvel at only $230. The aesthetic of the dial is incredibly good, with the signature blue hands on a pure white dial, and thin black hour and minute markers that offer perfect contrast and legibility.
The two vertically aligned sub-dials are in symmetry with the horizontal logo and date window, completing the dial.
17. Paulin Commuter Automatic
The Paulin Commuter Automatic is a convergence of Art Deco and minimalism. It’s the brand’s first watch using a mechanical movement, a Miyota 9015 from Japan, housed in a 37mm case with a 50m water resistance.
The two-toned silver dial looks incredibly fresh thanks mainly to its unique numerals that use a custom typeface created specifically for this watch. The watch looks both sporty and artsy at the same time, and the price sits just below the $500 mark.
16. Undone Type 20 Classic
The Undone Type 20 Classic is quite a sight. It somehow manages to blend the classy and familiar Arabic numerals that bring a vintage vibe to the dial with a very modern and bespoke design.
Its modern and rugged looking stainless steel case features a lovely crown at 3 o’clock and two pushers above and below it, in a contemporary package.
What’s most interesting about the Undone timepiece, and actually about all their timepieces, is that everything can be customized, from the case and strap, to dial and even the movement inside.
15. Unimatic UC-2
One look at the Unimatic UC-2 and you’ll realize how gorgeous that dial is. It’s a field watch unlike any other, borrowing design cues from classic divers, but keeping a very unencumbered overall aesthetic.
The functionality is there too, with a water resistance rating of 300m, a Seiko NH35A self-winding movement and a domed sapphire crystal protecting the minimalist and practical dial.
The indices and hands are wide and covered with plenty of SuperLumiNova C3 treatment for maximum legibility in the dark. And the price is a good one too, at only a bit over $400.
14. Mondaine Classic Swiss Railway
The Mondaine Classic Swiss Railway looks bold, despite its small 36mm size.
The black dial features simple white elements that are enhanced by the use of red accents, creating a powerful image.
13. Timex Marlin Hand Wound
Marlin is a handsome creation from Timex, and the Hand Wound version enhances that minimalistic feeling by removing anything electronic inside.
The dial brings back memories from the 1960s, with a nice combination of Arabic numerals and elongated indices. And when you think it all costs $200, it’s hard not to order one straight away.
12. Tissot Heritage Petite Seconde
There’s something about the clean simple numerals and dial of the Tissot Heritage Petite Seconde. It’s a superb creation from Tissot that houses an ETA 6498-1 movement, with its only downside being that’s no longer in production.
The good thing is that the second hand market still offers the possibility to get your hands on one. Or two, because we don’t know when Tissot is going to revive this amazing design.
11. Stowa Antea Back to Bauhaus
Similar to the Tissot design we presented above, we’ve got the Stowa Antea Back to Bauhaus. What we love about it is the little twist in the dial’s Arabic numerals, aligning them with the edge of the dial and not with the wearer’s point of view.
The design is just beautiful, but it makes sense when you think that behind it stands the inventor of most Apple designs, Hartmut Esslinger.
The price of this watch is a bit high for some at $1,200, but it’s definitely a worthy timepiece.
10. Junghans Max Bill Automatic
The 38mm Junghans Max Bill Automatic is an aesthetical feast. The dial’s design was born some 50 years ago, when the Junghans collaborated with renowned Bauhaus designer Max Bill, putting the essence of minimalism into it.
The clean and exceptionally pleasant face of the watch draws all the attention once you gaze its way.
The thin and very legible markers on the pure white background create a very good legibility and a nice overall contrast, while the domed glass on top plays nicely with light.
9. Nomos Ludwig 33
The Nomos Ludwig 33 is another stunning timepiece, one that adheres so well to the principles of minimalism without drawing from its main function, time telling.
The white dial, with its thin and elegant Roman numerals and the tempered blue steel hands create a beautiful show, one enhanced by the velour leather strap, giving the watch a deluxe look and feel.
8. Sinn Uhren Modell 556 I
Straying away from the perfection of the Nomos and the Junghans above, we’re moving into a more sporty minimalism, that of Sinn.
The German watchmaker has managed to give the Uhren Modell 556 I a simple, yet highly functional look.
The black dial and stainless steel case will match with just about anything, and when it comes to straps, there’s more than a dozen to choose from.
7. Mühle Glashütte Panova
The Mühle Glashütte Panova keeps the minimalist aesthetic but adds a very playful character to it by offering its dial in several attractive colors. Adding to the playfulness is a variety of straps to choose from.
Inside the 40mm stainless steel case beats a modified Sellita SW200-1 that features a custom rotor Mühle Glashütte’s proprietary woodpecker regulating pin.
6. Void Watches PKG01
From the expensive elegance of Mühle Glashütte to the affordable $200 price tag of the Void Watches PKG01 is quite a long way, but the simplicity of the dial still rings a bell with minimalists.
The dial of the PKG01 features undersized Arabic numerals that blend with the large empty space of the dial, creating an appealing watch face. And if that wasn’t enough, there’s plenty of options when it comes to case color and strap combinations.
5. Oris Art Blakey Limited Edition
Though priced at around $2,100, the Oris Art Blakey Limited Edition is a must have for any serious collector of minimalist timepieces.
Created as a celebration for the American jazz drummer and bandleader Art Blakey and drawing inspiration from his world, the watch uses eight claws of Art’s bass drum to decorate the dial, and comes in a case that’s styled as a cymbal.
4. Longines Heritage Classic Sector
The Longines Heritage Classic Sector is so simple, yet so far from boring. The design of the dial is incredibly well balanced, completely using the empty space without overcrowding it.
The symmetry is stunning, and the choice of colors is near perfect, with the center of the dial following the same hue of the case.
3. anOrdain New Model 1
anOrdain is not your average watchmaker. It’s a young and independent brand that was founded in 2015 in Scotland, and creates simple designs of an astonishing beauty.
The star of the show for the New Model 1 is the vitreous enamel dial clad in a creamy-white, on top of which the blue hands are creating a lovely contrast.
The numerals aren’t ordinary either, as they’ve been created by an in-house typographer who drew inspiration for their creation from the cartographic maps of Scotland.
2. MeisterSinger Nº 01
MeisterSinger Nº 01 is a gem of a watch, especially from a minimalist’s perspective. It’s one of the few options on the market with a one hand styling.
Though some would say it sacrifices functionality, we say it actually creates a mesmerizing time telling experience. Sure, this isn’t a piece for everyone, also due to its $2k price tag, but it sure is a fresh take on the typical wristwatch, and a worthy one for sure.
Underneath the lovely cream colored dial ticks a Sellita SW210 hand-wound movement, so this is as classic a watch as it can be.
1. Laco Augsburg
The best combination between quality craftsmanship, affordability, and a superb minimalist design goes to Laco and their Augsburg watch model.
It’s a superb take on simplicity, with a decent price tag of $410, and it all comes in an impressive 39mm stainless steel case that houses the quintessential Flieger dial.
The watch is powered by a Miyota 821A, and protected from scratches by a sapphire crystal glass. It’s a beautiful timepiece that has its roots in efficiency on the battlefield while fulfilling every minimalist watch enthusiast’s dream.
There’s a plethora of minimalist timepieces available on the market today, and quite a lot of them are affordable as well.
We did stretch the definition of affordability with some of them, but those are fine examples of what simplicity can become in the hands of experienced watchmakers.
We hope we’ve satiated your thirst for minimalist timepieces because we know we didn’t make your choice easier at all. They’re all too beautiful not to consider starting a collection if you don’t already have one.