Minimalism is a trend that has gained momentum in the last couple of years. Japan, South Korea, and various Scandinavian countries are known for upholding minimalism in their lifestyle, architecture, interior, and art in general. However, I believe that minimalism does not really have a single definition. For example, minimalism as a way of living differs from minimalism in design or architecture. This means that minimalism as a word is still relatively broad and vague. When it comes to timepieces, minimalist watches can vary. Some people find that sustainability should be paired with minimalism while some just fancy minimalist layouts and colour palettes. This means that finding a perfect minimalist watch depends entirely on your understanding of the word as what may be minimalist to us isn’t the same case for you. However, don’t fret because we have curated a rather extensive list of minimalist watches that are all different in one way or another.
Why buy a minimalist watch?
- Minimalist watches are very versatile. Timepieces following this type of design tend to be subtle and not overwhelming. This means that most of the watches can be used in different settings, ranging from casual to formal.
- Minimalist watches are timeless. Again, this is largely thanks to its overall design. Terms that often go with minimalism are classic and quintessential, which are applicable to watches as well.
- Some minimalist watches are sustainable. Now, I know not many people consider this but there are many minimalist brands that also offer sustainable timepieces. This means they uphold minimalism in design and as a way of living.
Best Minimalist Watches to Consider
Below, you’ll find a curated list of various minimalist watches, ranging from designs and brand values.
1. Nordgreen Philosopher
There are some countries that are often associated with the minimalist lifestyle and Denmark is one of them. The first model on our list comes from Nordgreen, a Danish brand whose roots are deeply connected to minimalism. Just from the name itself, they are already very clear about the values they uphold as a brand. Nord symbolises their Nordic identity while Green represents their eco-friendly initiatives. This is great because, as mentioned, some people believe that minimalism should go hand-in-hand with other lifestyle choices such as sustainability. Nordgreen offers excellent options for a minimalist watch as they incorporate minimalism in design, functionality, and brand values.
This Nordgreen Philosopher has that timeless and classic look, which is pretty common among minimalist watches. This model actually comes in multiple sizes, straps, and dial colours. However, the specific model in the photo has a stainless steel case paired with a mesh bracelet, both of which are in rose gold. Another great point about this minimalist watch is that it is easily customisable, given the interchangeable straps. This makes the entire piece very versatile and perfect for all occasions.
The white dial is decorated with indexes and hands in rose gold plus a date component at 3 o’clock. Furthermore, the Nordgreen Philosopher runs on a Japanese Quartz movement and has a water resistance of up to 30 metres, which means it can withstand rain and splashes of water. Overall, this timepiece is a pretty quintessential option if you’re looking for a minimalist and sustainable watch.
2. Junghans Force Mega Solar
Next on the list is a piece from a well-established brand that originated from Germany. Junghans, founded in 1861, is a company dedicated to combining inspiration and heritage in their products. They also believe that, in order to make an impact in the watchmaking industry, they have to consistently innovate beyond the restrictions of time. The modern designs of their collections actually show hints of minimalistic values. Furthermore, the utmost precision they offer, along with the functionality of their pieces, truly makes them a great brand.
The Junghans Force Mega Solar has quite a futuristic yet minimalist design overall. I guess those two adjectives don’t often go together, but this model is a true embodiment of the said description. This model follows a monochromatic colour palette in black. It comes in a ceramic case and a synthetic rubber strap, giving it a very clean look. The dial features indexes and hands made with eco-friendly luminous substance. In addition, it features a digital date component at 6 o’clock.
This timepiece runs on a multi-frequency solar movement, hence the name, making it very precise and accurate. It also has a power reserve of 21 months, a sleep mode, 50m water resistance, and a time adjustment function through the Junghans MEGA app. Indeed, the Junghans Force Mega Solar is a sleek minimalist watch perfect for those who enjoy futuristic yet simple pieces.
3. NOMOS Glashutte Minimatik
Here we have another watch company that originated from Germany. NOMOS Glashutte was founded only 31 years ago but is already considered as one of Germany’s biggest mechanical watch manufacturers today. The timepieces they produce are a perfect mix of high-quality engineering and fine artistry. What makes them a great minimalist watch brand is their subtle use of colours and shapes in the watches they manufacture.
This NOMOS Glasshutte Minimatik is a simple and straightforward piece that is complemented by the small pops of colour in the design. It comes in a stainless steel case paired with a Horween Genuine Shell Cordovan strap in black. However, you can also get this piece in either a champagne colour or midnight blue. The white dial includes grey numerals, red hand markers, and a small seconds sub-dial at 6 o’clock. Furthermore, the dial is decorated with intricate cyan and yellow dots to represent the minute markers.
This watch runs on the DUW 3001 calibre automatic movement, making use of around 27 jewels. It also has a power reserve of up to 43 hours and a water resistance of 30 meters. The Nomos Glashutte Minimatik is a great minimalist watch for fans of simple yet avant-garde timepieces.
4. Daniel Wellington Classic York
Daniel Wellington is a brand that has garnered a lot of attention over the past couple of years. They are well-known today for their minimalist and trendy timepieces. The essence of their designs come from their philosophy of simplicity and refinement. Daniel Wellington watches are great for both everyday use and for life’s most special occasions.
The Daniel Wellington Classic York offers the signature look of the brand. It comes in a rose gold-plated stainless steel case and a dark brown croc-embossed leather strap. However, it should be noted that they also offer interchangeable straps. Moving on to the dial, it has a black-finish paired with rose gold-plated indexes and hands. It is a minimalist watch because it gets the job done whilst offering a simple and classy overall design.
This piece runs on a Japanese quartz movement and has a water resistance of up to 30 meters. If you’re looking for a classic and timeless minimalist watch, then you should definitely check out the Daniel Wellington Classic York.
5. Junghans Meister Handaufzug
The Junghans Meister Handaufzug is one of the many models in the brand’s Meister range. It is considered as one of the most intricate and exquisite pieces offered by Junghans especially with its thin structure. The Meister Handaufzug differs from the Force Mega Solar in many ways, but this one definitely has a more quintessential and sophisticated look.
The exterior comes in a stainless steel case paired with a brown leather strap. The white dial includes silver-plated indexes and hands. In addition, it also a features a sub-dial for the second component at 6 o’clock. Inside, the Meister Handaufzug is powered by the calibre J815.1 hand-winding movement, boasting a power reserve of up to 42 hours and a water resistance of 30 metres. This an excellent choice for those who fancy refined and timeless pieces.
6. Kitmen Keung Long Distance
Kitmen Keung is another brand that screams minimalist right off the bat. Even their website follows a minimalist layout. This Hong Kong-based brand tuly values abstract and distinctive designs without compromising quality craftsmanship. They believe that each piece they produce holds a different substance depending on the beholder. In short, the timepieces they offer are subject to various interpretations.
With that said, the Long Distance Classic holds a very unique design. It comes in a stainless steel case coated in IP Gold paired with a calf leather strap made in Argentina. The white dial includes grey markers and aluminium hands with a matte paint finish. The overall design of this model is heavily inspired by finding the right mix between straightforward and abstract aesthetics.
This minimalist watch runs on a dual Japanese quartz movement and has a battery life of around two years. Lastly, it has a water resistance of up to 50 metres. Again, this a unique and avant-garde timepiece that is worth checking out.
7. NOMOS Glashutte Ludwig 33 Duo
Next we have another NOMOS piece, this time from their Ludwig collection. I think what makes this particular watch a great minimalist choice is the neutrality of the entire piece. The lightness that oozes from this watch is really intriguing as it is subtle yet memorable at the same time.
The Ludwig 33 Duo comes in a stainless steel case paired with a Velour leather strap in beige. The white silver-plated dial includes Roman numerals and indexes in a brown/red colour, while the hands are in gold. Its overall design and structure entice people to look at it despite its delicacy. This watch runs on an in-house calibre movement (Alpha.2), which makes use of around 17 jewels. Lastly, it has a power reserve of up to 43 hours and a water resistance of 30 metres. This is definitely the perfect, simple minimalist watch for those who prefer a neutral palette.
8. Komono Mono Orbit
Komono is a brand that offers a variety of products that can be seen as statement pieces. The watches they release all have a bold, distinct, and minimalist design. Just by looking at one of their timepieces, you will already feel the brand’s commitment in creating unique yet uncomplicated watches.
The Mono Orbit Black is a model that was created to complement its wearer. The monochromatic design of the entire piece serves as an avenue for people to express themselves. To add to that, this model comes in various colour ways, ranging from bright to dark shades. It comes in a PC watch case paired with an interchangeable silicone strap. The dial includes only hands and the brand logo at 12 o’clock. Lastly, this piece runs on a Japanese quartz movement and has a 50m water resistance. If you want eccentric yet minimalist watches, then Komono is a brand that you should really consider.
9. Bijuone B40
Bijuone is a jewellery brand that takes inspiration from art in all its forms. Their philosophy is to make an impact in people’s lives through the timeless pieces they produce. They are also known for creating hand-made pieces, which are distinct and truly special. What makes them a great minimalist watch brand is that they choose to pair their straightforward dials with colourful straps and bracelets. Again, there is more to minimalism than just neutrality and this brand does well in highlighting that.
The Bijuone B40 comes in a stainless steel case paired with a switchable mesh bracelet. The dial has a muted green colour that is very visually appealing. It also includes small Arabic numerals, minute indexes, and hands all in the colour white. Furthermore, this watch is powered by a Japanese quartz movement and has a water resistance of up to 30 metres. If you love colours and minimalism, then the Bijuone B40 collection is an excellent option for you.
10. Nordgreen Native
Here we have another model from Nordgreen. This piece comes from their Native collection, which showcases impressive and intricate details overall. The Nordgreen Native is a sleek minimalist watch option for the classic watch lovers out there.
This model actually comes in 4 colours: black, mother of pearl, navy blue, and white. This particular piece has a stainless steel case paired with a black leather strap (interchangeable). The black dial includes hour markers and hands in silver plus minute markers in black. Moreover, it is powered by a Japanese quartz movement and has a 30m water resistance. Again, the Nordgreen Native is a collection worth checking if you want a sustainable, minimalist, and stylish watch all in one.
11. NOMOS Glashutte Tetra Ode To Joy
The NOMOS Glashutte Tetra Ode to Joy is probably my favourite among all the ones on this list. This comes from their Tetra collection, which features beautiful square-shaped watches. The Tetra Ode to Joy is actually a tribute to Beethoven, who composed the music for Ode to Joy.
It comes in a square stainless steel case paired with a Velour leather strap in grey. The dial features a really nice shade of olive green along with numbers, markers, and hands in a white/gold colour. There is also a sub-dial at 6 o’clock for the small seconds component. Moving on, this watch runs on an in-house calibre movement (Alpha), which makes use of 17 jewels. Lastly, it has a 43-hour power reserve and a water resistance of up to 30 metres.
The colour combination of this particular model paired with the thin font of the numbers really give a minimalist vibe. For those who wish to go beyond the usual round-shaped watches, then this is a lovely minimalist option.
12. Komono Winston Regal Cognac
Next up is yet another piece from Komono called the Komono Winston Regal Cognac. This watch lives up to its name as it does have a subdued regal vibe to it. It is a minimalist watch that screams luxury and classic all at once.
This piece comes in an alloy case paired with an interchangeable Italian leather strap. It features a black dial that has small Arabic numerals, indexes, and hands all in black as well. Furthermore, the Winston Regal Cognac runs on a Japanese quartz movement and has a 30m water resistance. This is a lovely option for a classic minimalist watch.
13. Junghans Max Bill Automatic
The Junghans Max Bill range is a collection that embodies minimalism and modernity. The Junghans Max Bill Automatic, in particular, has a very simple and straightforward design, making it a great minimalist watch overall. It comes in a stainless steel PVD-coated case paired with a beige calf leather strap. The dial has a matte white finish and luminescent hands. In addition, it also had thin indexes and a date component at 3 o’clock.
In terms of technical details, this watch runs on the self-winding automatic Calibre J8001 movement. It also has a power reserve of 38 hours and a water resistance of up to 30 metres. The Junghans Max Bill Automatic is a simple minimalist watch that embraces classic and modern times.
14. Skagen Hagen Leather
Skagen is another Danish brand that also upholds Nordic heritage and sustainability. They are focused on leaving their mark in the watch industry whilst lessening their carbon footprint on Earth. One of their goals is to design and produce pieces that are compliant to their sustainability initiatives by 2025. This shows that Skagen is also a brand that upholds minimalism in both design and values.
The Skagen Hagen Leather Watch comes in a stainless steel case paired with a leather strap. The white dial features hour markers, hands, and a small seconds component. The sub-dial for the seconds include numerals in grey, red, and yellow. This allows the watch to have a nice pop of colour amidst the lightness of the dial. Lastly, it runs on a quartz movement and has a water resistance of up to 50 metres. Again, this is an excellent piece for those who are looking for eco-friendly, functional, and minimalist pieces.
15. A. Lange & Söhne Saxonia Thin
Last but not the least, we have a piece from the German brand A. Lange & Söhne. They are a company that upholds innovation, artistry, and imagination. These values are clear in the timepieces they create especially since they also incorporate intricacy in both design and functions.
Some people may think that this piece shouldn’t be a minimalist watch since it is so colourful and whatnot. However, minimalism in design does not equate to using the bare minimum. Somestimes, it means being able to create a piece that is subtle and visually appealing. The Saxonia Thin is a great example of this. This piece comes in a white gold case paired with a leather strap. The black dial is decorated with different coloured specs that gives off a galaxy-ish vibe. It also includes indexes and rhodium gold hands. Lastly, it runs on the calibre L093.1 movement.
The colourful dots really blend well with all the components of the watch, which makes it aesthetically pleasing instead of overwhelming. Overall, I think this piece is a perfect option for those who understand that minimalism isn’t restricted to subdued colours.
Minimalism in design is more than just plain and unadorned layouts. It is about finding a balance between a certain style and functionality as a whole. Minimalism as a lifestyle is also more than just cleaning out your closet. Sometimes, it entails making sustainable choices in your everyday life. Ultimately, finding the right minimalist watch for you is about considering which of these things matter to you.
If you’re interested in more watch lists, then check out this article on ceramic watches.
Photo credits: All photos courtesy of the respective brands