The Best Minimalist Watches to Buy Right Now (Because You Just Want to Know the Time)

No-fuss minimalist watches help clear the mind.

The minimalist watch is for the man that has no time for bullshit. Life’s complicated enough. The quiet girlfriend is hard to read. The red dot on your nose grows into a pregnant zit. The boss pings you in the middle of the night. What you need is something that won’t add to the worries, the noise, or the zits of the day.

Stripped of bells and whistles, the traditional markers that herald the triumph of horology, these minimalist watches offer peace, quiet, and the ability to discern immediately if you can turn off the work chatbox already. In other words, these clean-faced tickers spit out the truth (the time!) at a glance. Which, in a watch, is what you’re looking for, right?

Leupp Ito Black QR

Photo by Leupp.

Nothing to see here but the most important things: white hour and minute hands on a dark face, a high contrast scheme that increases legibility. The matte black case underlines the stealthy feel, while the square shape keeps things interesting.


If you’re wondering about the “QR” in the name, it denotes the watch’s quick-release strap, which allows you to switch between Leupp bands in a snap. One more thing: It really does make life easy. This minimalist watch is genderless, comes with a digital manual, and has a minimalist price of P1,999.

Cartier Tank Must

Photo by Watches and Wonders, Cartier.

In case you haven’t heard, we’re a little bit obsessed with Cartier watches. Apart from their role in putting watches on our wrist instead of on chains in our pockets, these are just very elegant creations.

Unveiled at the recently concluded Watches and Wonders, one of the biggest watch events of the year, the Cartier Tank Must is the latest luxury model to drool over. And wouldn’t you know it, the Tank Must comes in minimalist flavors with monochromatic editions in blue, red, and green—the brand’s colors. Of course, this arrives in that unmistakable Tank shape, which was inspired by the Renault FT tanks of World War I.

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If you’re itching for watch cred or just an admirer of VVBTs (very, very beautiful things), do not delay. The monotone Tank Must watches are limited editions.

Timex Fairfield

Photo by Timex.

Back to reality: The Timex Fairfield is a constant and a favorite of minimalist watch lovers. Apart from its clean lines and no-fuss design—slim bars all around for hour and minute hands and markers—what we like is this particular combination, a solid blue face paired with a double-layer caramel band, which is a classic color pairing much like a blue suit with brown DB monks. What we also like is its generous size. No squinting here.

D1 Milano Ultra Thin

Photo by D1 Milano.

Ah, yes, this one reminds you of luxury watches with a similar octagonal, shape-in-shape vibe. The man across the table trying his damndest to ascertain if this is that watch and you are that man won’t be able to tell it is not. But even if he does find out that your minimalist watch is the D1 Milano Ultra Thin (and not a luxury timepiece), there’s nothing to hide.

The watch is a dependable wrist machine: The unobtrusive design coupled with a slim footprint (the case thickness is six millimeters) makes it the watch for hanging out as well as going out. Plus, it’s in stainless steel, making it not too precious. You won’t need to hide this in a vault.

Nomos Glashutte Orion White

Photo by Nomos Glashütte.

Any of the 13 styles of German watchmaker Nomos Glashutte will fulfill your need for minimalist watches. But out of all its models, from the square Tetra to the new Metro Neomatic (from Watches and Wonders), we’re drawn to the Orion White, because, well, how can you beat its supremely minimalist presentation?


Simply, this is a big, round watch in blissful white. To complement that purity, there are silver-plated hands, rhodium-plated indexes, and a black Cordovan leather band. More important, German precision is included in the package with Nomos’ manually wound Alpha caliber beating under its hood.

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Clifford Olanday
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