After much persuasion, I’ve managed to get The Man About Time to talk about the slim watch trend and how they can be incorporated into your styles. Here he casts his eye over some of the best offerings around, covering all budgets and fashions, giving advice and reviewing top designs.
Fashions come and fashions go, in wristwatches as much as any other wearable item, but slim, simple and elegant watches are never out of style. However they are not entirely immune to fashion and most have grown to slightly larger diameters in the last five years though, despite this expansion, they have retained the ability to slide discretely under a gentleman’s cuff. As usual you can pay stratospheric prices for the simplest mechanical pieces with Piaget’s Altiplano being one of the peaks in perfection (and price) but, for those of us on a more limited budget, there are some simply stunning quartz offerings which are well worth considering. Take a look at these five pieces which exemplify ‘Elegant Simplicity’.
Paget have been crafting watches since1874 and their quest for simple perfection has resulted in their Altiplano automatic timepiece. At 5.25mm thin with a 38 mm diameter it is priced around £17,200 and is ideal for those amongst us with slimmer wrists but considerably fatter wallets. However, although perhaps more of a dream watch than a piece of everyday style it serves as a reminder of the qualities we are seeking in this category of timepiece. http://en.piaget.com/
Nomos are located in Glasshutte, Germany, and are one of the least expensive brands that manufacture their products, including the movements ‘in house’. They have a small but increasing range of slim watches which combine crisp design with precisely engineered detailing. They offer manual wind and automatic versions of most models and their Tango and Tangomat models have developed a cult following in Europe. Our favourite is the Orion which has a slightly more classic look and is available in two sizes (33mm and 38mm) with date function. Its proportions look just right and, on the wrist, it wears as a nice compromise between the trend for larger watches and more discreet elegance. It is the ideal dress watch which can be worn everyday and costs an entirely affordable (if you save up a little) £1610k in 38mm or £1920 if you want a date.
But what if you want the slimline look but simply cannot run to the Nomos range , Oris Dreyfuss, Hamilton or even Christopher Ward’s slightly chunkier but still very classy Malvern at £500 (or get a pre loved one on Ebay for around £185)? If so then help is at hand from an unlikely source! Scandinavia has been the home of minimalist design for a long time and brands like Skagen, Bering and Daniel Wellington all make use of quartz movements to deliver ultra slim watches which work from the office to the night out.
Skagen’s ice cool style has been around for a while now in various guises and models but the linking factor has always been the completely clean lines which have become their calling card. One of the distinguishing characteristics is that, unlike a lot of other slim watches, they work spectacularly well with their equally cool bracelets. The Anchor steel mesh watch and Theodore leather band watch are both quite stunning and at 39mm perfectly sized. Prices are £165 or £110 respectively.
Bering are another Scandinavian manufacturer with a penchant for slimline elegance which they combine with some high tech materials to deliver smooth, light, and technically interesting watches at very attractive prices. Their collections include models with both titanium and ceramic cases. The Milanese Silver with mesh bracelet shown above sells for £179 and makes an easy transition from workwear to formal. Alternatively, if you feel a little more like splashing out you could always buy the leather strap alternative (also £179) as well and just alternate. Again it is worth checking their website (http://www.beringtime.de/) to see their entire range before making a final choice.
Also hailing from Scandinavia is the somewhat deceptively named Daniel Wellington brand. They are aiming for a ‘preppy’ look but have developed designs which transcend that label. As you might guess, there is a back story to the name. Read it whilst checking out the range at www.danielwellington.com. Prices are in the same ranges as Skagen or Bering but the style is just a little different and they argue that it is heavily influenced by British qualities. Daniel Wellington men’s watches are intended to be worn either with NATO straps or with leather and both are available directly from the company as accessories and easily interchangable. Available in Steel or Rose Goldclour there are three models; Classic, Grace and Dapper. The Classic St Mawes (recently renamed from St Andrews – go figure) shown is £179 and only 6mm thick. As we write this St Andrews versions are available on Amazon for £105! We do have to declare an interest in this brand because our own Male Stylist has a Daniel Wellington as his everyday wristwear.