The 14 Best Minimalist Watches You Can Buy

Sleek & Stylish

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Watches can be subtly stylish or ostentatious, and are a great way to showcase a bit of personality and style in a piece of jewelry that’s functional and useful. Despite the prevalence of checking your phone to know the time, watches are still a popular way to convey professionalism. If you’re searching for a stylish watch without the lavish look of diamonds, gold, or brightly patterned bands, these choices may be just what you’re looking for.

What You Should Know

  • 12MM band width
  • Water resistant
  • Available in a range of colors and styles

Timeless and stylish, Kate Spade’s Park Row watch is a simple but lovely statement piece that’s eminently functional. Numbers on the face, rather than dashes, make it quick and easy to read, and the 12mm band is narrow enough not to overwhelm if it’s worn with jewelry. Available in a solid black or white band, this rich blue brings a touch more personality while still eschewing diamonds or other decorative elements.

Review Highlights

“I’ve gone through 4 different watches in the last year and this one’s the best! Easy to read, super slim profile, nice looking with most outfits (dressing up or down), very comfortable, and durable.”

What You Should Know

  • Available in a range of band and face colors
  • Date window and hour/minute dashes
  • 9″ Calfskin band with buckle closure

An affordable option with classic styling, the Sentry comes in a range of styles to fit every aesthetic and lifestyle. Water resistant but not waterproof, you’ll be safe for short excursions or brief swims but shouldn’t dive wearing this watch. The leather band can age in a variety of ways, many of which will darken the natural leather colors over time; if you want a watch where this is less detectable, starting with a dark or black leather band can minimize visible aging.

Review Highlights

“My boyfriend has worn his watch every day since I gave it to him 3 months ago, and it still looks amazing.”

What You Should Know

  • Created for Macy’s by DKNY
  • Three-hand quartz movement
  • Rose gold-tone stainless steel

This fashion-forward 34mm version of the classic SOHO watch looks more natural on small wrists than the previous 38mm design, offering a bold look that doesn’t overwhelm. The face is free of diamonds or other stones, and it’s eminently functional, with hour dashes and a second hand. When buying jewelry, it’s important to remember that any sort of gold-tone is a plating that can eventually wear down, so it’s important both to protect the watch appropriately, and to pursue any coverage offered by sellers, such as Macy’s WorryNoMore plan.

Review Highlights

“Bold yet classic for a woman to wear. I have small wrists and its a great fit. Love the watch.”

What You Should Know

  • Swiss quartz movement
  • 39mm stainless steel case
  • Water resistant

More traditional than a leather band but sturdier than gold, this stainless steel watch is durable enough to survive hard working environments, and classically stylish enough for the office — a watch that’s suitable for all occasions and 365 day a year wear. Though it’s certainly not cheap, it’s more affordable and less ostentatious option than many of Movado’s diamond or gold accented bands, while still bringing all the quality expected from a Swiss watch.

Review Highlights

“It is truly a beautiful watch in every way… A real statement piece!”

What You Should Know

  • Smart watch with rechargeable battery
  • Answer calls and texts 
  • Helps monitor your health

Keep in touch while on the go with the Garmin vívomove. See messages, push notifications, and even control that workout playlist you’re streaming on your phone. The fitness tracking aspect of this watch sets it apart among the competition, with sleep and heart rate monitoring. With the hybrid of analog timekeeping and digital touch interface, you’ll get the most out of every aspect of this smart watch, including battery life. The rechargeable battery lasts five days in smart operations or for two weeks in watch-only mode.

Review Highlights

“I love this watch- it is so beautiful, looks like a regular watch, with all of the functions I’ve been looking for. Love that it has the smart watch option and tracks my heart rate and sleep. Definitely well worth the investment and I get compliments on it all the time!”

What You Should Know

  • Fits any 22mm Fossil band
  • Date tracker 
  • Comes in four color options

Any watch in Fossil’s Commuter line effortlessly bridges the work or weekend style divide, and this three hand option with quartz crystal movement is no exception. Leather watch bands are often more comfortable to wear while using a keyboard or tablet, since they fit more snugly and don’t click against the keyboard or screen, so this watch is a great choice for writers, artists, or anyone determined to clear a few hundred emails out of their inbox.

Review Highlights

“Exactly what I wanted. I wanted a relatively minimal watch that also shows the date and had a pop of color. I got exactly what I was looking for. The blue face is perfect. I swapped out the leather strap with gray silicone for every day use, but swap the leather back on for fancier fare.”

What You Should Know

  • Digital hand movement
  • Heart rate display
  • 40mm case for ease of viewing

Samsung’s Galaxy Active watch maintains iOS compatibility, so swapping phones won’t mean having to give up your smart watch too. Heart rate monitoring and gorilla glass protection make this a good watch for workouts, but automatic exercise detection and proactive reminders to wind down before bedtime make it a tool to address your whole approach to your health, from sleep to stress to activity levels.

Review Highlights

“I’ve been shopping for a smart watch for longer than I care to admit. I’m so happy I didn’t settle! I’ve had this for about a month now and am still finding fun new settings and features.”

What You Should Know

  • Unisex design
  • Magnetic clasp
  • Safe to wear swimming

Track your heart rate while out for a run, and pop in to the corner store and pay for a sports drink, all with this smart watch. Google assistant functionality lets you set location-based reminders too, so you’ll always get that last minute prompt to check the mail or take out the trash. Magnetic charging and a 24-hour battery life keep this watch ready to go whenever you need it to.

Review Highlights

“This smartwatch is one of the smaller ones out there and I really enjoy that it doesn’t look bulky or gaudy on my smaller wrists. I get compliments on it’s aesthetic all the time.”

What You Should Know

  • Rose gold 40mm case
  • Bluetooth and app controls
  • Fits 20mm straps

This women’s hybrid watch is smart, but stealthy about it. With a classic design and lack of visible bells and whistles, it’s the perfect smart assistant; discreetly sharing important information without drawing too much attention. The Phone Finder mode helps keep you organized and out the door faster during busy mornings. Since it uses a coin-cell battery, you can spend more time wearing this watch and less time charging it.

Review Highlights

“To most it looks just like a fashion watch – stylish in rose gold with a large watch face and practical leather strap but underneath the watch measures your steps, monitors your sleep and provides notifications from your mobile phone”

What You Should Know

  • Solar powered
  • Date window
  • Quartz movement and analog display

Outdoorsy types will love this solar-powered watch by Citizen. The calfskin leather band with stainless accents prevents the pinching or hair-pulling that sometimes happens with all metal bands, while still offering the structured look metal accents provide. The edge-to-edge glass design is reminiscent of glass phone screens. Thin and very minimalist, with slim hour and minute hands and no second hand, it’s a dressy watch that may take a few days to master.

Review Highlights

“A really excellent watch. It’s simple, understated and elegant.. If you like the idea of a black “minimalist” then I don’t believe you can find a better watch…especially in this price range.”

What You Should Know

  • Faux leather strap
  • Highly affordable
  • Easy to read

Target’s A New Day house brand offers an inexpensive yet stylish everyday watch that’s easy to read and neutral enough to go with any outfit, transitioning seamlessly from day to night wear. With roman numerals at the 12 and 6 and line markers for both hours and minutes, it’s easy to read and comfortable to wear.

Review Highlights

“For the price, this is a great watch. It’s very simple but not boring at all.”

What You Should Know

  • If purchasing from Amazon, verify “Shipped and Sold By” info
  • 21mm band width
  • Domed display

With a mix of numerals and index dashes, you’ll be able to ascertain the time at a glance, and the inset seconds timer is a stylish addition to this sundial-esque aesthetic. For the mechanically minded, the see-through back makes it possible to observe the watch working, sure to please any recipient of this understated piece.

Review Highlights

“This is my first Orient and my first automatic but it certainly won’t be my last. It’s just beautifully made and exudes old-fashioned charm and elegance without calling undue attention to itself with flashy bells and whistles.”

What You Should Know

  • See-through caseback
  • Vintage style
  • No batteries required

Effortlessly cool, this Seiko watch marries old-school style with three-hand movement design. This watch will never need replacement batteries, as it’s powered by the wearer’s wrist movements. Perfect for nostalgia lovers or anyone who enjoys a retro aesthetic.

Review Highlights

“This watch looks so much better in person. The green is very saturated color; it almost looks like enamel. The gold index markers contrast against the green face making it easy to read at a glance. The strap is good quality the stitching goes through the band; the cheaper bands only have top stitching. Seiko paid attention to all the details with this model.”

What You Should Know

  • 24-hour (GMT) markings
  • Water resistant
  • Scratch resistant crystal

With a 42mm case and a 22mm band, this is an almost imposing watch. With 24-hour time indication, it’s also a great gift choice for military members or retirees. Furthermore, the numeral markers for every hour combined with the size of the case make this watch somewhat easier to read than smaller, index only models — a plus for seniors or glasses-wearers of any age.

Review Highlights

“This watch is much nicer in person and is a treat to wear. I love the features of the new movement so much, much more than my more expensive watches.”


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