You’ve probably noticed by now that a lot of contemporary luxury watches are getting more and more, well, everything. One model will look edgier or more garish than the next, while another will claim to have the most number of complications yet.
But there are those times when all you want is a simple and straightforward watch that will tell you the time, period. While the heyday of those watches is long gone, some haute horlogerie houses still make models of a similar aesthetic. Here are three watches that definitely go for that subtle and understated message you’d want from time to time.
The fact that it’s a manual-winding watch only adds to the old-world allure of the Vacheron Constantin Patrimony Traditionelle 38mm watch. A couple of years after the first release of the Patrimony line, top horology house Vacheron Constantin adds – update would be the wrong word – to the collection with this manual mechanism piece.
Its design is beautiful in its sheer simplicity. A plain vanilla round rose gold case holds a slightly off white dial with baton indices and just a single no-numeral subdial at 6 o’clock. It’s symmetrical, straightforward and positively stunning.
Of a similar streak is the Piaget Altiplano collection, a series of watches that features a simple, slim white gold case and a plain dial with no markings other than the indices and the brand at 12 o’clock. Long, thin batons are used for the hour indices, and the hands are uncomplicated needle-like affairs. Measuring just 2.1mm thick, the Altiplano watches are very unobtrusive and can go with any outfit, event or occasion.
Yet even with its impossibly thin frame, each one of the Altiplano watches is equipped with a top-of-the-line Calibre 430P, created by Piaget’s team of master watchmakers. Behind the simplicity lies power and engineering born from over a century of haute horlogerie.
Timepieces like the ones in the Patrimony and the Altiplano collections are not common anymore, especially nowadays where there’s some one-upmanship between the houses in terms of features, complications and design. However, it’s still refreshing to know that, should you ever need this kind of simplicity, some of the best names are still willing to deliver.