Minimalist Timepieces That Make A Quiet Statement | Verve Magazine
India's premier luxury lifestyle women's magazine
Luxury & Brands
November 27, 2018

Minimalist Timepieces That Make A Quiet Statement

Text by Zaral Shah

Refined timepieces — simple, yet suave — have a charm of their own. This month, Verve zeroes in on timekeepers that strike the perfect balance between understated elegance and technical prowess

IWC Schaffhausen

To commemorate the company’s 150th anniversary, three new limited-edition Portofino models were unveiled by the Swiss watch manufacturer at the Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie earlier this year. And while the stunning design of the Portofino Hand-Wound Moon Phase and the Portofino Chronograph will instantly draw you in, it’s the modesty of the Portofino Automatic Edition “150 Years” that you are bound to love. Crafted in stainless steel with a blue lacquered dial and rhodium-plated hands, this timepiece is a fantastic example of the Portofino collection’s finesse.

A. Lange & Söhne

Staying true to the maison’s essence, the 1815 Chronograph is for precisionists. Arabic numerals and the railway-track minute scale — both hallmarks of the 1815 watch family — serve as a sophisticated periphery, enclosing within it a subsidiary dial for the minute counter at 4 o’clock and another subsidiary seconds dial at 8 o’clock. A sleek chronograph sweep seconds hand, activated with a pusher at 2 o’clock, indicates the time with a resolution of one-fifth of a second — it’s like poetry in motion.


The Navitimer 1 Automatic 38 takes its cue from the 1950’s Reference 66 — the house’s first three-handed Navitimer — but has a distinct vibe. Representing a significant industry move to smaller dials, the 38 mm casing of this timepiece encloses a Breitling Caliber 17 movement which sits tastefully within the newly designed beaded and ratcheted bidirectional bezel.


Following in the brand’s long tradition of crafting ravishing timepieces for women, is this stunner from the new Trésor collection. Diamonds dot the curves of the dial, the face of which flaunts slim hands and transferred or embossed Roman numerals. Alongside a diamond, the crown is adorned by a red liquid ceramic flower. Fitted with a calibre 4061, these tickers are completed by a strap in fabric or leather and a special mirrored caseback flaunting a ‘Her Time’ design.


Complete with a double stepped bezel, thin profile and minimalist hands and indexes, the Villeret Grande Date Jour Rétrograde is a thing of beauty. It showcases the day of the week on an arc placed between 7 and 9 o’clock, the date between 5 and 6 o’clock and flaunts an elongated central seconds hand bearing the brand’s initials on its counterweight. And there’s reason for you to turn it over — through the clear caseback, you can see the exquisite Côtes de Genève finishing and honeycomb guilloché adorning the gold rotor.

Baume & Mercier

Simple and strong, the Complete Calendar is representative of the functions and smart aesthetic that define the exceptional Clifton collection. Armed with a self-winding movement within a 43 mm polished and satin-finished steel case, the elegance of the white dial is enhanced by an easy-to-read calendar, a blue hand indicating the date, two apertures to display the day and month, and an eye-catching moon phase.


Minimalism is often the epitome of grace, and there is no better way to describe this timekeeper. Marking the company’s 225th anniversary, the 1957 brings to your wrist a design greatly inspired by the artistic codes of their Gyromatic watches from the ’60s. The champagne-coloured retro dial is set with dauphine hands, while the stainless steel case is adorned with polished upper and brushed sides, enclosing the vintage dial under a sapphire glass — which is raised to resemble the plexiglasses that were used in the watch designs of the past.

Officine Panerai

Its slender profile makes it the perfect dress watch, one that can easily transition from being a day to an evening accessory. The Luminor Due 3 Days Automatic Oro Rosso — 38 mm, 11.20 mm thick, brings with it an ivory dial enclosed within a casing crafted entirely of 5NPt red gold — an 18-carat gold alloy significant for its high percentages of copper and small amount of platinum. Completed by a strap fashioned out of light blue alligator skin, this timepiece brings to mind the historic Luminor design perfected by the Italian house.

Raymond Weil

Arresting shades of blue take centre stage on this Maestro Blues wristwatch as its dark-hued dial enhanced with a delicate wave-like decoration steals the show. Captivating, yet clean and simple, the timepiece’s only break in palette comes from the rose-tone PVD case and screwed-down crown fluted with the iconic RW monogram, which perfectly complement the dial and blue genuine leather strap punctuated with white stitching.


Sitting stylishly on a blue alligator strap or a stainless steel bracelet are these fine timepieces from the Longines Elegant Collection. Available in five distinct sizes — 25, 29, 34.5, 37 and 39 mm — these watches with sunray blue dials and automatic movements are embodiments of the expert craftsmanship. The only other additional embellishment is the presence of hour markers, as indexes or diamonds, and baton-shaped rhodium plated hands that delicately tell the time.

Jaquet Droz

Add a touch of celestial wonder to your wardrobe with the Grande Seconde Moon Black Enamel. The double-level dial in black Grand Feu enamel is home to a self-winding mechanical movement. And even more brilliant than the 22-carat gold moon crowning a black onyx moon disk, is the unique mechanism which requires the moon phase to be corrected only once every 122 years! With a 68 hour power reserve, this 43 mm watch is something many will be pining for.

Sascha Moeri
CEO, Carl F. Bucherer on the brilliant Manero Tourbillon Double Peripheral and keeping the brand’s heritage alive

On his journey with the world of timepieces
“I grew up in the cradle of Swiss watchmaking. I was born and raised in Biel/Bienne — where the Swatch group’s headquarters are located, and where Rolex’s production is. There are plenty of suppliers based there; and so in my family, I have an uncle who is a watchmaker, a cousin who is working for a watch brand, and somehow everyone else is also linked to the watch industry.”

The first watch he owned
“It was an ATB — a private label, I got it when I won a mountain bike race. I was about 12 years old, and it was of course not of real value, but it was the first prize of a bike victory. The first ‘real’ watch I got was a Rado. It was a gift from my godfather, and I still have it!”

On staying true to the heritage
“Carl-Friedrich Bucherer founded the company 130 years ago. He handed the company to two of his sons, one of whom now helms it. This ensures that the knowledge is transferred as part of the legacy. And, it is all about the people. For instance, in our watch development department, the product management head has been with the company for over 40 years now. He is also a master of his craft and a great teacher to the younger generations.”

His favourite part of the art of watchmaking
“It is absolutely at the top, the very beginning — creating the ideas! To dream and imagine, what our next product could be, what it could look like, what movement it would have, what kind of size and colours — when there is nothing but an empty sheet of paper — that’s my favourite part.”

A 2018 house favourite is
“The Manero Tourbillon Double Peripheral! Because it’s really an innovation which is completely new and underlines the leadership and pioneer-ship we have from the technique of the peripheral rotor. We are the first company to really industrialise this system.”

On their different patrons around the world
“When you compare India to other Asian countries, the audience is quite different. I feel like the nice thing about what we are doing is that we have a strong basic collection with five families, and all of those are a perfect match for each of the markets. And then within every collection in the family we have some variations in colours, materials and sizes. One thing which is quite common all over though is the need for vintage watches, for really classic timepieces. What I like about the people in India, is that they like colours. The last time I was in Mumbai, on the main street very close to the sea, it was Holi and we were dancing in colours.”

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