Leonardo da Vinci once said, “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” Although this most famous Renaissance figure preceded the earliest watches by mere decades, his idea has stood the test of time. This fall, Swiss watchmakers are embracing simple and timeless designs: Clean lines, uncomplicated dials, thin and seamless construction, and straightforward materials are taking the market by storm—and speaking to those who crave the uncluttered. Best of all? These finely crafted timepieces will make the right style statement for years to come—both in the boardroom and out on the town.
FROM LEFT Bulgari set a new record with its Octo Finissimo Automatic ($13,900), the slimmest self-winding watch on the market to date. The Caliber BVL 138 Finissimo mechanical manufacture movement is an outstanding 2.23mm thin—and has a 60-hour power reserve. The case is crafted from sandblasted titanium and houses a titanium dial with PVD-treated hands. It comes with both a titanium bracelet and alligator strap. Westime Sunset Plaza, 8569 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood, 310-289-0808; bulgari.com
Crafted in ethical rose gold, the Chopard L.U.C. XPS Twist QF Fairmined ($18,850) blends ethics with aesthetics and technical mastery in an ultra-thin case. The watch, whose slate-gray dial has a stamped sunburst design inspired by gold nuggets, earned the Fleurier Quality Foundation label after undergoing the industry’s most demanding certification protocol. The L.U.C. 96.09-L self-winding movement offers a 65-hour power reserve. Westime, 216 N. Rodeo Dr., Beverly Hills, 310-888-8880; chopard.com
To celebrate the 40th anniversary of the first precious-metal Royal Oaks, Audemars Piguet created a series of Royal Oak Extra Thin watches ($55,400) in 18k yellow gold. There are two distinct “Petite Tapisserie” patterned dials, one in the classic blue and another in vintage-inspired champagne. Both feature an ultra-thin, 3.05mm-thick self-winding Manufacture Caliber 2121 movement. 254 N. Rodeo Dr., Beverly Hills, 310-247-8181; audemarspiguet.com
Introduced at Baselworld, Tudor’s Heritage Black Bay 41 ($2,950) continues the aesthetic tradition of the iconic Black Bay line. The elegant lacquer dial is inspired by Tudor’s 1950s diving watches, and is complemented by the “snowflake”-style hands introduced in 1969. The flat sapphire crystal and steel case create a clean, minimalist look, which is customized by either a stainless bracelet, leather strap, or camouflage fabric band. Geary’s, 351 N. Beverly Dr., Beverly Hills, 310-273-4741; tudorwatch.com
An instant classic, the Richard Mille RM 67-01 Automatic Extra Flat tonneau ($86,500) boasts an ultrasleek caliber that’s a mere 3.6mm in thickness. Despite its thin profile, the watch maintains a visual depth, displaying the brand’s iconic skeletonized movement. Each case undergoes more than 215 separate machining operations, as well as extensive hand-brushing and-polishing, before the movement is mounted within its subtle lines. 222 N. Rodeo Dr., Beverly Hills, 310-285-9898; richardmille.com