Nothing is more challenging then to design a pure and simple watch. All of a sudden every little single detail can make or break the design, having an impact influences the entire perception of the watch. It is a true balancing act, that some brands have mastered. Here are a few examples of those that did.
Zenith Elite 6150
With the Elite 6150, Zenith incorporated the old with the new. A vintage looking silvered dial, decorated with a sunray pattern, is fitted in a 42 mm case. Zenith’s designers played in a very clever way with alternating dashes and double dashes, making the dial look minimalist yet refreshingly different at the same time. That is the unusual power that some details can yield. Zenith also kept the text to the minimum on the dial, only indicating that what really matters. They don’t even show off the generous 4-day power reserve of the automatic caliber Elite 6150, one of Zenith’s many manufacture movements.
IWC Portofino Hand-Wound Pure Classic
IWC couldn’t have been more right when they named this Portofino “Pure Classic”. It continues the amazing legacy that the brand actually nurtured since the very beginning, and brought to heights in the 1950’s with the famous Caliber 89. With its two leaf shaped hands and Roman numerals only at the twelve and six o’clock position, the IWC Portofino Hand-Wound Pure Classic brings a lot of character to the wrist. Because of its 43.5mm wide case, this will not go unnoticed. The Portofino actually needs that space to fit in manufacture caliber 59060, which boasts an 8-day power reserve, which can be viewed from the back. Of course, the finishing touch on this watch is the refined Santoni-strap.
Jaeger-leCoultre Master Ultra Thin 1907
The Portugieser Constant-Force Tourbillon Edition “150 Years” has a much less busy dial. At 1 o’clock there is a moon phase display that only needs to be corrected by a day following 577.5 decades. Below the moon phase display at about 4:30 is a power reserve indicator. Ultimately, we have the highlight of this opinion, the large tourbillon featuring a constant-force mechanism which delivers power in even impulses into the escapement. In theory, this should enhance the chronometric operation of the movement.The motion in this part is the hand-wound IWC grade 94805, which defeats at a leisurely 2.5Hz and features 96 hours of power reserve. The movement could be admired through a sapphire display caseback and includes an inlaid insignia that celebrates the 150th anniversary of the brand.These two highly complex particular anniversary watches will likely be generated in extremely tiny numbers. IW504501) will be produced with a price of $110,000. On the other hand, the IWC Portugieser Constant-Force Tourbillon Edition “150 Years” (Ref. IW590202) is limited to only 15 pieces for a price of $253,000. IWC has had a recent flurry of activity — from updating its Portugieser chronograph to a spate of new Pilot watches including a limited edition tribute. The brand has also introduced two of its Portugieser watches, the IWC Portugieser Chronograph along with the IWC Portugieser Automatic in new blue dial variants with stainless steel cases. Together with the trend firmly established across the market, core sets and popular models having a blue dial is an easy way for brands to give something fresh.
Another brand that has quite a reputation on making exquisite, yet understated watches is Jaeger-LeCoultre. With the Master Ultra Thin 1907, they proved once more why this is the case. An elegant dial hides the 1.85mm ultra-slim manual wind movement. This allowed Jaeger-LeCoultre to fit it in a case with an overall height of just 4.05mm. To accomplish this the markers on the dial are printed, and the hands set in very close proximity to the dial. Just another testimony that making pure looking watches, is not simple at all!