Minimalistic designs have been around for decades. Bauhaus to mid-century modernists, the less-is-more outlook remains a big mainstay.

This whole watch-trip over the past few years I faced clichés of which branding watch designs  as ‘timeless’ or ‘heavenly’ is the most abound. It doesn’t make sense. You can simply talk about minimalist watches instead. Their very deliberate lack of bells-and-whistles is their beauty; no need to shroud it with such abstract terms. Their clean aesthetics are appealing for being absolutely clutter-free and are a big relief from chunky, flashy, wrist-wrapping pieces.

The primary plus-point of a minimalist is they pair nicely with everything. Jeans, dinner jackets or a mix of the two – nothing quite can throw the clean lines and understated elegance off an ensemble. It’s great to see a few of them are now here as affordable quartz options, though not Swiss or German. Fossil is an American watchmaker that made some notable minimalistic pieces with thin case designs and strikingly modern aesthetics. There’s a multitude of colors and strap designs to choose from. Fossil named it as the Minimalist collection only. It’s simple, easy to understand and an honest attempt to apply the minimalist philosophy to every element of these watches.

Case, strap, dial and the rest – all are very reminiscent of the different styles of Scandinavian arts; modern and simple. Same goes for their quartz movements. The large diameter of the Minimalist is balanced well with its thin profile; mostly as thick as the strap or bracelet it comes with. The solid case backs are uncluttered and you feel the span on your wrist. Fairly normal-sized watches by today’s standards, it is good to wear for light recreational swimming or not-so-harsh outdoors.

The mineral crystals are paper-flat and levels out with the stationary bezel; this reduces the case thickness up to a great deal. No more of timepieces snagging on a dress shirt!

The dials are sharp; nice and clean. That’s expected with the name. But the leather straps are plush; nothing stripped from them. There’s a wide range of strap options available to fit the Minimalist-s; try out what suits you the most.

Don’t seek a highly-refined, extravagant movement here. There are simple, analog, reasonably accurate, workhorse quartz movements to be found, providing the hours, minutes and seconds. Date or Day would be additional functions and would go against the nomenclature. A minimalist watch – in real – is expected to show only time. Those that show day/date or any other complication are minimalist-styled watches and are not truly minimalist.

The Fossil Minimalist range is overall an attractive range of reliable timepieces that don’t need much maintenance to keep running though simple, periodic cleaning never hurts. Buy one and wear it for 5 years before it’s time for a battery replacement.

Watches mentioned in this post are listed below. Click to see details and buy them:

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