Three Affordable Minimalist Watches That You Should Look At

If you’re into a simple, minimalist look, finding the right watch for you can be difficult. Getting the right balance of simplicity and branding isn’t always straightforward with the amount of options out there. Then sometimes, when you’ve found the perfect watch, it turns out that it’s way out of your budget. Luckily for you, there are affordable minimalist watches out there that look will work perfectly. Here are three of them.

Swatch – Black Rebel

Black Rebel wrist watch by Swatch.
Swatch Black Rebel Watch

Swatch Group is one of the biggest names in the watch industry, period. In a previous article, we mentioned one of their brands, Hamilton, but that’s just one of many brands in their portfolio. As well as Swatch watches, the group also boasts one of the biggest brands in the world, Omega. Fortunately, our choice from Swatch is nowhere near Omega’s price range. Our first minimalist watch choice is the Black Rebel by Swatch.

Stealth Mode

The Black Rebel watch by Swatch goes full ‘stealth mode’ with a black strap, case, dial and hands. Even the date window is black. Yes, it may be a little hard to look at in the dark, but it’s clean, cool look is undeniable. If you can’t look past the slight impracticality of having an all-black watch, there’s also an all-white version aptly named the White Rebel. Both are options that will catch eyes but will do it without taking control of the conversation.

Solid Watch Movement

The Black Rebel is powered by a quartz movement and has 3 bar water resistance. Not something that will set the world alight but enough to get you through your standard day. This isn’t going to be the watch you choose to go deep sea diving or out in the wilderness with for obvious reasons. However, it will be one you will look at completing your look.

Sustainable Design

If the sleek design of the Black Rebel watch wasn’t enough to make the purchase, the sustainability might help. Swatch are known for their BIOCERAMIC material that they use for some of their collection, including the incredibly successful Moonswatch range. Although not BIOCERAMIC, the Black Rebel uses bio sourced materials for the strap, clasp and case of the watch.


Lastly, and most importantly, the watch comes at a really accessible price. A strong look, a decent movement and water resistance, and environmentally friendly construction, all for well under £100. It’s hard to turn this down for the price. 

Projects Watches – Kazimir Blue

Someone wearing the Kazimir Blue watch from Projects Watches.
Kazimir Blue watch by Projects Watches

Instead of using the term minimalist to describe a watch that looks simple and doesn’t have too much going on, this watch is actually inspired by the art movement. The Kazimir Blue is a watch from Projects Watches and is designed by design and architecture studio Denis Guidone.

A True Minimalist Watch

The first thing that grabs about this watch is its minimalist dial. Three chunky blocks of colour are used as second, minute and hour hands and sit in front of a plain white canvas. That’s it. No branding. No minute markers. The lack of markings definitely moves the watch closer to art piece than timepiece territory, but fortunately, the watch is legible and easy to understand at a quick glance.

Accessible Case Size

The unique dial is set inside a 37mm black stainless steel case, making sure that it isn’t too overpowering. The watch might feel too bold if it was in 40mm territory, so shrinking it to 37mm is a great balance. This also means that the watch is suitable for those with smaller wrists, as the 41mm case size on the Black Rebel might be off-putting for some.

Considered Watch Design

The watch is finished off with a black silicone strap, helping focus attention to the dial. The matte texture of the silicone is a really nice touch and fits the style of the watch face. Another really nice detail on this watch is the fact that the straps are integrated into the back of the watch case, meaning the case of the watch is uninterrupted by lugs. From an aesthetic perspective this looks great as the uninterrupted circle of the case is consistent with the simplicity that dial is trying to convey. Lugs on the top and bottom may feel a bit too clunky.

Other Unique Options

If the Kazimir Blue isn’t your thing, Projects Watches have a variety of other watches from other designers. There are a range of different designs on offer, including some that focus on minimalist design. Their site is definitely worth exploring, especially if you’re looking for a unique watch that stands out from the crowd. Amazon also sell a selection of watches from the Projects Watches collection, great if you you’re looking to use your gift card balance.

Timex – Marlin Automatic

The Marlin Automatic watch by Timex.
Marlin Automatic watch by Timex

Our final option comes from another big watch brand – Timex. You may already be familiar with the watch brand, especially once you see a Weekender watch. However, our choice is a throwback to an old design they produced in the 1960s called the Marlin Automatic.

Vintage Inspired

The face of the watch has an elegant silver sunburst finish, providing a simple yet effective canvas for the details. The minute and hour markers are understated and come with slim and simple hands. To top it off, the text on the watch comes in a clean sans serif font. The straight up, no nonsense text adds a crisp edge to the watch that helps add a bit of character without making it feel ornate.

Automatic Movement

As the name suggests, the Timex Marlin Automatic is the only watch on the list to be, well, automatic. The 21 jewel movement has a 40 hour power reserve, more than enough to keep ticking until you put it back on in the morning. The automatic movement sits inside a 40mm diameter case. Meaning, each watch mentioned here is a different size which is great for those who either know what size watch they want or want to test and try a few different sizes.

Classic Crystal and Strap

Finishing off the watch are a classic acrylic crystal and leather watch strap. The acrylic crystal isn’t as durable as its sapphire counterpart, but is definitely in keeping with what would have been used in the 60s, where its inspiration comes from. The dark brown leather strap is also a perfect homage to the classic watch era, pairing nicely with the dial and case.

All of the elements of the watch come together to create a clean vintage style watch. Unlike an actual vintage watch, the Marlin comes without the worry of durability. The inoffensive text font and size help add a bit of structure to the dial and don’t take away from the simple and functional hands and dial markers. This watch is a great option for someone who wants something uncomplicated but is still rooted in history.

Final Thoughts

These three options offer some fantastic options for someone looking for minimalist watches. Whether you’re wanting something traditional that’s a little cleaner from the Marlin or ready to go full minimalist with the Kazimir (or somewhere in between with the Black Rebel), each watch holds its own in terms of style and function. The Timex and Swatch watches carry history and an expectation of quality, whereas the Projects Watches option offers something off the beaten path, likely to be a conversation starter when others see it for the first time. 

Whichever option you choose, rest easy knowing you’ve found a watch with a strong minimalist design that doesn’t break the bank.

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