Keep It Cool With A Clean Dial
When I think of the dial of a Breitling timepiece I think of a cool, yet totally non-minimalist watch. As timepieces are instruments, there is something endearing – and perhaps reassuring – about a dial with a range of hands, indicators and markers on it. Having said that, we are drawn to minimalism and elegance because it represents a more simple side of life that we crave. Nevertheless, we also demand performance and durability. So, let’s look at five sport watches with minimalist dial designs for those who like to mix a degree of elegance with their activity.
This is simple and very satisfying, offering a minimalised dial among an already minimalised collection. The Panerai Luminor ref. PAM219 (pictured top) and others like it take the core essence of a Panerai watch design and distill it down to just the iconic hands and hour markers. Panerai was designed to be easily legible underwater in the 1930’s and has since remained a relatively clutter-free dial, which has helped the brand achieve continued success among a core group of fans. The PAM219 is 44mm wide with a very simple manually wound movement, which on this model the distinctive Panerai crown guard is placed on the left, versus right side of the case.
For 2013, IWC released a completely new version of their famous Ingenieur watch collection. The new piece borrowed from the original concept of the Ingenieur from over 50 years ago, as well as from the Gerald Genta designed version from about 30 years ago. At 40mm wide this sporty yet dressy Ingenieur timepiece was designed to be versatile but also durable. The case is water resistant to 120 metres and also impressively anti-magnetic. On the included steel metal bracelet the new Ingenieur has a simple three-hand dial and personality that can easily go from work to play.
In the 1960’s, when Heuer first released the Carrera it was meant to be a lifestyle racing watch for those interested in watches and driving fast cars. One of the most successful timepiece collections in history, the Carrera remains a solid sports watch but also comes in a more simple form. The Carrera Calibre 5 Automatic is perhaps the most simple and minimalistic version of the Carrera available. The three-hand dial has just hour markers and bold hands moving the minute markers to a flange ring around the case. At 39mm wide on a bracelet it wears modestly but still makes an attractive and sporty statement.
A minimalist Hublot? That isn’t a statement you see very often. The brand known for its impressively futuristic sports watch designs does have a more simple side, and that side is the Classic Fusion watch collection. The basic three hand models are the best, offering extremely legibility with many of the characteristic traits that make a Hublot. These include the brand’s distinctive hands, hour markers and use of diverse materials. This 45mm wide model combines a ceramic bezel with a polished, brushed titanium case matched to a black alligator strap. The case design combines elements of the original Hublot brand from the 1980’s along with design elements from Hublot’s famous Big Bang collection.
It took almost 40 years but eventually Audemars Piguet released a bona fide diving watch version of their iconic nautically themed Royal Oak from 2012. The Royal Oak Offshore diver may not be as minimalistic in design as the original Royal Oak, but it is much more of a sports watch with its 300 metres of water resistance, internal rotating bezel and high-end snug rubber strap. The 42mm wide case comes in materials ranging from steel to ceramic and offers the core look and feel of a Royal Oak Offshore with a more simplistic, elegant dial that is reminiscent of the classic original Royal Oak.