There was a time when a certain type of man would show off how much money he had by wearing the largest watch possible. Picture Russ Hanneman from Silicon Valley complaining about his supercar with doors that go “like this and not like *this*”
Thankfully, men’s watch tastes have become more refined. The days of watch cases measuring in the upper 40s (in millimeters) have passed, for the most part. Today, more guys recognize that bigger isn’t always better, and that finding a watch that works with the proportions of your body is more important than one that can hold more diamonds in the bezel.
There will always be a place for great tool and dive watches like the Rolex GMT-Master II. But more and more timepiece connoisseurs are recognizing that size matters in a different way—and opting for ultra-thin watches that represent both the height of sophistication and engineering.
If you’re looking to lighten the load on your wrist, then give one of these slim watches a try.
DANIEL WELLINGTON DAPPER DURHAM
Daniel Wellington watches stand out for their distinguished looks and reasonable prices. Featuring a Japanese quartz movement inside a 7-millimeter case, the Dapper Durham is a little dressier than the brand’s Classic model, thanks to the Roman numerals on the dial.
CITIZEN ECO-DRIVE ONE
There is thin, and then there is the new Eco-Drive One, which comes out this fall from Citizen. The new watch has a case that is a scant 2.98 millimeters thick. The light-powered movement that runs the timepiece has 85 components and still measures just a single millimeter. Because of its wafer-thin shape, the Eco-Drive One looks incredibly sleek on the wrist, but with a case made from a combination of ceramic and metal, it has the strength needed for everyday wear.
CARTIER TANK LOUIS CARTIER
There are few watches that are more recognizable than the Cartier Tank. It is still considered by many to be the quintessential dress watch, with its Art Deco dial and elegant rectangular case. This is the style worn by Louis Cartier himself and has a slim 6.35-millimeter case that looks distinguished in yellow gold with an alligator strap. There are few meetings you can walk into where this watch won’t turn heads.
JAEGER-LECOULTRE MASTER ULTRA THIN MOON
At 9.9 millimeters, this might be one of the thicker “thin” watches. But when you consider that its self-winding movement is made up of 253 different pieces, that seems skinny. The watch can tell you the phases of the moon which is one of the cooler watch complications there is. The aesthetics are understated yet distinguished, pairing the pink-gold case and hands against a slate grey dial.
BULGARI OCTO FINISSIMO
The Octo Finissimo is a study in proper proportions. The 40-millimeter platinum case is sizable but not hulking and the diameter is nicely offset by the thinness. The Octo has a 2.23-millimeter movement housed in a 5-millimeter case so the watch doesn’t feel the least bit chunky. The transparent caseback reveals all the inner workings of the watch and also features a helpful power reserve indicator. The dial is a black lacquer with polished silver indexes, making it a terrific option to wear for black tie functions.
BREGUET TOURBILLON EXTRA-PLAT 5377
Abraham-Louis Breguet invented the tourbillon, a device used to counteract the effects of gravity on a watch’s accuracy, so it makes sense that the company that bears his name would craft an exquisitely thin tourbillon timepiece. The Extra-Plat 5377 features a 7-millimeter case, which was the thinnest automatic tourbillon in the world when it was first released. The design details on the dial and the case are nothing short of remarkable.