Less Is More : The Art of the Ultra Thin Watch

Richard Mille RM 017

Titanium $375,000; red gold $395,000; white gold $405,000

Richard Mille’s watches practically define modern watchmaking –he pioneered the use of exotic materials taken from such worlds as Formula 1 racing and the aerospace industry, and brought a whole new design language to the world of watchmaking. The RM 017 integrates this next generation with one of the most traditional complications: the tourbillon.  Housed in a thin, sensuously curved gold case, the RM 017’s titanium and black PVD movement is visible through the transparent dial, with the tourbillon cage rotating not in a conventional jeweled bearing, but in a high tech ceramic for reduced friction and improved resistance to wear.

Zenith Elite 681 Ultra Thin

Rose gold $11,000

Zenith’s most enduring legacy is its El Primero chronograph, which was the world’s first self-winding chronograph when it was introduced in 1969.  Though the firm has created some very unusual designs in recent years, it has never lost touch with its roots in the world of classical fine watchmaking. Some of the best evidence of its firm grasp of watchmaking’s most enduring values is the Elite 681 Ultra Thin.  Housed in a slim,  rose gold or stainless steel case, with diamond hour markers and a small seconds display at 9:00, the Elite 681 offers a spare, impressively straightforward interpretation of the classic men’s dress watch that’s versatile enough to go casual as well.

Ralph Lauren Square Slim Classique


The idea of a Ralph Lauren watch collection might have been surprising to watch connoisseurs when it was first introduced a few years ago, but since then many have been won over by the same perfectionism and obsession with detail for which he’s famous for as a designer.  Born out of the same love of elegant design and precise machinery that led him to create one of the world’s most famous car collections, Ralph Lauren’s timepieces draw their inspiration from many sources. At just under 28mm wide and only 5.75mm thick, The Art Deco era influenced Square Slim Classique is a retro-chic exercise in flat-out elegance.