written by:
August 31, 2015

Function may come first with wristwatches, but these high-performing watches prove that style does not have to be sacrificed. From minimalist and monochrome to bold and inventive, these eight watches have innovative design details that set them apart from standard watches. Be sure to check out the full collection of modern timepieces at the Dwell Store.

Simple wristwatch inspired by professional drafting

Inspired by the instruments used by professionals who produce technical drawings for engineers and architects—draftsmen—Japanese Design Studio Nendo designed the Draftsman watch series to celebrate this special craft. The Draftsman 01 Scale Watch’s face is based on the increments of a calibrated ruler and the hour indicators are printed directly to the sapphire glass lens, offering a distinctive yet subtle departure from traditional watches. 

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Sleek all-white watch with stainless steel case

The Picto Watch is a distinctive timepiece that is at once minimalist and graphic. Comprised of a monochrome case and band, the Picto is the first watch that was created based on a rotating disk principle. Designed by Steen Georg Christensen and Erling Andersen, the watch is meant to be a “picture” of time. As such, the watch communicates time not by the traditional movement of hands, but instead by a rotating watch face. 

 

This watch is also available in all black, red, and black with stainless steel.

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Innovative watch with stop and go technology

The Stop2Go Watch from Swiss Company Mondaine takes the classic Swiss Railway Clock and reimagines it as a sophisticated wristwatch. Modeled after the Swiss Railway Clock designed by Hans Hilfiker in 1944, the watch captures the clock’s classic red second hand, along with its subtle twist. The red hand sweeps a full circle in 58 seconds—instead of the typical 60 seconds—and pauses for two seconds at 12 o’clock so the black minute hand can advance. 

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Grey all-ceramic watch with yellow second hand

A new product in 2014, the BN-171 Watch from Braun is an innovative addition to Braun’s fleet of watches and clocks. Prior to its launch, a fully ceramic watch only existed as a concept product. Through careful design and engineering, the BN-171 Watch is completely comprised of ceramic, including the bracelet-style band. The result is a timepiece with a luxurious look and feel, complete with a weighty presence and a smooth finish. 

4 / 8
Digital watch with elastic supports

BareBands is an innovative watch that is designed for a variety of occasions. Featuring a digital face and typical sport functions like a timer and illuminating light, the watch can be used for athletic activities like running, biking, and—with twenty meters of waterproofing—swimming. The octagon-shaped face gives the watch a geometric, modern look that will communicate with daily wear.

5 / 8
Minimalist wristwatch with black leather band

With its Helvetica Light Analog Watch, Mondaine marries traditional Swiss watchmaking with a modern typography favorite. Using the Helvetica Light font as a muse, the watch face features simple numbers and ticks in a light grey color that communicates with the minimalist styling of the watch. The watch is available with different case and face designs, ranging from bold black to sleek silver. The Helvetica Light Analog Watch is designed with typography lovers in mind, while also providing the exquisite functionality of a Swiss classic.

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Wristwatch inspired by base of wine bottle

The Bottle Analog Watch from Nava Design is an inspired wristwatch, modeled after a glass bottle. A monochrome design, the watch strap coordinates with the watch case, lending a consistent look to the accessory. The watch case is designed like the base of a glass wine bottle, as is evidenced by the 60 carefully placed raised notches on the round acrylic acetate case. 

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Modern watch inspired by 1960 wall clock

The AJ Banker’s Watch from Rosendahl follows in the tradition of Arne Jacobsen’s iconic Banker’s Wall Clock, which was originally designed for the Danish National Bank in 1971. This wristwatch expertly captures the wall clock’s distinctive markers, simple hands, and striking red center. As with Arne Jacobsen’s wall clocks, the dial and curved crystal of the case comprise a single unit, with movement located at the back of the watch.

8 / 8
Simple wristwatch inspired by professional drafting

Inspired by the instruments used by professionals who produce technical drawings for engineers and architects—draftsmen—Japanese Design Studio Nendo designed the Draftsman watch series to celebrate this special craft. The Draftsman 01 Scale Watch’s face is based on the increments of a calibrated ruler and the hour indicators are printed directly to the sapphire glass lens, offering a distinctive yet subtle departure from traditional watches. 

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