Keeping it simple: nothing but the time

For beautiful yet restrained watches, consider pieces from makes including Longines, Oris, Frederique Constant and Raymond Weil – brands that rarely see the need to stray into the stratosphere.

Raymond Weil Frank Sinatra Limited Edition
Raymond Weil Frank Sinatra Limited Edition

There’s nothing that excites watch buffs more than complexity,
creativity and come-hither looks, but what if you just want a
handsome, simple, easy to read timepiece without spending a
In truth, we’re spoilt for choice right across the price points with
elegant models readily available from high-enders including Petek
Philippe, Jaeger LeCoultre, Piaget, and MontBlanc.
In this group Monblanc is shaping up as a real value proposition,
but in the range below that you’ll find restrained pieces from
makes including Longines, Oris, Frederique Constant and
Raymond Weil – brands that rarely see the need to stray into the
One of our favourites is the Oris series dedicated to jazz musicians
John Coltrane, Miles Davis et al, while Raymond Weil occupies
some similar territory.
It has released a Frank Sinatra Limited Edition version of their
Maestro model, a self-winding watch measuring a restrained
39.5mm with a silvered dial and blue – naturally – hands and
The only numeral featured on the Franck Sinatra watch is the
Roman 12, which the brand suggests alludes to the famed singer’s
birthday a century ago on December 12.

Raymond Weil Frank Sinatra Limited Edition
Raymond Weil Frank Sinatra Limited Edition

Look past the marketing though and you find a watch as handsome
as the hat-wearing entertainer, perfect for the svelte gentleman –or
for that matter the smooth rogue.
For woman, the high-ground is staked out by glitterati from
Cartier to Louis Vuitton, but no one has a franchise on elegance.
You might look to Baume & Mercier or Frederique Constant for
example. The latter have recently come up trumps, albeit with
something a little more interesting – and expensive – than truly
basic. This is the female wrist after all.

Slim-line Manufacture Moonphase
Slim-line Manufacture Moonphase

The Slim-line Manufacture Moonphase seems a clumsy name for
a pretty watch, as if the fact it contains an in-house movement which is the
central selling-point. It’s not. What makes this watch attractive is
just that, it’s attractiveness.
Diamond hour markers, diamonds on the bezel (60 all up) and a
moon-phase complication plus a date indication, can spell
“busy, busy”. Here though, it’s elegance that reigns supreme, thanks in
part to the 38.8mm case that means nothing is cramped.
If it’s price – around $8500 – is out of range, then go for
something without the stones.

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