10 Affordable Pared-Back Timepieces

Classic and minimal watches have been having a moment in 2014 – and as we approach 2015 this trend see’s no sign of slowing down. Whether it’s functional, refined or technical that you’re looking for, there are a vast number of options available from a whole host of brands.

While a good watch may often seem like a hefty investment, the beauty of these timeless timepieces is an accessible price point to go along with their simple aesthetic. We have pulled together ten of our favourites under £350, which would make the ideal gift for a loved one (or yourself).

From established names like Swatch and Seiko to independent brands such as Uniform Wares and Daniel Wellington, we’ve got your wrist covered…

Uniform Wares M37

Practical, reliable and as cleanly designed as you will get, the M37 is a great watch from this young London-based brand that has rapidly rose to fame.

A true classic, the simplicity of Uniform Wares’ designs means they’ll go with pretty much any outfit. This model is up to 5ATM water resistant and features a top loading lunette case made from high performance 316L Steel.

Uniform Wares M37, £240 from Uniform Wares.

Uniform Wares M37 Watch

Victorinox Inox

Celebrating 130 years of Victorinox, the Inox watch features a chunky rubber strap and solid steel face.

Placed through a battery of 130 tests to ensure they’re built to last, the Inox epitomises all that the brand stands for. It can withstand a 10-metre drop onto concrete, a host of corrosives – including solvents, gasoline and most household cleaning products – and is waterproof up to 200m depth.

Available in three rubber coloured straps with tonal faces – black, green and blue – the Inox incorporates Swiss-made Ronda 715 movement.

Victorinox Inox, £329 from John Lewis.

Victorinox INOX Watch

Swatch Backup

Swatch have been making accessibly priced design and focused watches for as long as we can remember, becoming a go-to brand for those looking for a fashion-focused piece of wristwear.

The Backup is a very pared-back watch for the label – constructed from silicon and plastic, it comes in multiple block-colours (our selection is the on-trend army green option) and features a day/date window and quartz movement.

Swatch Backup Green, £44.50 from Swatch.

Swatch Backup Watch

Miansai M24

A label that made its name producing beautifully clean bracelets, Miansai has recently branched out into watches.

The M24 takes ‘minimal’ to a new level, featuring a one-handed Japanese Quartz Movement that displays the time using only one hand. Water resistant to 3ATM, this hard wearing timepiece features a PVD coated case and mineral glass face.

Miansai M24 with leather strap, £142 from Miansai.

Miansai M24 Watch

Braun x Dieter Rams BN0171

Available in both black and grey, this watch epitomises the ‘less but better’ philosophy of Braun’s designer, Dieter Rams, and has become an instant classic.

With a ceramic case and strap it has a luxurious aesthetic and technically on-point mechanics. Available in black and stone beige colour ways, the watch is 3ATM water resistant and runs on a Quartz 3 hand movement.

Braun BN0171, £275 from Braun.

Braun x Dieter Rams BN0171 Watch

Shore Projects St Ives

A new brand, Shore Projects takes its design lead from the Great British seaside, with this particular edition inspired by the Cornish Riviera.

Each of the brand’s timepieces has a vintage feel and can be updated using various colours of strap in either lightweight canvas or classic leather.

The St Ives watch is able to withstand 100m water depth, ideal for swimming in the sea.

Shore Projects St Ives, £115 from Shore Projects.

Shore Projects St Ives Watch

Seiko SMY141P1

This long-standing stalwart brand has been making beautiful and well-made watches since 1881. This particular one is perhaps a little more statement than some of our other choices, but still retains clean lines and a simple design style.

Kept going with a kinetic system that draws its energy from body movement, the watch also has a 6-month power reserve and energy depletion warning so you’ll never be late again.

Seiko SMY141P1, £139 from H. Samuel.

Seiko SMY141P1 Watch

Daniel Wellington York

A lesser-known brand in the UK but already a mainstay in the US, Daniel Wellington’s York is a simple watch with a classic face and full crocodile-embossed strap.

Timeless and versatile, this is the type of watch that suits all moods and tastes, making it a fantastic gift.

Daniel Wellington York, £179 from Daniel Wellington.

Daniel Wellington York Watch

Larsson & Jennings CM

The CM (short for chain mail) is a seriously handsome watch featuring a black-on-black classically minimal fascia design and stylish metal strap.

Offsetting the monochrome face and bracelet, gunmetal grey hands and dial indexes add a considered touch. Water resistant to 50 metres and featuring a Ronda 762 Quartz movement and crystal sapphire glass window, Larsson & Jennings have crafted a fine example of luxurious simplicity at a seriously accessible price point.

Larsson & Jennings CM Black, £215 from Larsson & Jennings.

Larsson & Jennings CM Watch

Mondaine Swiss Railways Evo Chrono

Although this features a full three-dial chronograph function, the beauty of the Mondaine Evo Chrono is that it has maintained a level of simplicity, inspired by the clocks on Switzerland’s railway platforms.

Full functionality and large date and time visibility make this a highly desirable option.

Mondaine Swiss Railways Watch, £325 from Watch Shop.

Mondaine Swiss Railways Evo Chrono Watch

Final Word

With so many affordable options on the current market, owning a great watch has never been easier or more accessible.

What was your favourite timepiece showcased today and do you have any further recommendations of brands or models in this modest price bracket?

Let us know in the comments section below…