You probably check the time several times a day — whether consciously or not — whenever you glance down at whichever beautiful timepiece you have on your wrist. But you probably only need to look at the date once a day, if at all. Nevertheless, the date display is by far the most popular complication among Chrono24 buyers, outpacing both chronographs and GMT watches. That being said, there are plenty of purists out there who want timepieces that are limited to nothing but the bare minimum: time only, please.
In this article, we’re introducing seven streamlined time-only watches — some don’t even have a second hand!
Rolex Submariner Reference 114060
Many consider the Rolex Submariner to be the classic sports watch. The ref.is a slightly less popular variant without a date window. The history of this legendary, time-only diver goes all the way back to the 1950s. Nowadays, vintage models without a date are in high demand among collectors, and even examples in mediocre condition are anything but cheap. Current models are chronometer-certified and accurate to -/+2 seconds; however, the no date models remain slightly less popular than their dated counterparts.
Cartier Santos 100 Reference W20073X8
The Cartier Santos has a history that’s even more impressive than that of the Rolex Sub. The model dates back to 1904, when Louis Cartier himself dedicated a wristwatch to personal friend and Brazilian aviation pioneer Alberto Santos Dumont.
The Cartier Santos 100 was released in 2004 in honor of the model’s 100th anniversary. With its minimalist design, it perfectly embodies the essence of the clean, somewhat masculine Santos line.
Breguet Classique Reference 5157
The Classique is probably the most straightforward watch from manufacturer Breguet. Its beautiful, hand-guillochéd dial features nothing but an hour and a minute hand. Standing just 5.4 mm tall, this automatic watch certainly falls into the extra-thin category.
The simplicity of the model gives the famous Breguet hands the attention they so deserve. The sapphire glass case back affords a view of the movement’s off-center 22K gold guillochéd rotor. It goes without saying that a date window would be totally out of place on this simple, elegant timepiece.
Audemars Piguet Jules Audemars Reference 15180BC
Audemars Piguet has a lot more to offer than just the legendary Royal Oak and Royal Oak Offshore. The perfect example is this ultra-thin, time-only model from the Jules Audemars line, which shines with nothing but an hour and a minute hand.
The in-house caliber 2120 is closely related to the movement that powers both the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak “Jumbo” and “Extra-Thin,” the successor of the original Rolex Oak ref. 5402A from 1972 (the same movement can also be found in Patek’s original Nautilus).
IWC Schaffhausen Portuguese Hand-Wound
Classic looks and a stately diameter of 44 mm characterize this no date watch from the Schaffhausen-based manufacturer IWC. The Portugieser Hand-Wound has elegant lancette hour and minute hands and a small seconds dial at 6 o’clock.
The sapphire glass case back affords a view of the beautiful mechanical movement at work. This classic timepiece is a successful remake of a historical watch from the 1930s, and it certainly reflects the ethos, “less is more.”
Nomos Glashütte Zürich
While the NOMOS Glashütte Zürich is available with a date display, there are also no date versions available. The easy-to-like company from Glashütte, Germany offers a number of time-only watches in their lineup, but this 40-mm Zürich comes in slightly larger than the average NOMOS timepiece.
The watch is powered by the in-house NOMOS Epsilon caliber. While it’s probably the least expensive watch on this list, it can certainly hold its own against some of the more expensive models.
Omega Constellation Globemaster Reference 188.8.131.52.99.001
In 2015, Omega reintroduced the Globemaster to their Constellation collection. Unfortunately, there is only one time-only model available: this 39-mm platinum watch.
The Omega caliber 8913 is not only chronometer-certified, but also certified by the independent body METAS for being anti-magnetic up to 15,000 gauss and accurate to 0/+5 seconds.
There are, of course, a whole host of other time-only watches out there, but I think these seven cover a wide range of different styles and tastes: from sporty and elegant to classic and a little bit extra. The only question that remains is whether you find the date function a practical addition to your timepiece? Or are you a design purist who can’t stand having a beautiful, well-balanced dial ruined by an unsightly date window?