Friday, December 12, 2014

A Guide to Ultra Thin Wristwatches for Men

The Quest for the Thinnest Wristwatch

[This article is reprinted in a slightly updated form from my contributions to the now defunct Yahoo Contributors Network.  If you are looking to get or give a sleek thin wristwatch, this Christmas, this guide may still come in handy.]

If you believe the shopping channel watch shows, you'll see that men's wristwatches are growing larger and larger. Some men's watches are up to an inch thick. But, here's a watch making secret: thick watches are easy to make. Thin wristwatches are more challenging to make. I enjoy thin wristwatches like my Grenen Men's Stainless Steel Mesh Watch. It's thin, light, and a joy to wear all day. If you want a watch that is comfortable, practical, and fits under the cuff of your shirt, join me on the quest for the thinnest watch.

Grenen Men's Stainless Steel Mesh Watch


Thin Swiss Mechanical Watches. Our first stop is La Côte-aux-Fées, Switzerland, the birthplace of Piaget. In 1874, Piaget got its start making watch movements. In 1943, they became a full-fledged brand and in 1945 they built a factory that became world renowned for making thin watch movements. In 1957, Piaget introduced the Caliber 9P - a hand-wound mechanical movement that was only 2 millimeters thick. In 1968, Piaget followed up with the Caliber 12P which remains the world's thinnest self-winding watch movement at 2.3 millimeters thick. Since then Piaget has made many sophisticated and very thin movements. Today, Piaget makes premium Swiss watches and fine jewelry. They also make the world's thinnest mechanical wristwatches. For example, the thinnest Piaget is the Piaget Altiplano 43 Automatic watch which has a case that is only 5.25 millimeters thick. Unfortunately, such rare watches have high price tags. The base Piaget Altiplano 43 costs about $19,000. If you want the 43 millimeter Piaget Altiplano in white gold, with the dial surrounded by 88 brilliant-cut diamonds, it will run nearly $30,000.

Thin Quartz Watches. At that price, everyone get back on the jet. Our second stop is the Amazon. No, not the exotic anaconda and piranha-filled Amazon of South America. We're stopping at the watch-filled Amazon: Amazon.com. If we want an ultra thin and affordable watch, the Skagen Men's SKW6068 Havene Quartz 3 Hand Stainless Steel Silver Watch has a case that is 6.5 millimeters thick.  It's thin and has a mesh band. But, it's almost a little too dressy for my taste.



To find a more traditional watch with Roman Numerals, check out the Steinhausen Men's TW493G Dunn Horitzon Thin Swiss Quartz Gold Watch is only 5.5 millimeters thick according to Amazon.com. In a silver finish, the Steinhausen is available for a little less.



Finally, if we pop over to overstock.com, we can find the very traditional Stuhrling Original Men's Black 'Belmont' Ultra Slim Watch for $59.05. It has a 6 millimeter case. I've found it on Amazon below:



Thin Watches in Local Markets. Of course, I have quite a few watches already. Most of my watches come from affordable sources like Kohl's, Sears, Walmart, and Kmart. So before I buy anything exotic, I'd better grab a ruler and check my own watch collection. I found a great watch called the Hamlin Ultra Thin Dress Watch at Sears and it has a case around 7 millimeters thick. My Grenen watch with a stainless steel mesh band looks great in black, has a stainless steel mesh band, and has a case that is similarly only 7 millimeters thick. It's bigger brother, the Grenen Men's Analog Watch with Subdials has a case that appears to be between 7 and 8 millimeters thick. Since Grenen watches are designed by Skagen and are widely available at Kohl's, I don't need to order a watch today. For less than $100, perfectly comfortable thin watches with cases that are only a quarter inch thick were just around the corner the whole time!

Hamlin Ultra Thin Dress Watch


Sources:

Amazon.com
Overstock.com
Piaget Official Website
"Piaget Altiplano 43 Automatic Wristwatch Hands-On," Ariel Adams. Ablogtoread.com
"Piaget Altiplano Skeleton Ultra-Thin Automatic Watch," Ariel Adams. Ablogtoread.com
WatchTime Buyer's Guide 2012, WatchTime Magazine. Special Edition 2012.

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