Fashion Logo Watches Become Simpler

After a decade of muscular dominance, feature-packed custom logo watches and complication-laden wrist trophies are being put aside in favor of simpler models. Think sleek and elegant timepieces that are smaller than a sundial, and can be operated without a Ph.D.


Even complicated-watch fans are starting to acknowledge the absurdity of certain gizmos, according to Sol Meller, president of Feldmar Watch Company, a retailer in Los Angeles “I think clients still appreciate the designs of the heavier, bulkier pieces, but they’re saying they don’t need the extras,” said Mr. Meller. “They don’t need a tachymeter”—a complication that measures the speed the wearer is moving over a given distance. “They’d rather have something that fits under their sleeve.”

Another advantage of time-only custom logo watches can, of course, be their relatively affordable prices. A solid entry option in the dress category is Seiko’s Executive, which goes for $250 (with a metal bracelet). Then again, since watches like these are the antithesis of trendy, there’s a case for making a smart investment in a Movado or Bulova.

Some complications really can make a  custom logo watch more useful. Repeater watches, which chime the hours and minutes with tiny hammers and gongs at the push of a button, were a necessary function when only candles dimly lit our nights. Today, the orderly, gentle sound of repeaters offer aural respite from the noise of modern life and come in handy when you can’t find your cellphone during a blackout.