The Linjer Watch: Minimal does not mean Simple

Linjer began it’s life as a quest to craft the ideal slim briefcase. It was to be both elegant and versatile and not break the bank of the potential customer. The reasoning was simple enough – that great style and quality could be had for a fair price and end in the acquisition of true heirlooms.

While simple in theory, many brands have failed in this delicate quest. Striking the right balance between craftsmanship and accessibility is not easy. Their result was, from our perspective, a very big win. Linjer’s signature Soft Briefcase was seen as a modern classic that deftly combines clean design with elegant details. It’s functional but minimal, smart but also durably practical.

When it came time to expand their product line into the world of timepieces, co-founders Jennifer Chong and Roman Khan sought to replicate this balance of form and function. The outcome was in fact two distinct watches that reflect sightly different aspects of minimal design. Each is restrained in its own way while still adhering to the philosophy of letting design lead the way.

The Minimalist offers a starkly functional face; creamy white with austere hour and minute markers, hair-thin sweep second hand, and small date window. The Classic model has a two layer recessed face with debosed minute marker dots.

We opted for The Minimalist, in gunmetal finish and a tan quick-change strap. With a variety of customizations from which to choose, it took a little soul-searching to determine the best combination and have been incredibly pleased with the end product.

Although larger cases are still quite popular, the 38mm diameter version fits our wrist just fine and its open, clean face gives the watch a larger and balanced appearance. It’s also clear that the same degree of attention given to the brand’s leather goods is also focused on their watches. Minimal does not mean simple; the visually balanced case, detailed crown and hand applied markers evoke a modernist composition that is engaging and functional. It does dot look particularly remarkable, yet is visually arresting at the same time.

At US$249.00, these watches are clearly affordable. What’s not so obvious is the quality included in that price. It’s not a luxury watch, nor does it pretend to be. It’s a watch that’s meant to be worn and used. the case feels solid and reliable, the strap is supple and comfortable and also feels like a well crafted piece of leather. With the option to quickly and easily change straps, your watch’s personality can adjust to suit yours. The domed sapphire crystal provides clear viewing of the lacquered varnish dial and a water resistance rating to 3ATMs keeps everything running should you be caught in a rain shower.

This is a watch that blends well with daily life and can equally dress up a suit or a favorite pair of jeans. It’s elegant but not formal, visually arresting but not stuffy or precious. “Simple” is one way to describe it, but more from a design perspective than anything else.

It’s the kind of simple that takes a long time and a lot of work to achieve.


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