5 of the best Thin Automatic Watches For Every Budget
James Elliott29 July 2021 | 6 min read
When most people talk about finding the right size of watch they often refer to the case size. With watch sizes typically ranging from 38-44mm, it can sometimes be tricky to find the right watch on case size alone.
What most people forget is that the thickness of a watch is also super important to get the right feel. Especially for those with smaller wrists, getting a watch that’s thin and tight is a critical factor in finding the perfect watch.
In this article, we’re going to pull out 5 thin automatic watches, each one under 10mm in thickness, meaning it’s going to hug the wrist and create a low profile. We’ll compare the watches on their design and features as well as picking models from the budget, mid-range and premium price points.
If that sounds good to you, read on!
5 Thin Automatic Watch Picks
- Seiko Men’s Essentials – SUR307 (8.3mm)
- Hamilton Khaki Field Automatic – HML-H70455133 (9mm)
- Frederique Constant Men’s Slim Line Watch – FC306S4S6 (8mm)
- Bvlgari Octo Finissimo – 102713 (5.15mm)
- Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Jumbo Extra-Thin – 1240ST.01 (8.1mm)
1. Seiko Men’s Essentials – SUR307 (8.3mm)
To begin, we’ve picked out one of the ‘Essentials’ models from Seiko. For those who read the Watch & Bullion blog regularly, you’ll know we often feature Seiko in our roundups as the brand offer solid and stylish watches on a budget.
The SUR307 model is no exception. This simple sports watch brings together a slim profile, sleek and simple design, and some premium features you wouldn’t expect from a watch at this price point.
At 40.2mm, it’s a middle of the road size, working well on most wrists. But, the super-slim 8.3mm thickness means it fits tightly to the wrist and retains a low profile all day long. The clean white dial is matched with silver dauphine hands and markers with a simple date window found at the 3 o’clock position.
Inside the case, you’ll get a Seiko Quartz movement that’s pretty accurate and, thanks to the solid design, is good down to 100m of water resistance. Yes, you read that right, it’s a Quartz movement. Even though this is an Automatic roundup, we thought it was too good not to include for those looking for a slim, budget watch!
Want us to sweeten the deal? The eyebrow-raiser with this watch is the sapphire crystal, a premium upgrade you don’t see on many models at this end of the market.
Price-wise, at around $160, this watch is an absolute bargain! We can almost guarantee you won’t find a better slim watch from a reputable brand with a sapphire crystal on the market anywhere. It’s an easy recommendation from us, even though it’s not automatic!
The majority of the thin watches we’ll feature today are dress watches, so we’ve pulled out the Khaki Field watch from Hamilton to add some variety. Not only does the watch make the cut for its thin profile, but it’s also one of the most loved budget field watches in the world.
While the small 38mm size and 9mm thickness stand out in the traditionally large field watch market, it’s the design of this watch that turns heads, with the bold, large number dial striking the perfect balance between great readability without being overcrowded.
The watch features a relatively accurate Swiss automatic movement whilst coming equipped with a sapphire crystal, strong steel bracelet and 100m of water resistance. This combination of great features also makes it one of the most popular watches for new watch fans to get into the automatic Swiss market.
At $435, the great price rounds off the package. A slim watch with a great design, great features, from a reputable Swiss brand for well under $500, what’s not to like?
Now we take a big step up in spec as we come to the Slim Line model from Frederique Constant. From a size perspective, it’s pretty spot-on for all wrist sizes at 40mm, but thanks to the slim 8mm profile, it remains subtle and tight to the wrist.
It’s another smart and sleek dress design with this watch. The clean white dial is matched with very slender and shiny silver markings and baton hands. There’s some very subtle branding in the centre with a date window at 3 o’clock next to a very fancy crown.
As you’d expect from a watch of this calibre, the automatic movement is first class and highly accurate all day long, thanks to the 72-hour power reserve. There are premium features here, too, in the shape of a sapphire crystal and a calfskin leather strap.
At around $1,500, this is a premium piece of Swiss engineering. If you’re looking for an automatic watch that’s super-slim and smart, the Slim Line from Frederique Constant is excellent if you’re looking to enter the premium market.
4. Bvlgari Octo Finissimo 102713 (5.15mm)
Ready to see one of the thinnest luxury watches in the world? Let us introduce the Octo Finissimo from Bvlgari. The Finissimo name gives it away from the off with a watch that’s specifically designed to push the boundaries of thin design.
Premium watch fans will already be familiar with the Octo range as one of the most distinctive designs in the luxury market. A grey dial with charcoal markings sits inside a 40mm, octagonal titanium case that just oozes class and edgy design.
Of course, with this being a Luxury swiss brand, you’re getting a super-high quality movement inside the case. Sixty hours of power reserve drive a 3Hz movement that’s an astonishing 2.35mm thick. It really is a watch of pure beauty not only in how it looks on the outside, but the sheer compactness of the movement too!
And as you can imagine, all of this doesn’t come cheap. From Bvlgari direct, you can expect to pay anywhere in the region of $15,000 to get your hands on a 5.15mm thick Finissimo. If you want to shave some cost off of this, mint condition pre-owned models are available for around $11,500.
We finish up with an absolute classic of a premium watch that’s been re-designed to cater for those that love thin pieces. You won’t have got far into your luxury watch search without coming across the Royal Oak from Audemars Piguet with the Extra-Thin Jumbo model, a fantastic model from the range.
The 39mm piece is just 8.1mm thick, making it a great size for most wrists, including those on the skinnier side. This particular model sports the “Petite Tapisserie” textured blue dial that works perfectly inside the round/octagonal case shape.
The self-winding movement delivers 2.75hz for 40 hours, and as it’s an AP, you know it’s a super accurate watch made from only the finest materials. Of course, you get sapphire crystal as standard alongside AP’s integrated bracelet with a folding clasp.
These watches retail for around $22,700 if you can get one directly from Audemars Piguet. In all honestly, that’s pretty unlikely, though. Search for the Jumbo Ultra Thin online, and you’ll be lucky to find a model for under $80,000. Yes, you read that right, $80,000!
So, if you’re looking for a super-slim automatic watch, this is probably the most in-demand luxury model you can find anywhere in the world!
When you’re looking for a new watch, don’t forget that getting the best fit on the wrist isn’t just about case size but thickness too. There’s a whole host of excellent thin automatic watches on the market to create a low-profile experience for the wearer.
We’ve featured some of our favourites from well-known brands, but shop around online as there are literally hundreds of different models to choose from!