The 15 Best Ultra-Thin Watches at European Watch Company

There’s more to ultra-thin watches than just a slender profile. While making an exceptionally thin watch isn’t regarded as a complication per se, the effort and engineering expertise required in shaving off a few millimeters of case height is so challenging that many makers consider it in the same league as tourbillons, repeaters and the like. So, with that in mind, here are some of the best ultra-thin watches in the business.

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar Ultra Thin Ref. 26586IP.OO.1240IP.01 (6.2mm)

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak 26586IP Perpetual Calendar Ultra Thin

As if making an ultra-thin watch wasn’t enough of a challenge — Audemars Piguet’s 2023 release added an exacting titanium case and a full perpetual calendar into the mix. Proving that the Royal Oak design doesn’t just work on full-bodied sports numbers, this 6.2mm stunner is powered by the automatic AP 5133 calibre and still offers plenty of wrist presence thanks to the 41mm case and gradient blue dial.

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Extra Thin “50th Anniversary” Ref. 16202ST.OO.1240ST.01 (8.1mm)

If you like your ultra-thin Royal Oak watches a touch less complicated, this might be the Audemars Piguet for you. At only 8.1mm thick, this 39mm watch has everything you want from a Royal Oak: the Petite Tapisserie pattern dial in blue, stainless steel case, and, of course, that bezel. There’s also a little something extra. The caliber 7121 has a special rotor marking the 50th anniversary of this genuine icon.

Patek Philippe Nautilus Ref. 5811/1G (8.2mm)

Patek Philippe Nautilus 5811/1G

Fans of white-hot luxury sports models were shocked when Patek Philippe discontinued the famed 5711 Nautilus. Thankfully, we didn’t have to wait long, as 2022 saw the release of the Patek Philippe Nautilus 5811/IG, a white gold evolution of the famous model that sees a few modern upgrades (people will appreciate the micro-adjustable clasp, for example) to the familiar design. Of course, a large part of the appeal of this watch is the slender profile: 8.2mm for a sports watch rated to 120 meters is pretty impressive.

Patek Philippe Ref. 3919 (6.5mm)

Of course, the Nautilus is far from the only timeless design in Patek Philippe’s arsenal. The Calatrava is also recognized as one of the greatest dress watch designs ever made. And this Reference 3919, which first debuted in 1985, demonstrates why. At only 6.5mm thick, this gold watch will slide under the slimmest cuff, and the 33.5mm case, with its hobnail bezel and Roman numerals, oozes classical charm.

Patek Philippe Calatrava Ref. 5180/1R (6.7mm)

The reference 3919 above shows the simpler side of the Patek Philippe Calatrava — this reference, the 5180/1R, is something else entirely. It isn’t enough for this 39mm rose gold watch to be an ultra-thin 6.7mm; it’s also completely hand-engraved and skeletonized in the traditional style to create a watch where the mechanism appears to be floating in the air. Made to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the slender automatic caliber 240, this watch showcases what makes Patek Philippe great.

Bulgari Octo Finissimo Extra Thin Ref. 103464 (6.4mm)

While ultra-thin watches have always been a part of watchmaking, in recent years, it was the debut of the original Bulgari Octo Finissimo that reignited the world’s love with everything slender. By pairing the 6.4mm thin case with a design of stark geometry and endless facets, Bulgari made an ultra-thin watch that was ultra-cool. This stainless steel version also adds a little wrist heft, as well as a brushed silver dial that blends seamlessly with the case.

Piaget Altiplano 900P Ref. G0A3911 (3.65mm)

Ever since Piaget created the Caliber 9P in 1957 and the 12P in 1960, they have been widely acknowledged as the masters of ultra-thin watchmaking. It’s a title they’ve fought for fiercely over the years, and the remarkably svelte Altiplano 900P is proof that they have kept their touch. At a mere 3.65mm thin, this white gold case watch is almost impossibly slender, a feat achieved in part by making the case back serve as the movement’s main plate.

Vacheron Constantin Historiques Ultra Fine 1955 (4.1mm)

When it was released in 2010, this Vacheron Constantin Historiques Ultra-Fine 1955 was the thinnest watch in the world, coming in at only 4.1mm tall and with a manually wound caliber 1003, which is an astonishing 1.64mm thin. In addition to this, the watch is possessed with a purity of design, thanks that opaline dial, slender hour markers and hands, that really lets the pure design of this Vacheron Constantin shine.

Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Ultra Thin Ref. Q1342520 (6.3mm)

In horological circles, Jaeger-LeCoultre is known as the ‘watchmaker’s watchmaker’, thanks in part to their ability to make and master a wide array of in-house movements. One of these legendary movements, the caliber 899 (itself based on the 889) beats inside this traditionally styled 6.3mm Master Ultra Thin. The watch itself is equally traditional with a 38mm case and 50s-inspired details on the dressy dial that will never go out of style, .

Breguet Classique Automatic Ultra Slim Ref. 5157BB/11/9V6 (5.35mm)

This slender and subtle charmer from Breguet was initially released in 2005 and epitomises the best of the blue-chip brand. From the traditional case with its fluted middle section to the finely engine-turned dial, Breguet gives traditionalism and technique in spades. On this example, the slender 5.35mm case profile serves to amplify the overall finery of this watch and make it even more ‘Classique’,

Patek Philippe Golden Ellipse (5.9mm)

Patek Philippe Golden Ellipse

Patek Philippe has its share of unconventional case shapes in its lineup, but one of the most interesting is surely the Golden Ellipse. Released in 1968, and inspired by the famous Golden Ratio, this softly curved ovoid watch has deservedly maintained its place in the Patek Philippe’s prestigious catalogue. Add to the unusual shape the slender profile, and you can’t go wrong with this character-filled timepiece.

A. Lange & Sohne Saxonia Thin Ref. 205.086 (6.5mm)

The A. Lange & Söhne Saxonia is one of the German brand’s OG designs — part of the debut 1993 collection it is elegant in its simplicity with just two hands and a pared-back dial. This version, coming in at only 6.5mm, is the brand’s most slender offering yet and is stunning thanks to the white gold case and starry dial made from blue gold flux.

Vacheron Constantin Overseas Perpetual Calendar Ref. 4300V/120G-B945 (8.1mm)

Vacheron Constantin Overseas Perpetual Calendar Ultra-Thin Ref. 4300V/120B-B945-1

Since the introduction of the most recent version of Vacheron Constantin’s top-tier sports watch, the Overseas has become increasingly hot property, with the slender perpetual calendar versions being especially prized. This 2021 release shows just why they’re so in-demand. The white gold case and blue dial make for an appealing (and even under-the-radar) combination. Of course, stunning as the outside is, it’s easy to see that the super slim 4.05mm calibre 1120 QP beating inside this 8.1mm watch is the real star of the show.

Vacheron Constantin Les Historiques 222 (7.95mm)

Originally designed by Jorg Hysek and released in 1977, the Vacheron Constantin 222 was a highly distinctive precursor to the sporty Overseas. In 2022, Vacheron Constantin made an extraordinarily faithful tribute to this proto-sports watch with the Les Historiques 222. Everything about this watch, from the blocky lines and the hexagonal bracelet links through to the yellow gold, serves to highlight its 70s-era sleekness. The sub-8mm case height is the icing on the retro-inspired cake.

Cartier Privee Collection Cloche de Cartier Ref. WGCC0004 (6.5mm)

It’s easy for an ultra-thin watch to rely on its slender profile as its sole defining characteristic. That is very much not the case with Cartier’s Cloche de Cartier. Inspired by a historical watch from the 1920s, the Cloche takes its name (and shape) from the French word for ‘bell’, and the design is nothing if not striking. Not only does the shaped case mix straight lines with curves, but the unusual layout, which sees the numerals rotated 90 degrees, is surprisingly legible.

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