There’s something very appealing in being different, in veering away from the norm. It’s an almost noble quest, and that’s clearly noticed in the world of watches, a world so vast and so diverse, and yet so similar, so conforming to the roundness of a circle.
Out of the countless designs and different ideas, there’s no example more majestic of diverging from the norm than a rectangular or square watch shape.
Sure, the simplicity of fitting a round movement inside a round shaped case is a huge argument in the favor of round watches, but the uncommon square watch design has a sublime presence that keeps some watchmakers trying their best to keep it alive.
Rectangular watches are both classic and modern, retro and hip, and they’re something we do recommend with all our hearts.
We love them, and here are some you might love as well.
- 20. Hermès Cape Cod – $3,375
- 19. Baume & Mercier Hampton – $2,700
- 18. Longines DolceVita Automatic – $1,775
- 17. Hermès H08 – $5,350
- 16. Bell & Ross BR 05 GMT – $5,500
- 15. Tiffany 1837 Makers – $3,500
- 14. Code41 Mecascape – 13,800 CHF
- 13. Ralph Lauren RL867 – $8,250
- 12. Hublot Square Bang Unico – $23,100
- 11. A. Lange & Söhne Cabaret Tourbillon Handwerkskunst – $337,000
- 10. Vacheron Constantin American 1921 – $31,500
- 9. Hermès Carre H Watch – $7,025
- 8. Rado True Square – $2,230
- 7. Glashütte Original Seventies Chronograph Panorama Date – $13,069
- 6. Bell & Ross BR 03 – $3,800
- 5. Nomos Tetra Neomatik – $3,860
- 4. Oris Rectangular – $2,050
- 3. Jaeger LeCoultre Reverso Classic – $10,300
- 2. TAG Heuer Monaco – $7,800
- 1. Cartier Santos de Cartier – $8,500
20. Hermès Cape Cod – $3,375
The Hermès Cape Cod comes with a unique and fresh look, but unfortunately for some of us, it’s only a woman’s watch. The case follows the same iconic H design met on some of the brand’s iconic jewelry pieces, diverging from the traditional continuity of the case into the lugs and then to the strap.
The 37mm size doesn’t tell us that it’s a woman’s watch, but more of a unisex timepiece, one that manages to use little of that space, but make the best of that little. It’s a high quality build, and a sophisticated and classic look that can be worn anywhere.
19. Baume & Mercier Hampton – $2,700
As with round shaped cases, watchmakers tend to copy one another when designing rectangular shaped cases too. But sometimes, what may look as a Cartier Tank wannabe is in fact something a lot more.
The Hampton from Baume & Mercier is one such timepiece. It’s got that Tank-style aesthetic, but it comes with such fine details that stray away from that classic look without modifying the overall shape.
The watch comes in an angular shape that gives it another dimension and sets this watch apart from everything else.
18. Longines DolceVita Automatic – $1,775
The Longines DolceVita comes in many variants, but we find the stainless steel automatic that sells for $1,775 to be one of the most appealing of them all. A collection crafted as a homage to the good life, it inspires through the soft lines of its design.
The look is classic, but adds a little sweetness to it through the blue handset, or the roundness of the rectangular case, or the apparent calm of the Arabic numerals at 12, 3, 6, and 9 o’clock.
17. Hermès H08 – $5,350
Another impressive creation from the French at Hermès is the H08, which brings a fresh take on the square watch theme. The 39mm titanium watch blends the squareness of the case with the roundness of the dial, and even adds that roundness to the corners of the case, further closing the gap between the two opposites.
The Hermès H08 stands out from the crowd with a few design traits that aren’t so often.
The hour and minute indices are drawn on the inside of the numerals instead of the traditional way, and the typography is a little more playful than usual as well. And the arrow-shaped tip of the seconds hand has just a splash of signature Hermès orange that fits amazingly well with the orange rubber strap.
16. Bell & Ross BR 05 GMT – $5,500
Another French watch brand, Bell & Ross is renowned all over the world for their square shaped watches, with the BR 05 GMT being one of their finest. Aviation inspired, combining both utility and luxury, the Bell & Ross BR 05 GMT features probably the most useful complication of all for the world of flight, the GMT.
The square shape of the case comes with very subtle curved corners, giving the watch a bold and sophisticated look. The screw down crown, the sapphire crystal, and the 100m water resistance are all a welcome addition to the perfection of this timepiece.
15. Tiffany 1837 Makers – $3,500
The design of the Tiffany 1837 Makers 27mm square watch might seem a bit childish and too playful in the beginning, but at a closer look, it’s represents the very core of the brand Tiffany & Co, widely known all over the world for their fashion accessories and jewelry.
The dial comes with an interesting pattern of increasingly larger concentric squares that start in the very center of the face. The rest of the watch follows suit and complements the base design.
The dial comes in several colorways, all of them pleasant. The price tag of $3,500 could also be pleasant as well, but that depends entirely on your budget.
14. Code41 Mecascape – 13,800 CHF
Code41 Mecascape is far away from how you’d probably define a watch. It’s not even a wristwatch, but more of a pocket watch, a modern machine of tiny mechanical pieces inside with its sole purpose to measure the passing of time. And it’s an astonishing one.
The size of it is close to that of a modern smartphone, but it’s the shape that made us include it here. The rectangular watch, or clock if you want, is so well crafted and so good looking that it’s just a marvel of craftsmanship that shouldn’t be ignored. Actually, giving its over $13k price, most people will ignore it.
13. Ralph Lauren RL867 – $8,250
The Ralph Lauren RL867 brings a fresh take on the square dial design, with the most notable characteristic being the mix of Arabic and Roman numerals.
The timepiece is powered by the manual wound Piaget 430P movement, a very thin mechanism that allows the case of the RL867 to come at an impressive 5.7mm thickness.
It’s a watch worthy of all praise and admiration.
12. Hublot Square Bang Unico – $23,100
Hublot has managed to create something utterly different with the Square Bang Unico. It’s a premium watch with a futuristic driven design, offering an outstanding visual show behind its glass.
The case is titanium with a black ceramic bezel and rubber covered crown and pushers for optimum grip. The strap is also crafted from rubber, and features a grid pattern and a titanium deployant clasp.
Inside this watch ticks an in-house Hublot Unico 2 calibre with 72 hours of power reserve and 100 meters of water resistance.
11. A. Lange & Söhne Cabaret Tourbillon Handwerkskunst – $337,000
The A. Lange & Söhne Cabaret Tourbillon Handwerkskunst is an incredibly impressive timepiece, and that’s easily seen by looking at either the stunning watch itself or simply at its $337,000 price tag. Both will tell you the same thing.
Part of the Cabaret collection, this watch is a marvelous tiny rectangular machine that draws inspiration from the Art Deco era.
This timepiece, limited in number at only 30, comes in a platinum case, with a thrilling dial showcasing the beauty of the tourbillon, and, more of an eccentricity than normality, a rectangular movement.
10. Vacheron Constantin American 1921 – $31,500
The Vacheron Constantin American 1921 is another beautiful deviation from the typical rectangular watch, a modern reissue of a historical model from the 1920s.
From the 18k pink gold case covered by sapphire crystal to the alligator leather strap, everything about this watch is up to high standards of craftsmanship.
The star of the show though is the slanted dial, which isn’t something made for fun, but a conscious and well thought decision, making looking at the watch easier, without the need to turn your hand all the way in front of your eyes.
9. Hermès Carre H Watch – $7,025
We’re coming back to the French brand Hermès for their Carre H Watch, which boasts design traits borrowed from the well known and widely spread Apple Watch.
Beyond the design, Hermès keeps it all analog and mechanical in nature, with a 28 jewel movement inside and a flawlessly crafted dial for all to marvel at.
8. Rado True Square – $2,230
High tech and slightly underrated, Rado is a Swiss luxury watch brand that crafts ceramic timepieces. The ceramic makes their watches incredibly scratch-resistant, super lightweight, and compatible with the biological tissue of our skin.
The Rado True Square is one of their intriguing creations in a square shaped case, adorned with a lovely green sunburst dial and an elegant simplicity.
The watch is reasonably priced as well, selling for only about $2,230. Reasonable at least when you compare it with the other entries of this list.
7. Glashütte Original Seventies Chronograph Panorama Date – $13,069
Glashütte Original Seventies Chronograph Panorama Date comes as a real stunner. It’s impressive how the chronograph idea often involves the roundness of the dial. We think that this is, perhaps, tied to the analog gauges from racing cars, which makes us think of circles.
What this watch does is impressive. It takes that idea of roundness, the chronograph with its smaller round sub-dials, and places it inside a square case. The result is a nice contrast of shapes and ideas that play in our head.
The watch features several complications, a 12 hour chronograph represented through two sub-dials at 9 and 3 o’clock and an hour counter at 12, plus a large panorama date window at 6 o’clock that completes the four cardinal points of the dial.
6. Bell & Ross BR 03 – $3,800
Probably the classiest option when it comes to French Bell & Ross watches is their popular BR 03 watch. It comes in a 42mm square case, powered by an ETA 2892 automatic movement, with a design inspired from the cockpit instruments of an aircraft.
It’s a superb watch, in a comfortable size, with a beautiful simplicity to it. The dial is basic and legible, but somehow unbelievably appealing.
5. Nomos Tetra Neomatik – $3,860
The Nomos Tetra Neomatik is a charming watch with a perfectly square case that leaves no room to interpretation. There’s nothing vague about the squareness of the case, and this is an important design decision from Nomos. On top of that, one can clearly observe the inspiration that comes from Bauhaus principles.
The face of the Tetra Neomatik is simple, minimalistic, yet not at all boring. something few watchmakers succeed in doing. The case is also very thin, measuring only 7.3mm, which makes the watch wear comfortably on the wrist.
Part of the character of the Tetra Neomatik also comes from the various colors and straps available, which makes it even more interesting and diverse.
4. Oris Rectangular – $2,050
Oris isn’t a watchmaker that stays behind when others deviate from the traditional should-be. Inspired by Art Deco, they also designed their own version of a rectangular watch, and named this entire collection Oris Rectangular.
Vivid dials and classic aesthetics are the main traits of this watch collection, and it comes in only four variants, each of them very distinct in appearance from the other.
We salute this attitude from Oris of presenting us with a limited number of options so as not to overwhelm us, but putting their best effort in making these four variants as unique and distinct as possible without changing too much.
3. Jaeger LeCoultre Reverso Classic – $10,300
The Jaeger LeCoultre Reverso Classic is a majestic timepiece. Its design also has Art Deco roots, but it also comes with a quirk not many know of today.
The watch was designed for polo players, which is why it has a rotating case, to protect the watch’s face from damage during polo games.
Chic and sporty, the Reverso Classic seems as fresh today as it was back in the 1930s when it came out.
2. TAG Heuer Monaco – $7,800
Part movie star, part history, the TAG Heuer Monaco is a staple among square watches. Another rare chronograph in a square case, this is a watch to be cherished.
The TAG Heuer Calibre 12 is a COSC certified chronometer, which only adds to the overall appeal of the timepiece, making it not only a sight to behold but a very functional one as well.
No matter what colorway variant you choose, the case is 39mm x 39mm, which makes it very comfortable on the wrist.
1. Cartier Santos de Cartier – $8,500
With a history so long, starting in 1904 with Brazilian aviator Alberto Santos-Dumont for which this watch was first created, the Cartier Santos de Cartier is the quintessential square watch.
It’s true that the Tank is the rectangular watch that most people would recognize as the icon, but Santos de Cartier goes beyond the simple design of the Tank, which is why we picked it over the other one.
Part of its charm comes from little design traits such as the signature rivets in the bezel or the screw fastener crown.
This watch also comes in so many variations, from materials to design and finish, that most people could easily find the one that fits them most.
We agree there are several icons in the world of square or rectangular watches, but that’s only part of the story. There are plenty more watchmakers that have taken the courage to explore this niche, and they do it successfully.
Therefore, we encourage you to start with the icons but have keep the curiosity to explore the different ones as well. You might be pleasantly surprised by what you’ll find.
Why You Should Trust Us
Ever since I was a kid, I’ve had a wide range of watches on my wrist. But there’s something about the symmetry and unique flair of square watches that always caught my eye.
Whether you’re after a budget-friendly timepiece or a luxurious statement, I’ve journeyed through the world of watches to find the perfect square fit for every pocket.
In this article you can discover that perfect geometric timepiece that seamlessly marries elegance, functionality, and budget. Time’s ticking – and in style!
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Are square watches good?
Square watches are indeed held in high regard. They diverge majestically from the norm, offering both a classic and modern appeal. They’re both retro and hip, and offer a unique blend of quality, style, and character that makes them highly recommendable. Whether you appreciate high-tech innovation or timeless elegance, there’s likely a square watch that will capture your heart.
What do you call square watches?
Square watches are typically referred to by their geometric shape: square or rectangular. They stand as a testament to a unique design choice, veering away from the conventional round watch design.
Are square watches trendy?
Square watches are considered to be both trendy and timeless. The mix of geometry and elegance has fashioned square watches into a popular choice among aficionados and novices alike, offering a bold statement to those who dare to stand out.
Are square watches dressy?
Square watches can look very fancy and elegant. They’re a good choice if you want to wear something that looks nice for a special occasion.
Why are rectangular watches so expensive?
Rectangular watches can be pricey because they take a lot of skill to make. The special shape means that they need more time and attention to get them just right, and that can make them cost more.