Sometimes the endless parade of circular watches gets a little monotonous. We’ve been conditioned by decades of design to default to the round in watches. By and large that’s fine, but sometimes we want something just outside the norm – still versatile, still stylish, but a little less same same. And there’s where the squares come in. Now, a word of warning. What constitutes a ‘square’ in watchmaking is a subjective business. Is it the dial? Is it the case? It’s tricky, because fine watch design is not as black and white as geometry would have you believe. Well, we’ve found six squares to suit all tastes – from architects to action men.
Nomos Tetra neomatik
With their clean lines and sparse dials it’s easy to see why Nomos is a brand beloved by architects, creative directors and anyone with a professional interest in good design. Of all their watches, the Tetra is perhaps the most stylistically uncompromising, thanks to its aggressively simple case and classic stepped lugs. And even though the case measures 33mm across, it wears well on men’s wrists thanks to its shape and formal style.
Bell & Ross BR 03-92 Horolum
You can’t have a list of square watches without Bell & Ross. First released in 2005, their instantly identifiable instrument watches cribbed their looks from the dash instruments of fighter jets. Recently though, Bell & Ross has been pushing in different directions, as you can see from the stealthy matt grey-on-grey BR03-92 Horolum.
TAG Heuer Monaco Calibre 11
One of the top contenders for the title of ‘most famous square watch of all time’ is, without doubt, TAG Heuer’s Monaco (the other top contender is right below). Made famous on the wrist of Steve McQueen, the Monaco embodies the style of the ’60s and ’70s thanks to its softly flared case and funky dial. We also happen to think that TAG Heuer’s latest version might be the best yet.
Cartier Santos 100
You can’t talk about shaped watches without mentioning Cartier. Many of those conversations start with the Santos, originally conceived in 1904. While there are a few Santos models in Cartier’s current collection, our pick is the Santos 100, a strong statement piece, made only more powerful with the screwed-down gold bezel.
Surprised? Well, you shouldn’t be. Without doubt the most popular square(ish) watch at the moment is Apple’s eponymous smartwatch. Say what you will about the technology inside, few people would deny the strength (and instant recognisability) of the smooth and sophisticated design.
Glashütte Original Sixties Iconic Square
If we’re honest Glashütte Original is pushing the definition of square with their cushion-cased, round-dialled chronograph. But it’s got square in the name, so we guess that’s OK. Oh, and those colourful dials are incredibly cool.