Square or rectangle watches don’t get the props they deserve when compared to their rounded relatives. Hip-hop culture has turned big baller watches into an unnecessary fashion trend where bigger is better, but the square watch is well and truly making a comeback. They combine the classic style of yesteryear with a modern appeal and can be worn casually with an open shirt or dressed to the nines with a suit and tie.
Offering something different that’s both classy and contemporary, here’s our pick for the best square watches currently on the market.
This solid steel cased timepiece was first created in 1904 for Brazilian aviator Alberto Santos Dumont so he could keep an eye on the time while flying. This new and improved version from the classic Cartier collection includes a silvered opaline dial, blued-steel sword-shaped hands, dark black Roman numerals and interchangeable straps. Merging the old with the new the Santos de Cartier not only looks good but feels light on the wrist, making it an exceptional purchase for any watch lover.
Hermès’s artistic director Henri d’Origny preferred rectangles over squares so when he was asked to create a watch in 1991 he decided to encase the timepiece in a rectangle frame, birthing the iconic Hermès Cape Cod. This luxury watch is made in Switzerland and includes a lacquered graduated red dial, quartz movement and an interchangeable strap in smooth H red calfskin.
Taking inspiration from the aviation business French company Bell & Ross have been at the forefront of immaculately designed watches for decades. The BR 03-94 Steel model is particularly impressive with its stainless steel body, scratch-resistant sapphire crystal case and black stamped calfskin and heavy-duty canvas straps. While the face isn’t square, the casing made sure we couldn’t leave it off this list.
The Germans are known for being minimal and efficient so it’s no surprise this approach extended to their watches. The Tete Neomatik 39 is powered by an ultrathin automatic movement and features a silver-grey rhodium-plated dial topped with blue-steel minute and hour hands.
This Swiss made design is one of the more sophisticated pieces from the collection of respected watchmakers Larsson & Jennings. Going for a black-on-black-on-black approach the Norse is complemented by a black leather strap and black, satin finished, sandblasted dial. This is a simple yet fantastic looking watch that’s well priced and goes with any outfit.
Inspired by Ralph Lauren’s flagship luxury store 867 Madison Avenue, New York, this timepiece is an absolute beauty. The stainless steel bracelet has a retro feel and the watch face contains an off-white lacquered dial with Arabic and Roman numerals. There are two versions, black or white, with both coming in 18-karat rose gold or 18-karat white gold.
The first water-resistant timepiece made famous by Steve McQueen in the 1971 film Le Mans, the Monaco Calibre was reissued by Tag Heuer a few years ago to much acclaim. This latest version contains many of the iconic details of the original – a metallic blue dial, white highlights and a red minute hand – but also features new Calibre 11 automatic chronograph movement and comes with a 40-hour power reserve.
What makes the Rado Ceramica standout from the crowd besides its sleek design is the company’s use of non-traditional watchmaking materials to create a minimalist aesthetic with a contemporary slant. The Ceramica comes in a deep black matte colour and includes bracelet clasps made from titanium and a three-handed quartz dial. It’s a bloody beautiful watch.