Now more so than ever before, it’s very cool to be a square. Or at least, that’s what luxury watchmakers will have us believe.
Whilst square faced watches have been around for decades now, with the rise of the Apple Watch, the square has become the trendiest shape to bear on your wrist, and carved out a true niche of angular lovers all for itself. Yet whilst wearable tech is a relatively new development, the square watch has been around for a hot minute, scooting into the limelight during the Sixties and Seventies, and stealing the mic for itself once again in recent seasons.
From iconic classics like the TAG Heuer Monaco to the rise of Bell & Ross and NOMOS’ Tetra collection, we gathered some of the coolest square watches taking wrists by storm this year. Be it Art Deco or diver, these timepieces are hitting all the right angles, and proving that square is the best sartorial statement that’ll always make you stand out from the crowd.
Made iconic by way of Steve McQueen’s wrist in the 1970s Hollywood racing film Le Mans, the TAG Heuer Monaco was the square watch to set the swank and style for all square watches to follow. For lovers of life in the fast lane, the latest rendition (approx. THB 176,601) of the legendary race-inspired 39mm timepiece features a blue squared case and dial, contrasted by luminescent hands and squared chronographs. Water resistant to up to 100m and fitted with a blue alligator strap, it’s a watch that oozes an air of cool, and is admired by watch lovers everywhere not only for its origins but also for its timeless design — pairing exceptionally well with shirts, casual suits, or, as on Steve McQueen, a white race car driving kit.
It all began with the simple wish of famous Brazilian aviator Alberto Santos Dumont in 1904: to be able to tell the time while flying. From there, the Santos de Cartier (THB 1,088,577) was born, and with it, a signature piece of Cartier’s following collections. Featuring lightly squared dial angles, the watch is a departure from the traditionally round dials of the time, without getting too literal with the square shape. This automatic medium 35.1mm model comes with an 18k yellow gold case, a silvered opaline dial, a seven-sided crown, and Cartier’s signature faceted sapphire. A classic watch that will always look timeless.
There are few square watches as easily recognisable as the cockpit-inspired pieces by Paris-based watchmakers Bell & Ross. True pioneers not only in dive watch conception but also a front liner in the world of serious square watches with serious personality, it comes as no surprise that the latest novelty (available from late August) by the French luxury brand is here to impress. Featuring the Bell & Ross signature round bezel within a square matte black ceramic case, the 42mm watch sits on a grey-green calfskin strap, with its bright green numerals and indexes drawing in the attention of all eyes, especially as they glow in the dark. The urban timepiece is straight-forward, strong, and simple, without being boring.
It isn’t difficult for a NOMOS Glashütte watch to win over our hearts. The German watch company with the vintage-inspired pieces brings an independent retro edge with its Tetra Collection, and the Clärchen model (approx. THB 72,436) is no exception to this. Inspired by a ballroom in Berlin, the incredibly thin mechanical watch balances a lightly quirky and creative air with a contemporary hipster touch. Featuring a stainless steel case, the bold green dial truly brings the square to shine by embracing the form for its gold-plated and uncommonly non-serif numerals. Modern without being over-the-top, it does exactly what you would expect a square watch to do: that is, stand out.
Hermès is no stranger to incorporating rectangular cases into its watch designs, much with the Heure H and Cape Cod models becoming signature pieces in its Métiers collections. However, with the ladies’ steel Carreé Cuir 24mm (approx. THB 141,738), the French luxury powerhouse takes things a square step further, essentially extending the smooth abyss blue lizard strap into the dial to create a striking illusion of an endless strap. Sleek and sophisticated with that edge of extravagance Hermès does best, it’s a watch that is not only visually intriguing, but also designed to pair perfectly parallel with the cuffs of a dress shirt. On point.
A tribute to the Roaring Twenties, the Vacheron Constatin Historiques American 1921 (THB 1,270,000) is definitely a watch to make you look twice. Featuring a touch of Art Deco, the timepiece most curiously turns its movement by 45 degrees, bringing the crown to the top corner of the 18k 5N pink gold case, and causing its viewer to delicately tilt heads upon reading. Housed within its squared cushion shape, a small-seconds sundial is positioned at 3 o’clock (where conventionally this would be 4.30), bringing further charm to a timepiece that appears well-balanced despite its untraditional positionings. Noted for improving legibility for those who wear a watch on their left wrist, the vintage-inspired piece is definitely eccentric, yet all the while originally exquisite.
Ending our list with a classic look, the Longines Heritage 1969 (THB 74,100) has received much praise for its ease of wear and uncomplicated yet remarkable composition. The stainless two-tone steel 36mm watch bears a square shape with a self-winding mechanical movement, with the curved surfaces unveiling a touch of 1960s minimalism. The silver dial is contrasted with the pink hands and hour markers, further complemented by the black alligator strap. Pulling together a look that is casual yet sophisticated, Longines proves that even a square watch can be versatile, without being overexposing.