It’s Time to Embrace the Square Watch
Put four corners on your wrist and your cool level goes through the roof
Summer is long gone at this point, so if you’re ready for a change of pace, ditch the big, round diver you’ve been wearing all summer long and consider something a little more edgy — embrace the square.
“Square watches are interesting because though they are unique, they still go with anything,” says Nathan Nerswick, a watch specialist at Crown & Caliber.
This year, new offerings from Cartier and Bell & Ross offer fresh angles on an old shape. The former updating it’s ground-breaking Santos and the later giving their traditional aviator metier some ’70s swag.
”The market has both sport and dress models that look great with a tee or suit,” Nerswick says. “Also, with the rise of smartwatches, many of which are square, let us see that case shape on a wrist is completely normalized.”
“So, if you like a square case, and it fits your personality — just go for it,” Nerswick said. We couldn’t agree more, so here are six stellar square options.
Santos De Cartier Chronograph
A square beyond compare, Cartier’s recently updated its ‘Santos’ line, including their chronograph. Famously, Louis Cartier created the first pilot’s wristwatch in 1904 for aviator Alberto Santos-Dumont. Several generations later the updated design is curvier and features an ultra modern, exquisitely simple “QuickSwitch” interchangeability system as well as a “SmartLink” sizing that allows you to easily customize your bracelet or swap it out for an alternate strap. In this iteration of the chronograph, the company has also moved the pusher to the left side of the case and deployed a new rock solid in-house 1904 CH MC automatic movement, giving the watch a 48hr power reserve. At 43.3 mm wide, a size the company calls XL, it’s quite a bit of watch, but if you’ve got a wrist that can handle the heft, it’s simply gorgeous. We love nearly every metal and bracelet combinations Cartier offers on the chronograph but the simple steal on rubber with contrasting screws that echo down the black bracelet simply sings.
Bell & Ross BR 05 Skeleton
There’s a certain 70s vibe that ticks through the new BR 05 collection from Bell & Ross, and we dig it. Thanks to its bracelet that flows from the case, the watch creates an impeccable cuff you won’t want to take off. Smaller than the flagship BR01 and BR03 models, at 40mm this Bell & Ross maintains its aviator roots, with its circular dial set in a square case to mimic aircraft instrumentation, though the company says it was designed for urban explorers. The BR-CAL.321 movement is partially visible in this extremely cool skeleton steel variant and is water resistant to 100 meters.
Zodiac Astrographic Limited Edition
The recently revived Zodiac brand has been busy cranking out fantastic updated designs that pay tribute to the company’s heritage and this Astrographic Limited Edition is no exception. This watch is water resistant to 100 meters and features a work horse STP 1-11 automatic movement. While it’s a few millimeters from being totally square, the stealthy, matte black, DLC coating and white accents give it some serious pop. But what get’s us over the moon are the “magical” floating hands that give the Astrographic a vintage ‘60s “space age” vibe we love.
Hermès Carre H Watch, 38 x 38 mm
While other watches scream out for attention the Hermès Carre H Watch merely whispers its sophistication. Powered by an in-house Cartier moment with a 50hr reserve, an off-black (some might say dark grey) dial and bright, Arabic numerals make it easy to read, while a green second hand offers a touch of whimsy to make you grin every time you look at your wrist. The slightly curved back makes it comfortable on the wrist as does the supple Barénia calfskin strap on which it’s served.
TAG Heuer Monaco
This year is the 50th anniversary of what is perhaps the most recognizable square watch, the Tag HEUER Monaco, a timepiece originally created by Jack Heuer in 1969 to celebrate the famed Grand Prix raced through the Monte Carlo streets. At the Monaco’s launch it was one of the first automatic chronographs to make it to market (along with a Zenith and a Seiko) and the first water resistant square case watch. Two short years later, Steve McQueen threw one on his wrist while shooting his passion project racing film “Le Mans” and turned it into an instant classic. Props to the ‘King of Cool” for being so square.
Nomos Glashute Tetra Neomatik 39
Slim and stylish, the Berlin-designed Tetra Neomatik’s crisp edges look great whether you’re wearing a suit to work or rocking a leather jacket. The German maker’s DUW 3001 movement, which clocks in at just 3.2 mm tall allows this square piece a total of 7.3mm in height. So, the watch easily slides under your shirt sleeve with out catching on the cuff.