The Best Square And Rectangular Watches Today — Top 10 From Cartier, Jaeger-LeCoultre, G-Shock, And More
Square and rectangular watches are different breeds. In the exploration of watch shapes, both occupy a separate space because they look and feel different. In comparison to round, oval, or tonneau-shaped watches, there is something fundamentally different about square and rectangular cases. And as watch fans, we are often able to come up with a few examples of iconic four-cornered watches. But how about a full list? As it turns out, there are some amazing options out there. We have compiled our favorite square and rectangular watches that show the great beauty to be found in these angular forms. The result is a list that is defined by shape but ends up being diverse, serious, and playful at the same time.
Most watch enthusiasts have a love/hate relationship with square and rectangular watches. There is no denying, however, that there is something special about them. Rectangular watches in particular immediately give off a majestic, almost noble presence, especially the more classic, serious designs. With that also comes a true feeling of luxury. But is it all seriousness, or is there more to it than that? We found great diversity in the number of offerings, and we end this list with a nice twist that could be a great option. So let’s find out more!
This was the immediate first pick. How could it not be? The Cartier Tank is probably the first watch that people think of when asked to name one rectangular watch. The same goes for the majority of the Fratello team. This true icon of the industry represents watch royalty in my book. Obviously, it starts with the unapologetic case shape that was revolutionary when it was introduced in 1917. Combine that with the beautifully designed dial and its Roman numerals, the instantly-recognizable crown, the simple but effective hands, and that majestic Cartier logo…
And what you get is an expression of style, taste, and a subtle statement of luxury and status, as Lex explained beautifully. But which Tank should you get? That is a personal choice. Cartier offers a wide array of different Tank models. Our current favorites are the Tank Must and the Tank Louis Cartier. Those two models have the silhouettes that we think of when talking about the legendary Cartier Tank.
If the Cartier Tank is the first to come to mind, chances are that the Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso is the second. This stylish exponent of the Art Deco era managed to keep the Jaeger-LeCoultre brand alive in hard times. This watch, which was conceived in 1931, still feels as crisp today as it did back then. Originally, the watch was designed for polo players, of course. With the possibility to flip the case over, it provided a great functional benefit over the other watches that polo players wore at the time.
While this sporty character has turned into a great appreciation for its elegant and stylish looks rooted in the past, the diversity of the Reverso is quite impressive. As Lex explained, the stylish Reverso Tribute Small Seconds goes with anything. And Daan explained why his more traditional-looking Reverso Classique is a chic, sporty statement with a strap from Casa Fagliano, a renowned manufacturer of polo boots. The various Reverso models are a great testament to the versatility of the design.
NOMOS Glashütte Tetra Neomatik
Our first square pick for the list is the playful NOMOS Glashütte Tetra Neomatik. Often graced with colorful dials, this perfectly square model from the Glashütte brand is one of those love-it-or-hate-it kinds of watches. NOMOS introduced the Tetra in 1992 as part of its first collection of four models, and it has been part of the brand’s lineup ever since. Of course, the Tetra was never going to be the big seller, and NOMOS realizes that. As Rob perfectly explained, however, the Tetra is a great model for experimenting with bold colors and great straps.
What always remains is the perfectly square case with its decorative straight lugs. The Tetra Neomatik models are the latest additions to the collection. They come in at a humble 33 × 33mm but don’t be fooled. They measure 46.67mm from corner to corner. Add the brand’s super-slim automatic DUW 3001 caliber, and you have a watch that comes with a slim, comfortable overall profile but tons of character in its colors and design.
Did you know that Oris introduced a collection of rectangular watches only last year? Fittingly, it is called the Oris Rectangular collection. These Art Deco-styled watches come in four different color options, and with their 25.50 × 38mm case size, they are targeted at men and women alike. The watches are clearly inspired by the icons in this category that I highlighted earlier in the list.
But I like how Oris has given the Rectangular a colorful twist and a dial design with two rectangular railway tracks, Arabic numerals at 12, 3, and 9 o’clock, and a small date window at 6 o’clock. Inside the case is the Oris automatic caliber 561, which is based on the ETA 2671 and delivers a power reserve of 38 hours. The quick-change strap system allows you to change straps easily. At €1,900, this is a great stylish and affordable option from Oris.
Rado True Square
Another pick that immediately comes to mind is the Rado True Square. But unlike the watches that I discussed previously, the True Square stands out because of its modern and often futuristic looks. We had the joy of receiving quite a few of the True Square models in the office for review, and while not every model is a straight-up winner, quite a few of them brought a smile to my face. Rado’s True Square collection was introduced in October 2020 and brings the style of the ’80s and ’90s back to the brand’s collection.
While we usually focus on the more vintage-inspired selections in the Rado collection, the True Square models have captured the hearts of some of the Fratello team members. I had a chance to go hands-on with the ceramic True Square Automatic Open Heart, which is definitely an acquired taste. After that, we got the True Square Designer Collection in, and that managed to win us over. The creative use of design and colors creates great diversity, but the iconic shape remains instantly recognizable. That creative freedom combined with the stand-out shape makes the Rado True Square a great pick for this list.
Glashütte Original Seventies Chronograph Panorama Date
The Glashütte Original Seventies Chronograph Panorama Date is a watch that had to grow on me. And to be honest, it is still growing on me. When I think of my favorite watches from Glashütte Original, I think of the SeaQ and Pano models first. I also absolutely adore the Sixties Annual Editions with their jaw-dropping dials. But for a long time, the Seventies Chronograph Panorama Date was not one of the best representations of the brand for me.
But thanks to a great lobby from Fratello’s own Rob Nudds, a huge fan of this watch, and the latest colorful limited editions, I’m finding it hard not to be impressed by the Seventies Chronograph Panorama Date. With a 40× 40mm case that stands 14.1mm thick, it is by no means a humble watch. Nor should it be. The impressively colorful dials, the brilliant finish, the wonderful GO Chronograph caliber 37-02, and that super-recognizable shape create a chronograph that is a standout in the brand’s collection as well as the world of watches in general.
TAG Heuer Monaco
Another watch that should be on this list is the TAG Heuer Monaco. It is a true icon thanks to its shape and the story of Steve McQueen wearing it in the movie Le Mans. Add the instantly recognizable blue, white and red colorway, and you have the ingredients for one of the world’s most recognizable chronographs. Currently, TAG Heuer offers a variety of Monaco models that all feature a 39mm × 39mm case size.
There is a difference in colors and movements. The brand offers the watch in two classic colorways with the Calibre 11, a modular movement based on the Sellita SW-300. The newer versions all come with the modern in-house Calibre Heuer 02. Additionally, the brand has a number of new models like the latest Gulf Edition, the modern Monaco “Dark Lord” in Grade 2 titanium, and the Purple Dial Edition. They are all proof of the power of the Monaco’s unique shape and iconic looks.
Casio G-Shock Square
This is another no-brainer for this list. Where do we start when discussing the G-Shock Squares? The best thing about them is that they still feel as fresh as back in 1983 when the first model was introduced. Almost four decades later, G-Shock still manages to surprise us with its square-shaped models. With new materials, new colors, new production techniques, and new modules, the story is never-ending. Fratello’s own resident G-Shock expert Gerard has written numerous articles about the G-Shock Squares.
He has covered everything from G-Shock Square For Starters and the G-Shock Square Premium Series to the latest GW-M5610, the closest to the original model, I love seeing all the bonkers color combinations that G-Shock fires at us. Every time, I think it’s too much until I put the watch on my wrist, instantly recognize that G-Shock feeling, and immediately understand why it works. From the Twilight Tokyo and the completely over-the-top GM-5600SN “Rainbow Metal” to the unbelievable GMW-B5000TR-9ER “Rainbow Hippie”, it’s hard to go wrong with such a great design platform.
Bell & Ross BR 03
The Bell & Ross BR 03 models are further proof that square shapes stand out. Anyone that has been a fan of watches for some time knows this easily recognizable silhouette. The current BR 03 collection consists of a wide variety of models. Without a doubt, the BR 03 Auto and the BR 03 Chrono are the most famous. But Bell & Ross also offers a BR 03 GMT and the BR 03 that you see pictured.
Nacho had a chance to go hands-on with the white BR 03-92 Diver and interestingly concluded that the watch “walks the fine line between capable tool and design object.” It’s a great conclusion because the design is very much functional in all its stylish, instantly recognizable power. All of the BR 03 models feature a 42mm square case with a round bezel. In combination with the minimalist, industrial details, it creates a series that has become well respected in the watch world.
A. Lange & Söhne Cabaret Tourbillon Handwerkskunst
If you go and look for Cabaret models in the current A. Lange & Söhne collection, you will only find this incredibly impressive Cabaret Tourbillon Handwerkskunst. But that wasn’t always the case. The German brand introduced the Cabaret collection in 1997. With a rectangular design inspired by the Art Deco era and a name that evokes frivolity, it seems out of character. Well, almost, but not entirely. Leave it up to Lange to create something special. That’s exactly what the brand did with the re-introduction of the Cabaret model.
In 2021, the brilliant 30-piece limited edition of the Cabaret Tourbillon Handwerkskunst came out. It was the first time since 2013 that we had seen a new Cabaret. This glorious Handwerkskunst version of the Cabaret Tourbillon comes with a platinum case, a breathtakingly beautiful dial, and a unique rectangular movement with stop-seconds for the tourbillon. As with all Handwerkskunst models, the finishing and levels of overall craftsmanship are unbelievable. At €315,000, it is quite a precious piece. But here’s a quick tip: if you like the Cabaret, search for one of the earlier pre-owned models. They allow you to buy a Lange for €15K to €25K.
Audemars Piguet Edward Piquet
Yes, I know I said this was a Top 10 list, but I couldn’t resist including a bonus 11th entry. This one is a nice little twist to the theme. If you would like to buy a rectangular watch and you want something unique and exclusive, the Audemars Piguet Edward Piquet series could be a great option. The Edward Piguet models are no longer part of the current collection, but they are definitely worth checking out on the pre-owned market. The Edward Piguet line was part of the Audemars Piguet collection in the ’90s and ’00s.
The collection was named after one of Audemars Piguet’s two co-founders. The brand created a wide variety of models in different case sizes with different complications and executions. All of them, however, are testaments to the brand’s standing in the Holy Trinity of horology. The watches are executed to the highest levels in the industry and come with cases usually in precious metals, a variety of dial designs, and beautiful movements. And the best thing is that they go for pocket change compared to the Royal Oaks! So go have a look at an Audemars Piguet Edward Piguet collection if you want something different than a Cartier or a Jaeger-LeCoultre.
There you have it — our list of the best eleven square and rectangular watches (or watch series) out there. But with seemingly endless options from entry-level to high-end, there are many great watches that could have been on this list. That’s why I am passing the question to you…
What is your favorite square or rectangular watch? Let us know your pick in the comments section!