Time is shapeless, however, the watch dials and cases are not. So their shape is dependent on the vision of the designer who in a way or another is inspired by the everyday occurrences.
Square watches also known as shaped watches or rectangular watches, are those types of timepieces that feature a square or rectangular case. The industry of watchmaking still relies on round watches, as if they were the only choice a watch lover would go for. They certainly are not because square watches do exist, but their overall aesthetics is somehow mistaken with a feminine feel. However, this has not stopped watch brands from manufacturing square watches and watch lovers from buying them.
From entry-level to hyper luxury watch brands and every watch house in between, almost all of them have or had square watches on their watch catalogs. The reason why square watches have survived the fashion revolution in centuries is due to their uniqueness and expression of simplicity. Check some of them below.
Square Watches Under 200 Dollars
Rotary Cambridge GS05280/01
This square watch from Rotary features a 28.5mm x 42mm rectangular case in stainless steel with a white silver dial. It is mind-blowing to learn that you can purchase a watch from a century-old watch brand from Switzerland for less than 200 dollars. The underrated timepiece features a curved scratch-resistant sapphire crystal from which you can catch a glimpse of the Roman numerals, and the date window positioned at 6 o’clock. The elegant hands are powered by a Miyota quartz movement, and a genuine leather strap keeps the watch attached to your wrist.
Orient Galant FETAC006B0
Orient Galant model FETAC006B0 is an automatic square watch that features a distinctive dial where you will find a weekday indicator, a date window, and a subdial used for the 24-hour format. The watch is truly classical and it is built with functionality in mind. The hands are luminous coated, to enable time reading in places with low–light. For the price-quality ratio, it is one of the best square watches under 200 dollars. Price the last time I checked: 190 dollars
Timex Diamond Square Watch
Sometimes you don’t really need to spend too much on watches to feel good and make your wrist reflect luxury. The Timex Diamond TW2T60400 for example, except being one of the most affordable square watches you will ever encounter, also comes with a genuine diamond perfectly positioned at 12 o’clock. With only watch hands and hour markers to admire from the mineral crystal, the black dial features a minimalist look that is suitable for a dress watch of this type. Price the last time I checked: Around 150 dollars.
Square watches under 500 dollars
Apple Watch Series 5
If smartwatches matter to you, the Apple watch series 5 can not pass unnoticed. It features a square dial and the functions, sensors, and options are countless. Series 5 is the creme de la creme of smartwatches, and as such, it deserves the proper attention. It is equipped with cutting-edge technology like a built-in GPS, GLONASS, GALILEO, QZSS, Wi-Fi, Accelerometer, gyro, heart rate monitoring, barometer, compass, Wireless charging, and more. All the features are touchable from scratch-resistant sapphire crystal glass.
Larsson & Jennings
If square watches are what you are looking for then Larsson & Jennings has an entire collection ready for you. The Norse collection from Larsson & Jennings features a set of square watches for men under 200 dollars in different dial colors, straps, and case sizes. The model we picked from their collection of rectangular watches features an all-in-black design, with a 40mm rectangular case and a Milanese strap for a contemporary feel. This dress watch can be a perfect pick to wear with a formal outfit and it can be yours for slightly more than 200 dollars.
Kemmner is a micro German watch brand that is dedicated to delivering only reliable and good quality watches. Kemmner Tonneau features a square stainless-steel case with arched corners which in the industry vocabulary is known as a tonneau case shape. The timepiece we picked is equipped with 24 jewels automatic movement from Miyota, caliber 9015. From the sapphire crystal, you can catch a glance of the Bordeaux-colored sunburst dial with luminous hands and a date window at 6 o’clock. Price the last time I checked: 395 dollars
Luxury Square watches
Jaeger Le Coultre is an astonishing watch brand that has earned its place among The Holy Trinity and Rolex with hard work and commitment. Their catalog of watches features more than 1000 in-house movements that have shaped the history of JLC and helped it maintain a reputable reputation to this day.
Reverso is an iconic watch that was initially designed for British officers in India that were looking for a watch that could resist while they played Polo. Reverso came as a solution in 1934 – featuring the concept of a square watch that could flip 180 degrees to protect the glass from damages.
Reverso is one of the first square watches and it has earned a large audience and recognition from the watch aficionado community. JLC discontinued the line due to the negative impact of World War 2, to later continue the line again in 1982, this time with quartz movements. However, the majority of Reverso watches are equipped with hand-wound or automatic movements. JLC has a vast collection of Reverso watches, with prices starting from 5000 dollars. A more affordable Reverso can be found on Chrono24, WatchFinder, or other online watch markets.
Otis from Hamilton is almost identical to the above-mentioned JLC Reverso. They were also released to the public in almost the same period of time. And there is a history for it. Due to the hefty taxes set by the US Government at the time for imported goods, many watch brands (the majority were from Europe) had to find watch manufacturers based in the US to distribute their watches to US citizens.
This is what exactly happened with JLC and Hamilton. They entered into an agreement that stated that for every Otis watch being sold, 60 cents would go to JLC (for the leverage of the concept). The agreement was held for 7 years when Hamilton decided to discontinue the line of their square watches due to the war impact. Learn more about homage watches here. A Hamilton Otis is a very rare timepiece and every watch connoisseur willing to spend unreasonably would go for it.
Last but not least, Cartier Tank is one of the most classic square watches that would fit perfectly with a formal outfit. It was first introduced to the public in 1917 by Louis Cartier and has been the brand’s most iconic model since. The watch was named after the combat vehicles of WW1, which when viewed from above, have a similar shape to Cartier Tank.
Princess Diana, Jacqueline Kennedy, and Muhammad Ali are only some of the world’s VIPs that have chosen to adorn their wrists with an iconic Cartier Tank. It is all about fashion and style these days and with a Cartier Tank on your wrist, you can never miss.
Vintage Square Watches
Tag Heuer Monaco ref. 1133B
Back in 1969, Jack Heuer introduced a square-cased watch, which became one of the brands’ most iconic and recognizable timepieces. The TAG Heuer Monaco was so special as it featured the world’s first automatic chronograph movement. Although self-winding watches existed for centuries, the invention of an automatic chronograph movement watch was yet to be created. Until 1969. The year when Heuer, in collaboration with Dubois-Depraz, Hamilton-Buren, and Breitling. successfully unveiled the final version of their Project 99 product – the Chronomatic/Calibre 11 Automatic Chronograph Movement. (Surprisingly, Seiko and Zenith also introduced their own automatic chronograph movements in the same year). Tag Heuer Monaco also featured a square case and was water-resistant up to 100 meters. It became synonymous with sports and speed car racing thanks to Steve McQueen, “King of Cool” who featured the watch in the Le Mans movie released in 1971.
1960s Patek Philippe Gondolo ref. 3430
Do you want to know how this iconic Patek Philippe square watch got its name? It’s a really interesting story actually. Here it goes shortly… The watch was exclusively designed for an authorized retailer of Patek Philippe in Rio de Janeiro, named Gondolo & Labouriau, with whom Patek Philippe had a successful business relationship during 1872 and 1927. The collection was initially made of pocket watches to later add wristwatches in the 1920s. When Europe was struggling with World War 1, Gondolo & Labouriau alone was selling almost a third of the entire Patek Philippe watch production.
So spectacular was the watch business in Brazil that the noun “watch” was often substituted with Patek (even if it wasn’t a Patek Philippe at all). When entering the Gondolo & Labouriau jewelry, instead of looking to buy a watch, you bought a Patek. The watch in the image is a 1960s square dialed Patek Philippe Gondolo ref. 3430. As with every Patek Phillipe Gondolo 3430 of this era, it comes in a square gold case, minimalist design characterized by stick indexes, hour & minute hand, and a small crown positioned at the 3 o’clock position.
Vintage Rolex Square Watch Ref. 9347
Surprisingly enough, Rolex – the giant watchmaking trend-maker, even though never truly embraced the square watches mania, managed to manufacture a few very limited and rare square dialed watches. The one you can see exhibited in the images is a vintage Rolex ref. 9347 dating back to the 1950s. The vintage square Rolex was set for auction by Fourtane, a California-based jeweler back in 2018 with a starting price of $ 30.000. The applied indices and the yellow gold case of this vintage square timepiece represent the old-school Rolex in every inch.