Huey Lewis and the News were spot-on when they said it’s hip to be square. Although square and rectangular watches have always been in the minority compared to their round cousins, their appeal endures.
The shape is both modern and pleasingly retro; at once classic and contemporary. Square watches are perfect if you’re in the market for something slightly unusual but still versatile and wearable. Ten of our favourite square watches are below.
In this best square watches article…
Cartier Santos de Cartier
There’s no better place to start this list than with the Cartier Santos de Cartier, which is not only one of the most iconic square watches ever, but straight-up the first wristwatch ever made.
Created in 1904 at the request of enterprising Brazilian aviator Alberto Santos-Dumont, the Santos de Cartier remains one of the most stylish watches one can hope to wear. The modern iteration is available in a wide variety of case materials and sizes. It also features Cartier’s QuickSwitch system: an invisible mechanism that blends into the structure of the case and makes it a cinch to swap straps – say from a classic leather strap to the Santos’ integrated bracelet.
Rado True Square
Rado is an underrated Swiss luxury watch brand that specialises in ceramic watches. No prizes for guessing what shape their True Square watch is.
Crafted from Rado’s high-tech plasma ceramic (which is both incredibly scratch-resistant, light and biocompatible) and boasting an on-trend green sunburst dial, this comfortable and stylish square watch is an eye-catching timepiece that’ll set you apart from the pack.
Glashütte Original Seventies Chronograph Panorama Date
Another underrated luxury watch brand with a killer square watch in its repertoire is Germany’s Glashütte Original, with their chunky but funky 70s-inspired Chronograph Panorama Date.
This is one complication-heavy watch. Not only is it a 12-hour chronograph, but it also boasts a large ‘Panorama’ date window (similar to those used by another prestigious German brand, A. Lange & Söhne) but a power reserve indicator elegantly integrated into the small seconds display at 9 o’clock.
Casio G-Shock DW5600 Series
For a more affordable square watch, it’s hard to look past the 5600 Series Casio G-Shock. The 5600 Series is as close as you can get to wearing one of the original square G-Shocks from the 80s and despite its low price remains an incredibly stylish and capable timepiece.
While its feature list is somewhat basic by modern G-Shock standards, it’s got more features than most quartz watches on the market: a powerful backlight, chronograph and alarm functions… It’s also incredibly tough, shock-resistant and water-resistant to 200m.
Bell & Ross BR 05 GMT
French brand Bell & Ross is famous for its square, aviation-inspired watches, so it’s hard to pick a favourite. We’ve gone for the new BR 05, which has a subtly curved design that’s both bold and sleek all at once.
Specifically, we’ve chosen to highlight the GMT variant of the watch, which is capable of displaying the local time in two different time zones. For a brand that’s all about aviation, it’s the perfect complication and one that’s an invaluable tool for both pilots and passengers alike. It also boasts a screw-down crown, sapphire case-back and a water-resistance rating of 100m.
Let’s continue the French theme. Luxury Maison Hermès‘ newest watch, the H08, is another great square watch that’ll definitely make you stand out – for all the right reasons.
A huge departure from the French brand’s typically restrained, artistic watch offerings and a real contender in the luxury sports watch space, the Hermès H08 features a 39mm cushion-shaped titanium case and the option of either a titanium bracelet or rubber strap, which looks particularly nice in signature Hermès orange.
TAG Heuer Monaco
Worn by everyone from Steve McQueen and Max Verstappen to Chris Hemsworth and Will Smith, the TAG Heuer Monaco is probably the most famous square watch ever.
Particularly beloved by motorsports fans and named after the famous Monaco Grand Prix, its distinctive boxy case design now houses TAG’s in-house Heuer 02 movement, which boasts an 80h power reserve and 100m of water resistance.
Swatch Bioceramic What If?
Another cracking square watch is the Swatch What If? – which is also a brilliant concept. Back in 1982, Swatch’s founders were tossing up whether their original launch product should be round or square. In the end, the round shape won out… But what if Swatch decided to launch with a square watch instead?
The What If? imagines a parallel universe where the square won out. This black model pays homage to the original Swatch model launched in 1983, except this time in a square case. That’s not to say this watch isn’t modern: it features a case made from Swatch’s Bioceramic compound, a composite made from ceramic and castor-plant oil, which is both eco-friendly, tough and highly biocompatible.
Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Classic
Now for something classic. It’s more rectangular than square, but the Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso is too much of an icon not to make this list. Sue me.
Not only does its Art Deco design make it stand out aesthetically, but its signature rotating case – originally designed to protect the watch’s face against damage during a game of polo – is one hell of a party trick. Whilst it was originally designed as a sports watch, these days it’s one of the most versatile and handsome dress watches you could hope to wear.
Hublot Square Bang Unico
…And now for something completely different. A new, square take on their popular Big Bang model, the Hublot Square Bang Unico is a futuristic square watch that’s visually dramatic and high-performance.
This model combines a titanium case with a black ceramic bezel; rubber-tipped chrono pushers and crown; and is mounted on a grid-patterned rubber strap with a titanium deployant clasp. Powered by Hublot’s Unico 2 in-house calibre, it has a 72-hour power reserve and 100m of water resistance.