>SHOP

keep my inbox inspiring

Sign up to our monthly newsletter for exclusive news and trends

Follow us on all channels

Start following us for more content, inspiration, news, trends and more

© 2019 - Copyright Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie Tous droits réservés

A new angle on style
Lifestyle

A new angle on style

Wednesday, 31 August 2016
close
Editor Image
Daniel Walpole
Strategic Planner at RE-UP

“Knowledge speaks, but wisdom listens.”

Jimi Hendrix

A sponge for culture and creativity.

Read More

CLOSE
4 min read

A square or rectangular shape is a guaranteed standout on the wrist. We take a look at the watches that have style cornered.

In today’s climate, watchmakers can easily struggle to differentiate themselves from their counterparts. At both SIHH and Baselworld, we spotted many brands attempting to showcase the unique nature of their watches’ designs by adopting a ‘montres de forme’ mantra, proving that perfectly spherical frames aren’t the only way to excite watchistas. And while the twisted oval shape of Cartier and the Octo design of Bulgari both have fashionable qualities, the alternative style of horological casing that seems to have had the biggest impact this year is the square.

© re up

Whether you’re a Modern Muse, Suave Gentleman, Glamourpuss or Style Maven, a delicious timepiece adorning the wrist is a must. And what better way to show off your exceptional style than with a square-faced watch – particularly when the likes of Nomos and Bell & Ross are integrating the design technique into their brand’s DNA. Remember, in many ways the roots of square-faced watches are entangled with the world of luxury haute culture – taking into account the work of Parisian watchmaker and diplomat Pierre-Augustin Caron de Beaumarchais, who in 1755 created a ring timepiece with a rectangular casing for Madame de Pompadour.

The square-faced watch is now regaining its status as one of the most prominent styles in horology.

For wristwatches, the square design rose in popularity in the early to mid-twentieth century, when Longines, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Cartier and TAG Heuer created instantly iconic, square-faced wristwatches. The most famous of all was arguably TAG Heuer’s Monaco (although some may dispute that Jaeger-LeCoultre’s Reverso Squadra collection has more reputable timepieces), which took centre-stage on the wrist of Steve McQueen in the 1971 film Le Mans, putting the watch firmly in the history books.

While the growing popularisation of sport watches during the 90s meant that the square design did start to dwindle, it is now regaining relevance with a new market of modern fashionistas who are often looking for smarter alternatives. As demonstrated through search engine activity on Google Trends, interest has been slowly growing year-on-year, and fashion-orientated brands like Hermès have adopted the style for luxurious timepieces such as the Cape Cod; the square-faced watch is now regaining its status as one of the most prominent styles in horology.

While for watch designers, the use of a square case isn’t always the easiest of exercises – as it is anti-natural to have hands that go round in a square – it is still a wonderful and creative exercise that truly gets the watch community ticking. Here are five square-faced watches that have been getting online watchistas talking in 2016.

Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso ‘Christian Louboutin’

Joining forces with luxury shoe designer Christian Louboutin, Jaeger-LeCoultre launched a new line of uber-feminine wristwatches in their Reverso collection.

Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso « Christian Louboutin »
Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso « Christian Louboutin »
Nomos Tetra Neomatik

It doesn’t get more perfectly square than Nomos’s new entry to their Tetra line, the Neomatik. Launched at this year’s Baselworld, the Tetra Neomatik is slightly larger than previous Nomos models at 33mm, and is available with either a black or white dial.

Nomos Tetra Neomatik
Nomos Tetra Neomatik
Bell & Ross BR-X1 Hyperstellar

Arguably one of the brand’s most innovative models, the BR-X1 Hyperstellar is a robust, ultra-lightweight timepiece that has been designed specifically as a navigation tool for space missions.

Bell & Ross BR-X1 Hyperstellar
Bell & Ross BR-X1 Hyperstellar
TAG Heuer Monaco Calibre 11

The Monaco Calibre 11 is one of the world’s most iconic timepieces ever. Since 1997, when TAG Heuer revived the model, it has seen regular updates and revamps yet maintained the design DNA of the ‘Steve McQueen’ blue dial model.

TAG Heuer Monaco Calibre 11
TAG Heuer Monaco Calibre 11
Chanel Boy.Friend

When it comes to Chanel you’d expect fine design, and that’s exactly what the French fashion house delivers with this slim, feminine timepiece, with a diamond-encrusted bezel and crisp white dial.

Chanel Boy.Friend
Chanel Boy.Friend
Back to Top