Greg Simonian Weighs in on the Best New Square-Faced Watches

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The shape of a watch is probably the first thing you notice about it. Even across a crowded room you can make out someone’s sleek rectangular timepiece, or a barrel-shaped tonneau case, or a perennially popular round watch. To stand out in a crowd, consider the comfortable, the symmetrical, the pleasingly angular square. Whether its four corners are as sharp as military creases or as rounded as a cushion, a square timepiece—such as the following examples available at Westime boutiques—frame time stylishly.

Bell & Ross

BELL & ROSS
BR-X1 HYPERSTELLAR
The case of this 45mm chronograph is crafted from polished and micro-blasted grade 5 titanium, while its bezel features a protective insert of blue anodized aluminum. For extra protection from shocks, the square case is also covered with a titanium and rubber shell, or bumper. Wearing bulky gloves? No problem. The HyperStellar is equipped with a rubber grip function that makes it possible to even activate the chronograph pushers while wearing gloves.

Devon

DEVON
TREAD 1
The Tread 1 cuts its own path in the world of watchmaking. Its patented system of interwoven time belts—essentially conveyor belts carrying the hour and minute indicators—is powered by an electro-mechanical hybrid movement. The linear belts run their course inside an angular steel case with a black DLC treatment.

GIRARD-PERREGAUX

GIRARD-PERREGAUX
VINTAGE 1945 SMALL SECOND
In 1945, Girard-Perregaux launched the original 1945 watch adhering to Art Deco principles: simplicity, geometry, structural coherence and alternating materials. Seventy years later, the watchmaker revived the angular timepiece with a re-issue: Vintage 1945 Small Second featuring a steel and pink gold case. An integrated crown that fades into the middle of the case allows the nearly square case shape to maintain its symmetry. The automatic timepiece displays hours, minutes, plus small seconds at 6 o’clock.

GLASHÜTTE ORIGINAL

GLASHÜTTE ORIGINAL
SEVENTIES PANORAMA DATE
The soft corners of the Seventies Panorama Date harken back to the shape of TV screens in the 1970s. But this vintage-looking automatic watch in stainless steel on a steel bracelet is very modern. Beveled edges, luminous hands and indicators, oversize “panorama” date function and exquisite finishing of the movement are just some of the beautiful details visible within the soft, square bezel.

HAUTLENCE

HAUTLENCE
INVICTUS 04
With its three dimensional dial and skeletonized chronograph movement, the avant-garde Invictus 04 is not just a nearly-square watch, but essentially a miniature box of wonders. The combination of black and red details, including the case made from bead-blasted grade 2 titanium with black PVD-coated steel bumpers, bezel, pushers and crown, and honeycomb motif, lend a sporty effect.

MCT

 

MCT
FREQUENTIAL ONE F110
A 42mm cushion-shaped titanium case houses Manufacture Contemporaine de Temps’ unusual and exciting manual-winding movement, MCT-F1.0. A central suspended balance wheel forms the bullseye of the watch, while hour and minutes are displayed classically around the outside of the timepiece. Its dark gray dial plate is adorned with Côtes de Genève finishing.

Tag Heuer

TAG HEUER
MONACO CALIBRE 11 CHRONOGRAPH
In 1969, what is known today as TAG Heuer launched the first square, water-resistant automatic chronograph watch in the history of Swiss watchmaking: the Heuer Monaco. In 1971 it rose to cinematic fame on the wrist of Steve McQueen in the film Le Mans. The new Monaco Calibre 11 Chronograph in a 39mm steel case adheres to all of the most famous design codes of the original—complete with its crown on the left, petroleum blue dial with white counters, date at 6 o’clock, and vintage Heuer logo.

urwerk

URWERK
EMC TIME HUNTER
URWERK designer Martin Frei built a square-ish case for the EMC out of necessity. Not a traditional watch, the EMC includes a mechanical timepiece plus an electronic “brain” to monitor and correct how many seconds the watch gains or loses in a week. That requires such unusual features for the timepiece as a folding crank in the case band and a balance wheel like a vintage tape reel. The case is crafted of green ceramic-coated grade 5 titanium plus steel.

 

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