11/15/2016 | Updated on: 12/12/2023
 7 minutes

Top 10 Rectangular Watches

By Sebastian Swart

Round, oval, octagonal, and sometimes even shapes without names – watches come in all shapes and sizes. Even though most watches are round, one of the very first wristwatches ever was the square Cartier Santos. Watch manufacturers of all price and prestige categories have recognized that rectangular watches have been favored by certain customers in recent decades. Consequently, a number of luxury watch brands include these kinds of watches in their collections.

Today, we’re introducing you to 10 rectangular watches from various manufacturers and price segments. Which one is your favorite?

  1. Cartier Santos
  2. Cartier Tank
  3. Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso
  4. NOMOS Tetra
  5. Oris Rectangular
  6. Patek Philippe Gondolo
  7. TAG Heuer Monaco
  8. Glashütte Original Seventies Chronograph
  9. Longines DolceVita
  10. Raymond Weil Toccata

1. Cartier Santos – The World’s First Men’s Wrist Watch

The history of the Cartier Santos stretches all the way back to the year 1904. That’s when Louis Cartier developed this model for the Brazilian-French aviation pioneer Alberto Santos-Dumont. The Santos, with its hundred plus year history, is the oldest watch in the French jeweler and watchmaker’s catalog. Along with its square shape, the dial design also garnered a lot of attention at the time for its slanted Roman numerals and the railroad minute track.

The Cartier Santos as we know it today came out in 1978. In the 1980s and 1990s in particular, it became a sought-after icon on the luxury watch market. In addition to the classic lines Santos de Cartier and Santos Dumont, Cartier also offers the Santos 100 series. This series is a sportier interpretation of the model, which at 51.1 x 41.3 mm is significantly larger than other models.

Used Santos models start around $1,600.

Read more in our Cartier Santos Buyer’s Guide

Die weltweit erste Herrenarmbanduhr – Cartier Santos
The world’s first men’s wristwatch, the Cartier Santos

2. Cartier Tank – Military Design Inspiration

Louis Cartier first designed the Cartier Tank in 1917, in the middle of World War I. He took the tanks of the time as his inspiration. Since it launched, the Tank has been a constant in Cartier’s collection. The first watch in the Tank family was the Tank Normale. The Normale was followed by what is likely the most well-known model – the Tank Louis Cartier. The latter watch has a softer, rounder look and has remained a part of the Cartier collection since its debut. The most striking design features of the dial are the slanted Roman numerals and the railroad minute track, which still adorn many Tank references to this day.

The Cartier Tank has graced the wrists of many kings and queens, as well as stars like Andy Warhol, Clark Gable, and Duke Ellington. Today, the Cartier Tank collection has a number of different sublines, including the Tank Anglaise, Tank Louis Cartier, Tank Américaine, Tank Française, Tank Cintrée, Tank Solo, and Tank Must. All in all, the collection includes more than 50 different watches. You can gain entry into the world of the Cartier Tank with around $1,000 for pre-owned models.

Click here for the Cartier Tank Buyer’s Guide

Cartier Tank – von Panzern inspiriert
The Cartier Tank: inspired by military tanks

3. Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso – Designed for Polo Players

The Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso is probably one of the world’s best-known rectangular watches, after the Cartier Tank. LeCoultre introduced the model, with its reversible case, back in the early 1930s. The case was developed specially for polo players, to protect the crystal from damage during games. The manufacturer discontinued the Reverso for a long time, then later revived it.

Over the years, the collection turned into one of the most important lines for the Le Sentier company. The Reverso Ultra-Thin Tribute to 1931 was launched in 2011 to commemorate the model’s 80th anniversary. It’s a thin watch that closely resembles the original model from 1931.

In 2021, on the occasion of its 90th anniversary, Jaeger-LeCoultre introduced two new limited editions, the Reverso Tribute Duoface Fagliano and Reverso Tribute Nonantième. The most expensive Reverso is probably the Hybris Mechanica Calibre 185 Quadriptyque. This variant, with its 11 complications, has a price tag of 1.7 million dollars. On the other hand, prices for a simple, pre-owned Reverso start around $2,100 on Chrono24.

You’ll find more info on this classic in our Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Buyer’s Guide

Eckiger Klassiker mit Wendegehäuse: Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso
Rectangular classic with a reversible case: the Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso

4. NOMOS Tetra – Colorful Bauhaus Style

The square NOMOS-Modell Tetra – Greek for “four” – has already won a number of prizes in magazines and design competitions. The series brings together colorful dials with the sharp lines of a square case. What’s more, the NOMOS Tetra comes in a minimalist Bauhaus-style design, making it even more streamlined. It’s the epitome of simple elegance. Today the series is home to a number of variants in different sizes and with different in-house movements.

The NOMOS Tetra might not (yet) have the star status of the Reverso, Tank, or Santos, but for collectors looking for a square watch in Bauhaus style in a moderate price segment, the Tetra is an interesting alternative. Prices for a mint-condition NOMOS Tetra sit at around $2,000.

Tetra – die eckige Uhr von NOMOS.
Tetra: the square watch by NOMOS

5. Oris Rectangular – Art Deco Style

The Hölstein, Switzerland-based watch manufacturer Oris introduced its Rectangular collection in 2021. As you might have guessed from its name, the series is full of rectangular watches. Dials are available in blue, red, black, and white, all with a classic Art Deco flair to their design. Line indices and Arabic numerals at 3, 9, and 12 serve as hour markers, and a railroad minute track forms the outer edge of the dial. Oris chose colors for the straps that match the dial colors. And with a case size of 25.5 × 38 mm, the Rectangular makes for a great watch for any gender.

At just over $2,000, this Oris watch is both affordable and stylish.

Seit 2021 im Programm von Oris – die Reihe Rectangular.
In Oris’s catalogue since 2021: the Rectangular collection

6. Patek Philippe Gondolo Ref. 5124J & 5124G

The Swiss luxury watch manufacturer Patek Philippe came out with the Gondolo series in 1993. Some models are modern interpretations of earlier rectangular watches in Art Deco style. Back in the early twentieth century, Patek Philippe produced almost identically-shaped watches for the renowned Brazilian retailer Gondolo & Labouriau. The models were originally sold under the name Chronometro Gondolo. Since 1993, they’ve had their own contemporary line.

The references 5124J and 5124G are two beautiful examples of rectangular Gondolo watches. While the 33.4 mm x 43 mm case of the former reference is made of yellow gold, the case of the latter is white gold. Both watches contain the rectangular manual caliber 25-21 REC PS, and both have a small seconds subdial at 6 o’clock. Their design is characterized by the crown guard, which gives the Gonodolo its distinctive appearance.

Pateks Kult-Uhr mit vier Ecken – die Gondolo.
The Gondolo: Patek’s cult watch with four corner

7. TAG Heuer Monaco

The Monaco is a true classic in the TAG Heuer catalog. The watch, introduced in 1969 with the ref. 1133, was designed by Jack Heuer himself. The distinguishing feature of the watch is the position of its crown on the left side of the case at 9 o’clock. At the time this was necessary due to the caliber 11 inside, also known as the Chronomatic, which was one of the first automatic chronograph calibers. A few years later, the crown moved to the right-hand side and stayed there for several generations. Then, a few years ago, TAG Heuer came out with a Monaco with a design very close to the original ref. 1133, with the crown on the left side of the case and the chronograph pushers on the right.

The Monaco garnered a lot of attention on the wrist of Hollywood legend Steve McQueen, who wore the first Monaco (ref. 1133) in the 1971 film Le Mans. Used entry-level editions of the TAG Heuer Monaco start at around $2,100 on Chrono24. However, mint-condition top models, some of which are limited editions, go for upwards of $50,000.

Eckige Stilikone von (TAG) Heuer – Monaco Ref. 1133.
TAG Heuer’s angular icon: the Monaco ref. 1133

8. Glashütte Original Seventies Chronograph Panoramadatum

The Glashütte Original Seventies Chronograph Panoramadatum hearkens back to the Glashütte chronographs of the 1970s. The square cases in this line are rounded out with gentle curves, lending the watch a special elegance. The model is available with dials in light and dark blue, salmon, and dark green. The light blue and salmon variants are each limited to 100 pieces.

Inside the 40 mm x 40 mm stainless steel case, you’ll find the automatic Glashütte Original in-house caliber 37-02 with chronograph, panorama date, and a power reserve of 70 hours.

Mint-condition, non-limited edition pieces start at around $12,000 on Chrono24.

Der eckige Chronograph von Glashütte Original – Seventies Chronograph Panorama Datum.
Seventies Chronograph Panoramadatum: the square chronograph by Glashütte Original

9. Longines DolceVita

The DolceVita series has been in Longines’s program since 1997. With its moderate case sizes, the angular Art Deco watches are targeted explicitly towards women. The collection is inspired by models that Longines produced in the 1920s. In 2023, the Swiss manufacturer introduced a new variant, the Mini DolceVita, with a case size of just 21.50 mm x 29 mm. Both the regular DolceVita collection and the Mini DolceVita are available in a number of different color and strap/bracelet combinations. References with silver dials have classic appeal, whereas pieces with red or green dials boast a modern, stylish look. Depending on the reference, these watches use Roman numerals, line indices, or Arabic numerals to mark the hours. Most watches in the collection contain quartz movements, but there are also variants with automatic calibers.

Older pre-owned models can be found on the secondary market for around $320, while newer variants in gold or with diamonds go for over $8,600.

Seit 1997 im Programm von Longines – die eckige DolceVita.
In the Longines catalogue since 1997: the rectangular DolceVita

10. Raymond Weil Toccata

Raymond Weil is a relatively new watch brand born in 1976 in Geneva, Switzerland, and takes the name of its founder. Weil, who had a soft spot for classical music, usually named his watch collections after well-known pieces of classical music. The Toccata series is no exception – it gets its name from a fugue by Johann Sebastian Bach. The collection is home to a number of high-quality rectangular watches at fair prices. The collection is mostly aimed at women, though several larger references also make for good men’s or gender-neutral watches.

But no matter your gender, a Raymond Weil watch always contains a quartz movement. Golden and two-tone variants are merely PVD-coated. Thus, you can get a new rectangular Raymond Weil Toccata for $810.

About the Author

Sebastian Swart

I've been using Chrono24 for years to buy and sell watches, as well as for research purposes. I've had an infatuation with watches for as long as I can remember. As a …

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