There is a certain upscale elegance when it comes to square or rectangular case watches. By the way, we find in conversation that most people call them square watches even though most are rectangular.
The Cartier Tank is watch enters the mind of most people when they think of the dressy square watches. Jackie O, Princess Diana, Andy Warhol, Clark Gable and Sofia Coppola are just some of the well-known people who have chosen the Tank to become their signature timepiece.
The look is discrete and understated, always appropriate for a more formal setting. Then again GQ featured Ryan Reynolds wearing one with chinos and white T-shirt as well as more casual work outfit. So this look can be very versatile too. Sometimes the right juxtaposition of styles really works.
Note that the case dimensions on paper quite often won’t translate to how these watches wear on the wrist, so be sure to try them on. The Cartier Tank may not be everyone’s style, so we’ve gathered a selection of alternatives (at a range of price points) for your consideration.
Hermès Carré H:
The Carré H is designed by well-regarded furniture designer Marc Berthier and has very distinct and fun esthetic. But coming from Hermès, it still maintains an overall refined look even though the current size is 38mm x 38mm. which is on the large side for this case shape. The guilloche dial elements add texture and the red seconds hand offers just the right amount of color. This is the watch for men who are devotees to the Parisan luxury house. $7,125 at Hermes.com
Baume & Mercier Hampton: The automatic version of the Hampton uses an ETA-2892 movement (with a see-through sapphire caseback) and offers a classic rectangle case design, with gold markers and hands. At 31mm x 47mm, this overall look on the wrist is sleek. The well-placed date window is unobtrusive and still highly legible. $2,650.00 at Saks.com
Nomos Tetra: Like many watch fanatics, Nomos has a special place in our hearts. Its designs are rooted in the Bauhaus school of design, but there are always unexpected details from this German watch manufacturer that make their watches stand out. The Tetra family has a range of styles and sizes in square cases. We think the Tetra Neomatik 39 is the best style for men. It’s a bit sportier and thus more versatile. The in-house, ultra-thin automatic caliber DUW 3001 keeps a very low profile, so it’s very dress shirt friendly. The red seconds hand and light blue numerals marking seconds give this conservative style a refreshing jolt of energy.$3,860 at nomos-glashuette.com
Seiko SUP880: So here’s a solar, quartz Tank-homage for less than two bills. This one is a solid choice for anyone who wants to dabble in the rectangular watch arena, but isn’t ready to commit. Heck, buy one for your friend while your hitting that one-click checkout on Prime. $88.98 on Amazon.com