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Cartier Nomos

Considering a square/rectangular watch? Take a look at these options

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.

Photo by GQ

Photo by GQ












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


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

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

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 



A More Versatile Dress Watch: The NOMOS Glashütte Tangente 38

The NOMOS Glashütte Tangente 38 is slightly larger sized version of its core model, the Tangente. The 38mm version, compared to the standard 35mm case, gives it just enough size to make it less dainty and thereby a more versatile dress watch.

Fortunately, NOMOS knows how to do minimalist design and still inject a playful feel. The Tangente features NOMOS’ in-house manual wind movement, the Alpha. The case is only 6.75mm thick so, the proportions are slim and, of course, fit easily under a shirt cuff. (Although for many of us Rolex sport model lovers, we just get an extra bit of material added to our left cuffs.)

The Bauhaus design won’t win originality contests, but that’s not the point of the Tangente. It’s all about the little details, such as the blue hands, which achieve its color through heat treating. The elegant dial, with Arabic numerals at 12, 2, 4, 8 and 10, is very legible and the small seconds hand is discreet and functional.

When we visited the NOMOS booth at Baselworld, my eyes still gravitated back to their most basic models such as the Tangente or its Roman numeral counterpart the Ludwig. There’s something so stripped down, that it makes for a perfect watch to wear when you don’t want to noticed for what’s on your wrist. Only careful observers will note its refined details.

For many us who are sport watch fanatics, the NOMOS Tangente is an excellent dressier watch to have in the stable. First of all, get the see-through caseback version and you’ll get some additional pleasure from seeing the movement. You have on a discreet pleasure of craftsmanship, a real watch lover’s watch. And part of watch collecting is a solo pursuit, just knowing what’s strapped to your body is a mechanical marvel that happens to look sharp too.




The NOMOS Autobahn Neomatik 41 Date: A Departure for the German Brand

Most people associate NOMOS Glashütte with subdued minimalist designs that are crafted to standout with small details. At Baselworld 2018, their Autobahn series stood out the most, at least visually. Mad splashes of color, a 41mm case size (large for the brand) and a racing-inspired dial made the NOMOS Autobahn Neomatik 41 Date the most unlikely design departure for the company. Nomos lovers praise the simplicity, the in-house movements and value, so for the company to take such a risk in a new radical look was a big risk from a business perspective.

(Although perhaps watch obsessives live in a bubble. Rolex dealers aren’t shy to share how the new polarizing Air-King is actually a brisk seller).

Hodinkee panned the watch as much of the watch forum crowd. Our team still can’t get the Autobahn out of our heads. But we are also a company that wants you to put a bright orange rubber strap on your Sub, so our like of the Autobahn is in line with our tendency to fight positives in products that buck convention.

Photo courtesy of NOMOS

Car racing-inspired watch designs aren’t new, of course. As we debated the merits of the Autobahn series, it was pointed out that Autodromo has quite few nice-looking watches that evoke the speedometer. It’s Stradale model (pictured below) is one of favorite sub-$1,000 watches.

Photo courtesy Autodromo

But those familiar with the attention-to-detail NOMOS injects into every one of their watches understands that certain feel. The Autobahn models we handled at Baselworld delivered that X-factor, especially with an in-house Neomatik date caliber, which can be seen through the clear sapphire caseback. This movement is particularly slender too at 3.6mm thick and the quick-set date function can be adjusted forwards and backwards. What?! That’s a nice feature.

Photos courtesy of NOMOS

Critics of the Autobahn point out that lack of lume on the hands in two variants makes it difficult to read at night. While pure functionality is certainly more relevant on your main watch, we can overlook this fault if the Autobahn served as a watch that served as a “fun” choice within a more sober collection.

At $4,800, the NOMOS Autobahn isn’t an easy choice considering how much competition there is in that price category. But for those who’ve wanted a bit more flair out of NOMOS’s designs and have a Porsche to match, the Autobahn is a perfect choice. It’s funky yet still adhere’s to NOMOS’ attention to typography and clean design.

Check it out at