Monochrome Watches
An online magazine dedicated to fine watches
Buying Guide

Six Fascinating Rectangular Watches To Consider for the New Year

While we're very accustomed to round watches, there's something undeniably alluring in wearing a rectangular one instead!

| By Robin Nooy | 7 min read |

The new year has only just started, but we already have a piece of advice for you: if you’re hunting for new watches, which I guess most of you probably are, explore the industry a little. There is plenty of very interesting and cool stuff to be found off the beaten path, and it doesn’t take much to enter a whole new world you might have never known existed. Take rectangular watches, for instance, which offer a welcome break from the tons of round ones. And as you can tell from our selection, it doesn’t cost an arm and a leg to wear something stylish and Art Deco-inspired with a rectangular case. Then again, you can splurge if you really want to, as we’ll happily demonstrate in this Buying Guide!

Alpina Heritage Carrée Automatic 140 Years

Last year, Alpina celebrated its 140th anniversary in style with the Heritage Carrée. The brand first introduced this sleek style in a pair of limited editions using New Old Stock movements but followed that up with a non-limited edition powered by a modern movement. Slightly bigger in size, it still captures that lovely Art Deco flair of the celebratory model and its 1938 ancestor, for that matter. It now measures 32.50mm in width, 39mm in length and 9.71mm in height. Machined out of steel, the Heritage Carrée houses the Sellita-based calibre AL-530 with a power reserve of 38 hours. Worn on a light brown Ostrich leather strap, it is priced at a very reasonable EUR 1,450.

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Quick Facts – 32.50mm x 39mm x 9.71mm – stainless steel case, polished – sapphire crystal front & back – 30m water-resistant – matte black or silver (two-tone) dial (seen here) – printed Arabic numerals & railroad minute track – black or beige hour, minute and small seconds hand – calibre AL-530 (Sellita SW261) – automatic winding – 28,800vph – 38h power reserve – central hours, minutes, small seconds – ostrich leather strap – non-limited edition – EUR 1,450

Cartier Tank Louis Cartier Limited Edition

Perhaps the most famous rectangular watch of them all, at least in this selection, is the inimitable Tank by Cartier. This Europe-only Louis Cartier limited edition in platinum certainly caught our attention when released just last year. The fine laser-engraved dial finished in blue looks amazing and pairs perfectly with the blue alligator leather strap. The tank-inspired shape of the Tank is living proof a good design will never go out of fashion. The platinum case is 33.7mm long and 25.5mm wide at a thickness of just 6.6mm. Inside ticks the calibre 1917MC, made in-house. Unfortunately, this one is limited to 170 pieces only, so it might be a challenge to get your hands on one. The price was set at EUR 13,800 upon release.

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Quick Facts – 33.7mm x 25.5mm x 6.6mm – platinum case, polished & brushed – beaded crown with ruby cabochon – mineral crystal – solid platinum caseback – 30m water-resistance – Art Deco dial with laser-engraved texture – blue PVD coated – oversized Roman numerals – rhodium-plated sword-shaped hands – calibre 1917MC, in-house – manual winding – 21,600vph – 38h power reserve – semi-matter blue alligator strap with platinum pin buckle – limited to 170 pieces, Europe-only edition – EUR 13,800

Lang & Heyne Anton tourbillon platinum

The Anton is Lang & Heyne’s take on the rectangular watch, which is a rather spectacular one. It was first introduced in 2018 but is still part of the collection. Not only has Lang & Heyne made a rectangular case, in platinum for this one, by the way, but also a stunning rectangular-shaped movement, which is quite rare. In true L&H style, it is finished with great attention to detail, including black-polished finger bridges, hand-engraving, frosting on the mainplate and so on. Star of the show is the white enamel dial that gives way to the flying tourbillon escapement. The signature triple lugs attach to a deep blue handmade alligator leather strap. The Lang & Heyne Anton Tourbillon Platinum has a price of EUR 160,000 excluding taxes.

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Quick Facts – 40mm x 32mm x 9.4mm – platinum case, polished – triple lug design – onion-style crown with guards – ribbed caseband finish – sapphire crystal front & back – 30m water-resistant – white enamel dial with black minute track & numerals – steel Lancete hands, blued – exposed 1-minute flying tourbillon escapement – calibre IX, in-house – manual winding – 18,000vph – 55h power reserve – hours, minute, small seconds on the tourbillon – Haute Horlogerie finishing – handmade alligator leather strap – EUR 160,000 (excl. VAT)

Moritz Grossmann Cornerstone

Another rectangular watch that comes from Eastern Germany and has a shaped movement is the Moritz Grossmann Cornerstone. Again drawing inspiration from Art Deco style, it comes in a white or rose gold case and with either a solid silver opaline dial or a black lacquered dial. Both look amazing, but to us, this combination is the best as it has the most depth and life to it. It also comes with the signature violet heat-annealed hands for the hours, minutes and small seconds, which is always a treat! The manual wound calibre 102.3 is finished with the typical Moritz Grossmann flair with broad ribbing, hand-engraving, anglage and so on. Worn on an alligator leather strap, the Cornerstone costs EUR 42,000.

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Quick Facts – 46.6mm x 29.5mm x 9.76mm – white or rose gold case – sapphire crystal front & back – silver-opaline multi-layer dial (also in black lacquer) – heat-annealed hour, minute, small seconds hands – applied gold indices – recessed small seconds subdial – calibre 102.3, in-house – manual winding – 21,600vph – 60h power reserve – hand-finished with black polishing, engraving, gold chatons, heat-annealed screws etc. – brown alligator leather strap with gold in buckle – EUR 42,000

Hautlence Vagabonde Tourbillon Series 3

Now that we’ve gone through some stunning classical watches, it’s time to have a little fun with the superb Hautlence Vagabonde Tourbillon Series 3. With the return of Hautlence to the forefront of independent watchmaking also comes the return of its rectangular TV-shaped cases! The Vagabonde Series 3, made in collaboration with James Thompson, a.k.a. the Black Badger, has a blue PVD-coated steel case with a space-age superconductor dial with a deep rippled effect and a wandering hours complication driven by a flying tourbillon movement. What’s not to love about that? The price, perhaps, is CHF 68,000. It’s also limited to just 28 pieces, all fitted to a white rubber strap with a blue PVD-coated buckle.

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Quick Facts – 50.8mm x 43mm x 11.9mm – stainless steel with blue PVD coating – sapphire crystal front & back – rubber-clad crown – 100m water-resistant – copper-niobium superconductor dial with honeycomb structure – wandering hours display with rotating minutes – calibre D30, in-house (based on Moser HMC200 with planetary display by Hautlence) – 21,600vph – 72h power reserve – 1-minute flying tourbillon escapement – integrated white rubber strap with blue PVD coated steel buckle – limited to 28 pieces – CHF 68,000

Rado Anatom

Last on the list is Rado’s most recent release, the funky Anatom. With this, Rado returns to a historic name for inspiration but presents it in a very sleek and modern package. Based on the design ethos of the Anatom from 1993, it comes in a black high-tech ceramic case topped with a shaped and metallized sapphire crystal on top. The gradient dials come in blue, green or cognac for a bit of pop, with applied indices and hands finished with Super-LumiNova. Inside ticks the Rado calibre R766, which is an upgraded ETA 2892 fitted with a Nivachron hairspring and a 72-hour running time. The integrated black rubber bracelet is fitted to a triple-folding buckle with a ceramic cover. The price is a respectable EUR 3,750.

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Quick Facts – 32.5mm x 46.3mm x 11.3mm – black high-tech ceramic bezel, black PVD steel case middle – sapphire crystal front & back – black high-tech ceramic crown – 50m water-resistant – gradient blue, green or cognac dial – applied indices & hands with Super-LumiNova – Rado calibre R766 (ETA 2892 evolution) – automatic winding – 28,800vph – 72h power reserve – anti-magnetic Nivachron hairspring – integrated black rubber strap – triple folding buckle with high-tech ceramic cover – EUR 3,750

6 responses

  1. So many of these are just homages to Reversos…. Not exactly “fascinating”

  2. I don’t normally get very excited about high end watches but Cartier knocked it out of the park with that one. What a beauty of a watch.

  3. This is Hautlence’s best new model (since the Sphere). The Cartier and the Hautlence are the winners here.

  4. The Alpina is stunning for that price range a really great buy. I do not understand the observation back on a dress watch.

  5. The Alpine watch is Very nice and a great buy at that price. Is the observation back nescessary.

  6. The Alpina Heritage Carree captures the vintage look beautifully IMHO. Thank you, Robin, for the excellent article and great photographs.


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