Guide to top watch case shapes

Guide to top watch case shapes

Updated at 22/12/2019 07:11 Luxury Watches Cartier Richard Mille TAG Heuer


The shape of your watch brings up a question. Why did you pick that one? You would think there were 100 styles of watches. Watch shapes encompass everything you can imagine. From the simplest of field watches to the jewel-encrusted work of art that happens to tell the time. Watches can take you from simple to sublime in a blink of an eye. Or should we say a tick of the clock?


Shopping for a watch is personal. Wearing a watch is personal. If you have a favorite watch it almost becomes an extension of you and your personality. Do you notice the watch of the person in line next to you, or you are having a conversation with? Don’t be nosy. But don’t you wonder how they landed on that particular watch? We associate watch brands with lifestyle. Well, at least fans of the watch do. You see someone pushing a cart through the market and they are wearing what looks to be a Navitimer. You think, wonder if he has a plane or a Bentley. Get the idea?


It comes down to personal preference. If you want a diver’s watch you will most likely end up with something round. That’s not all. There are many different purpose-built watches that are round. It could be an elegant dress watch like a Calatrava. Sports watches like the chronograph are round case watches.


Classic shape to be sure, the rectangle shape comes to life as a JLC Reverso or a Cartier Tank. There is a distinct art deco element to the tanks you see in the shops. Cartier released their first tank watch in 1917. Since then, the tank is synonymous with the brand. Today, most tanks originate with Cartier or Jaeger-LeCoultre. The fact is, rectangular watches are much less common today. Those that do exist are throwbacks taking inspiration from those early wristwatches.


You think round, minimalist, baton markers, and fewer complications when you think dressy. These are high style offerings that go with a black tux for that special gala night out. What if you found a gold watch, black dial, and few complications on a Tourneau shaped watch? Would it qualify as ultra-elegant? You bet it would.


Audemars Piguet Millenary


Three watch case shapes that the disinterested passer-by wouldn’t think twice about. Fine watches and nuance go hand and hand. Try to debate whether the now-legendary porthole shape holds back the Nautilus. How about a classic Rolex with a pie pan dial? or the Audemars Piguet Millenary Collection with the Oval shape?, It is almost impossible to argue the fine points. So many of the watches we love are not loved for their shape of the case alone.


There is one leading, classic design. It is the TAG Heuer Monaco. It strikes your eye then it grows on you. One of the key cool factors of this watch is the square shape. Add color, racing stripes, AND Steve McQueen and it’s game over. You want one immediately. When your co-worker goes for a second peek and sees this watch they’ll say something. Your reply is “Monaco.” Drops the mic.


Remember we used the world sublime a minute ago? The tonneau case shape is not expected. Talking about certain brands and their tonneau-shaped watches could take all day. Except if we are talking Richard Mille. This is tonneau extraordinaire. Have a peek at any of the Richard Mille watches that have RM-11 in the name. While these watches run well into the six figures, the point is you can’t ignore a watch based on its shape.


A watch case defines the watch. In motoring, a sedan, two-seater, or sports coupe defines the car. When you are talking about your GMT, you don’t mention that it is round. When you look at a GMT, round works. You think to yourself, I purchased a Rolex GMT! Not, oh my, look at how round it is. We celebrate our favorites by wearing them and collecting them. We love it when some notices, they recognize that the watch you are wearing isn’t any watch. It is a Cartier Tank in platinum, and the patina keeps you looking and looking! Yes, it is a celebration!


Not content with a watch that only tells time? Special watches are out there. If you are asking yourself how do I choose a watch like this? What should I pay? Is there value behind the brand and price? You owe it to yourself to look closer into the buyer decision making guides. shows you your options as a buyer. Our guides are indispensable while trying to decide which brand and model is right for you. is ready to help. Contact us today! Our passion is timeless.

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