A perfectly proportioned rectangular watch is a different breed from your typical round watch: it just doesn’t measure up the same way. We’re talking rare style from modern watch brands — and it’s rare to find an example that manages to pull off the right balance and proportions so well.
Too many watch brands fail to get the rectangular watch right, despite its obvious simplicity. Now, Oris has resurrected its descriptively named rectangular collection to general acclaim. Is this the archetypal rectangular watch we’ve been waiting for for the 21st century?
When most people want to wear a beautiful rectangular watch with the charisma and charisma worn by the characters and celebrities they have seen in the movies, they want a Cartier tank. I thought I wanted one too. But the Oris showed me that a tank doesn’t have to be a sleek rectangular silhouette on the wrist.
After test-driving this Oris for a month, here’s what I found.
- 1 At a glance: Oris rectangular
- 2 Oris rectangular which is better
- 3 Oris is rectangular which is not correct
- 4 Oris Rectangular Watch: Verdict
At a glance: Oris rectangular
Outer diameter: 25.5mm x 38mm
Case Depth: 10.3mm
Water Resistance: 30m
Movement: ETA 2671 automatic
duties: Hours, Minutes, Seconds, Date
Oris rectangular which is better
The success of such a watch depends almost entirely on its size and proportions. Almost every brand that tries a rectangular watch gets them wrong: too tall or too thick, and they completely miss the point: a watch like this should be is relatively small.
Small, that is, by modern standards, and the Oris is rectangular at just 25.5mm. That sounds small in terms of a round-watch, but you can’t apply the same criteria to a rectangular watch. (Apple knows this and gives its measurements by length to better understand how it fits your wrist.)
Using those terms, the rectangle measures 38mm – and yes, that wears on the small side. But small watches are very popular and what a watch like this should be enough The rectangular shape conforms to my 6.5-in wrist, is very subtly curved and – and this is key – it’s reasonably thin despite its automatic movement inside.
This is an affordable Cartier tank alternative
Well, $2,000 for what you didn’t required Not “affordable” in absolute terms. But for those who want a tank, it’s a full thousand dollars less than the quartz version and half the price of an automatic (and a fraction of that on high-end models) — and of course, the Oris runs on a Swiss automatic movement.
The Oris rectangle plays the part of the tank, a well-proportioned and well-proportioned rectangular watch with a sheen of refinement and quality. And, as mentioned above, if you want the classic look of a tank, there are relatively few good options. The Baum & Mercier Hampton ($1,600+) and the Longines Dolce Vita ($1,675) come to mind, but in my opinion the Oris beats both with its balanced dimensions and more interesting overall design. An example of something like the Bulova Joseph Bulova Breton ($1,050+) looks just right, but turns out to be too big.
However, if you just want a super affordable, practical tank knockoff, Seiko’s older quartz replacement (~$195) is still available on Amazon.
This is not a Cartier tank
It is only a tank alternative as it is one of the few modern watches that can successfully deliver a comparable style. In fact, its Art-Deco dial is more reminiscent of certain versions of another rectangular icon: the Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso.
This style of watch was essentially invented by Cartier, so yes, they are Such is the case Own it. But many respectable watch companies, especially in the early 20th century, offered their own take on it as well. Making a rectangular watch doesn’t mean being a copycat, and Oris’ take is good enough on its own, it doesn’t need to be compromised.
I don’t want a wannabe watch and an Oris rectangular watch is not one. Aside from its overall shape, details like its prominently stepped case sides and art-deco dial design give it a unique style – and together, they’re harmonious and interesting.
Oris is rectangular which is not correct
It could use some more traditional straps
Orris tried to avoid the wind coming with something like a tank. They wanted to make more of these watches fun. Overall, in my opinion, they succeed, but the dial and strap colors skew a little towards the fashionable range for my tastes.
Watches like this aren’t necessarily relegated to dress duty, but the colors Oris offers make them hard to match, especially for something like a basic suit. (Unless you’re a fashionista, maybe… but I’m not). The gray dial version I tested comes on a dark olive-green strap; It’s comfortable and good quality, but I’d like to see it on a more traditional black leather strap.
Perhaps all versions would be more versatile on such a strap, especially the white dial one — currently shipping on a yellow strap that, personally, I couldn’t pull off.
The date display is very small and difficult to read
I appreciate this watch for its size and proportions, but they also come with their compromises. The crown is small, but still usable. The date display, on the other hand, is much smaller. There is a whole subset of watch collectors with an elaborate anti-date display who prefer dateless watches for their aesthetic symmetry.
I generally find date displays practical and useful and appreciate when they are thoughtfully integrated into the design. Oris’ rectangular shape, however, may be one of the things that makes the watch better by omitting the date.
Too young / dressy / anachronistic / too feminine? Maybe, for some
It’s very subjective, but small, rectangular watches come with some baggage. I mentioned that many watch brands have stopped making them, but in fact, many still do — designed and marketed exclusively for women. Some people may look at the Oris’ rectangular shape and call it a “women’s watch,” which is what happened to me while testing it for this review. I’m not personally bothered by it, but some people might be.
This feminine association has flourished over the past few decades, but the watch world is seeing its history more now than ever. If you look back far enough, you will find that it was a men’s watch style and the men who wore it back in the day were “manly” enough. Personally, I love the look of such watches, usually worn by serious-looking guys in old photographs.
When these watches were commonplace the whole world was a place of formal dress – and the style would say “dress watch” to most people. Sure, it can pull dress duty and do it very well (especially with a more traditional strap), but I personally prefer wearing it. Of course, with just 30 meters of water resistance, it’s not a tough dive watch – but it’s fine for 90 percent of everyday existence.
Oris Rectangular Watch: Verdict
While the rectangular shape does not convey the same history and identity value as the iconic Cartier tank, it offers a more versatile wearing experience. The dress is easy to wear and has its own personality. As a tank alternative, it’s a step above entry-level Swiss watches in terms of price, but you probably don’t want to compromise on finish and quality for a watch like this.
For anyone enamored with the archetypal silhouette of a tank, especially one who doesn’t need a tank, I can wholeheartedly recommend checking out the Oris Rectangle. And for those who find such watches too petite, feminine, dressy or old-fashioned, there are plenty of rounder options for you.
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