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The non-round dress watch – less classical more exciting

With all the steel sport watches I have been reviewing lately, I feel that dress watches have become (at least for me) more approachable a relaxing, no heavy bracelets, no solid clasps, and subtle looks. I think the reason why steel sport watches are so popular is because they are of course more versatile and let’s call it as it is, less boring. I don’t want to point out certain watches in particular, but a round 34mm watch with 2 hands can be a bit uninspiring, but if we elongate the case or change the shape altogether, then you start to see what can be a very interesting proposition, you can play more with the numerals, the strap can be smaller or bigger but better proportioned, and the dial will definitely stand out from the norm. In this article I wanted to compare 3 watches that I had the pleasure to wear, they are all in a different price range and come from different countries so, I think it would be interesting to see how they compare to each other. I think you are going to like this one.

The Vacheron Constantin les Historiques 1912 LE (Switzerland)

I am biased about this watch because I own it, and I love it. I am not into vintage pieces and I not a dress watch person but this being a re edition and slightly different, well it just hits the mark. The tonneau rose gold shape case just oozes class and feels more organic than straight designs, the curved lines at the back makes the watch sit to perfection and also the articulated lugs makes this piece the most comfortable watch I’ve owned. The case is made of rose gold and at 30 mm size might suggest that it wears small but extends nicely to 43mm with a thickness of 7mm, perfection for my 6.25-inch wrist. The dial is a masterpiece, the grainy silver dial looks great under macro and those exploded numerals really complete the look on something I haven’t experienced before, the symmetry is perfect, and those beautiful black polished hands are the cherry on top, there are so many elements, and they all work on harmony to produce a watch that is not only classic but classy. The movement is manual wind caliber 1162 finished to high end standards with beveled edges and perlage, closed case back but you know that inside is the real deal. The Vacheron Constantin Les Historiques 1912 is a limited-edition of 1912 pieces.

The Fears Archival 1930 (Britain)

The design and the period I am looking at always goes back to the first half of the XX century, perhaps at this time watches were more simple but also focused on elegance, they are more ornamental but not less impressive. Fears is a brand that I’ve been very fond over the last few years and the quality of their pieces is very high. The Archival 1930 is a key testament on this, a rectangular case watch that looks and feels as art deco as anything, at 22mm by 40mm long the off-white dial with a gold rail track adorns the watch to perfection adding 5 symmetrical numerals on each side, feels and looks great. The steel case is straight but adds a case back which curves to add comfort to the wrist, it really wears well. The hands are blued and have a nice line that divides them to give more legibility, they look black and polishe but as soon as a ray of light hits them, that blue becomes a detail hard to miss. The movement is where a lot of time was put into, the Archival 1930 has an old stock movement from the 60’s that has been reworked to ensure reliability, it is an awesome detail to have something that is vintage but that works at modern standards. The Archival 1930 is available for pre order for April 2023.

The Cartier Tank Must (France)

Well, what can I say about the Cartier Tank Must that hasn’t been said, it is an icon, an institution of its own. It can be on the top 3 of most iconic watches alongside the Omega Speedmaster and the Rolex Submariner and there is a reason, it’s very good. You could go to the Cartier website right now and start feeling overwhelmed, lots of choices and one form better than the other but, if you want to be true to history and have the same level of elegance than world leaders, fashion artists and sports people, then nothing beats the Cartier Tank Must. The proportions are perfect, it doesn’t have anything more or anything less than is needed, a clear white face with roman numerals, 2 hands which are blued and even easter eggs on the number ‘’V’’. I love the simplicity and timeless feeling that such a watch can give you, with a steel case of 25.5 to 33.7mm the watch looks as fresh as the first day it came out, the blue ‘’cabouchon’’ looks mighty and ornamental, a great look which makes it more sophisticated, there is a lot to love here. The movement inside a Swiss quartz given the opportunity for the Tank to be very slim at 6.6mm and keep the price down. It is really hard to think of another brands that caters so many people from the so called ‘’fashionistas’’ to the enthusiasts and then also the scholars, Cartier really has it all and they are a force to be reckon.

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