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The Oscars Confirm Rectangular Watches Are on Fire

Paul Altieri

If you regularly read watch-related content, you would have probably come across at least one article detailing all the luxury watches worn by top celebrities at the 2019 Academy Awards. With all the Jaeger-LeCoultre, Cartier, IWC, Rolex, and Richard Mille watches seen on celebrities’ wrists as they strutted down the red carpet, this year’s Oscars offered plenty of watch spotting opportunities.

Among all the watches, it was quickly apparent that square and rectangular timepieces stole the limelight. And while it’s no secret that these watches found their way to the red carpet thanks to the watch brands’ marketing efforts, that doesn’t take away from how great they looked paired with formal wear.

Oscar winner, Spike Lee was just one of the many celebrities wearing rectangular watches at this year’s Oscars (Image: Jaeger-LeCoultre).

Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Watches at the Oscars

Take the Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso for example – perhaps one of the most famous rectangular watches in the luxury watch landscape. First conceived as watch for polo players in the 1930s, the Reverso’s signature feature is its swivel case that turns on itself to hide the delicate crystal and dial to reveal the tough metal caseback. Since then, the Reverso has successfully transitioned from a watch for sportsmen to a fine dressy timepiece.

The Reverso is one of the most famous rectangular watches of all time (Image: Jaeger-LeCoultre).

For the Academy Awards, Spike Lee (who won an Oscar for “Best Adapted Screenplay” for the movie BlacKkKlansman) paired his purple suit and custom gold Nikes with a Reverso Classic Medium Duoface Small Seconds with a steel rectangular case and black leather strap.

Actor Nicholas Hoult from the Oscar-nominated film, The Favourite, also opted for a Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso, but his was a pink gold Reverso Classic Duoface Large – a solid choice to go with his classic black tux.

Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso
Nicholas Hoult wearing a Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso at the 2019 Oscars (Image: Jaeger-LeCoultre).

Rectangular Cartier Watches Too

Rami Malek, who took home the award for “Best Actor” for his portrayal of Freddie Mercury in Bohemian Rhapsody, also went with a rectangular watch for the evening. On the actor’s wrist was an ultra-elegant Cartier Tank Américaine in steel with a navy leather strap.


Some celebrities went more square than rectangular for their timepiece, like Christian Bale with his Cartier Santos. Bale’s Santos is actually a brand new version with a striking blue gradient dial that Cartier introduced at SIHH less than two months ago.

Another big winner of the night, Mahershala Ali, who picked up the “Best Supporting Actor” Oscar for his role in Green Book, wore a stunning Santos de Cartier Skeleton watch, which was clearly visible during his acceptance speech.


Pharrell Williams and Michelle Yeoh co-presented the award for the “Best Animated Feature Film” – each with a Richard Mille watch on. William’s wore an RM 70-01 Tourbillon, while Yeoh wore a red gold RM 037. Richard Mille watches are of course famous for their tonneau-shaped watches; that happy medium between a rectangular and round watch.


So the next time you have to get all dressed up for a fancy event, perhaps leave the classic round watch at home and reach for a rectangular (or square or tonneau) watch for a bolder take on the dress watch.

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Paul Altieri