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A Little Angular and A Little Round – Cushion Cases

Cushion cases, the contrary shape of watchmaking, are under the spotlight.

Whether military or civilian, we frequently come across both round and angular case designs in the first watches that appear on the dusty pages of history.

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It is not difficult to guess why round cases have been so popular throughout history, including in today's world of watchmaking. The perfect placement of the circle form symbolizing the eternity of time inside the case and the easy availability of round movements are enough to place these watches on the top of the favorites list. The rectangular form, on the other hand, emerges through a completely different philosophy. Rectangular cases, which offer a monolithic appearance with the strap, are strong alternatives that offer elegance on the wrist without sacrificing comfort.

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In the 1920s, cushion case models, which can be considered as an intermediate form, were added to the list of the first wristwatches, which appeared in various forms, from round-shaped pocket watches made suitable for wearing on the wrist, to Cartier Tank or Santos designs, which are famous with their angular lines. Cushion cases produced with this trend, which started under the leadership of Patek and Rolex, suddenly attract great attention as they blend the best aspects of round and angular watches into one.

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Let's give some examples regarding the importance of cushion case watches. In a round case, the width data refers to the same measurement in the rectangular case as the diameter value. Unlike in rectangular watches, although there are exceptions, you will not easily come across sizes of 40mm and above, as in round watches. This is because manufacturers want to keep rectangular cases and strap/bracelet widths close to each other. Otherwise, the case of the watch will stay on your wrist as a wide plate, while the lugs will remain inside, and the flowing form of the round watches from the case to the lug will be lost. TAG Heuer Monaco owes its characteristic structure precisely to this discontinuous design approach. On the other hand, a Cartier Tank or JLC Reverso have much more elegant lines with the aforementioned flowing body/lug lines.


Panerai is indisputably one of the most successful representatives of cushion cases in today's watch world. In particular, the Radiomir collection hosts designs that can gather all the features that a cushion case watch should have under a reference number. The thin and short lug design presents an extremely stylish and comfortable presence on the wrist, despite the wide strap width. Even an extremely sized watch like 47mm becomes easily wearable even on an average size wrist. A round dial and a round crystal blended with an angular case, offer its user both a strong and smooth form.


If we take a look at the pinnacle of high watchmaking, we come across Patek Philippe. The 595X series gives almost all manufacturers a lesson on how a cushion case watch should be. The bi-compax, monopusher, split-seconds chronograph model 5950A of this series, where you can feel the elegance and extraordinary craftsmanship, makes the watch even more precious by the use of stainless steel.


Vacheron Constantin's Historiques American 1921 model welcomes us as a milestone among pillow case watches, just like Patek. The perfect blend of a 40mm sized model designed with angular lines with the signature of VC creates an object of desire for almost every watch collector.


A favorite in the 2022 Watches & Wonders trade show, the Piaget Polo, offers all the features that a modern and sporty cushion case watch should have together with superior quality and affordable price.


It is possible to multiply examples. From H. Moser & Cie. Streamliner to Laurent Ferrier Galet, from Doxa SUB500 to Seiko Sea Turtle, you can come across countless cushion case watches in various sizes, colors, and features.  

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