Just yesterday we discovered that the Google Pixel Watch will go on sale in 2022. And now what appear to be Google's own marketing images for the watch have leaked too. There are six new images online at GSMArena, and while you should take any official product photography with a pinch of salt I have to admit that I'm quite smitten by the design. It's a bezel-less design, similar to the Apple Watch Series 7 but completely round rather than rectangular with rounded corners.
I completely agree with my colleagues that the Apple Watch is the best of the best smartwatches you can buy right now, and I think that'll continue in 2022 with the release of the Apple Watch Series 8 including a new ruggedised model for athletes. But having seen the Google Pixel Watch, I wish my Series 6 wasn't so square.
Round round baby, round round
Take a look at our best watches round-up, with an emphasis on the round. In the world of mechanical watches, square or shaped watches are less popular than their circular siblings. That's partly because traditionally they've been considered dress watches, not everyday watches: to oversimplify a bit, chances are if it's a fashion brand the watch will be square or shaped and if it's a performance or everyday watch it'll be round.
There are of course exceptions – so for example the TAG Heuer Monaco is square, popular and very beautiful too – but for many watch buyers, the round ones are the ones to buy.
A big reason for that is because a square or square-ish shape has a larger surface area than a round one, so if you have two watches with identical width and height the square one takes up more of your wrist and looks considerably bigger on your arm.
Don't get me wrong. I love my Apple Watch. But as a lady with gorilla-sized hands I need to wear the bigger size, and while Apple has done a pretty good job of making the bezels invisible it's still very big and very square and sometimes reminds me of the 1980s Casio G-Shock or those big plastic watches you buy your kids when they're just learning to tell the time. The big one's too big and the small one's too small; a big round one would be perfect.
When I think of iconic watches I don't think of square ones. I think of Rolex Oysters and Submariners, of Omega Speedmasters, of Patek Philippe Perpetual Calendar Chronographs and Breitling Navitimers and IWC Pilots and the many Seiko and Timexes I've worn over the years. And it makes me think that the change I'd like to see in the Apple Watch Series 8 isn't the specs or the sensors. It's the shape.