The Cartier Tank or Santos may be the famed names, but the Tonneau is one of earliest wristwatches created by the Parisian Maison. First created in 1906 (just two years after the creation of Santos (1904)), the name ‘Tonneau’ which means ‘Barrel’ in French is an ode to the shape, where the dial is on the cusp between a rectangle and an oval, the case curves slightly, tendering one of the first significant modifications aimed to fit better at the wrist.
The original Cartier Tonneau first created in 1906.
The Cartier Privé Collection sees a famous Cartier design reinvented to signature creations issued in limited editions – previously with the ‘Crash’ in 2015, then the ‘Tank Cintrée’ in 2017 and now ahead of SIHH 2019, we’re teased with two variations of the Tonneau, one an elegant two-handed timekeeper, the other a skeletonised dual-time piece.
TONNEAU WATCH LARGE MODEL
The Tonneau Large model comes in pink gold with a champagne dial and another in platinum with a silver dial. The bezel on this watch is formed from one block, with no overhang or breaks in the plane, and its contours and lugs melt into the watchcase. Both versions have alligator leather straps, grey straps with the platinum, brown straps with the gold, and are outfitted with Cartier’s new Caliber 1917, a manual-winder with a 38-hour power reserve. The platinum watch is limited to 100 pieces.
TONNEAU WATCH EXTRA-LARGE MODEL
The Tonneau XL dual time zone model in the CPCP collection, which had two separate mechanisms for the home time and the second time zone was the inspiration for the 2019 Tonneau Watch Extra-Large Model. Selecting a curved case, placing a dual time zone in it, making it on one single movement, the 9919 MC calibre. Two complex feats were required in order to remain true to the original shape. Firstly, to retain the watchcase’s elongated form, all the wheels of the gear train had to be aligned between 12 and 6 o’clock. Then the shape of the movement underwent modification, being made to curve so it fits within the curved contours of the Tonneau watchcase. The gear train features angled cutting on its barrel and escapement wheel ensuring it falls nicely on the wrists. Lastly, the time is easy to read on the skeleton bridges, and the second time zone is set by pressing on the crown at 4 o’clock and by one-hour jumps. The pink gold and platinum versions come in limited, numbered editions of 100 pieces, while 20 numbered pieces are available in the baguette-cut diamond-set platinum series.
These editions will be officially introduced at the SIHH 2019. More details at cartier.com.