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Cartier Tonneau

The Cartier Tonneau series is distinguished from the rest of the collection presented by the Parisian house thanks to its extraordinary design elements. The Tonneau was a timepiece that initially broke free from the design preferences of the period, as the shape of the dial was curved and slightly elongated like the shape of a barrel as opposed to the traditional circular form. The first Tonneau model was presented in 1906 and strongly represents the fashion inclinations of its time.

All Cartier Tonneau Watches

Cartier Tonneau

Cartier Tonneau

A stylish & elegant barrel

Tonneau – the French word for Barrel – proved to be a very popular case shape for Cartier that became prominent during the Art-Déco era. The exceptional form of the watch perfectly captured the spirit of the times and evidently corresponded to the geometric and lavish preferences of the time. Today, almost a century following the initial presentation of the watch, the Tonneau shape is still a classic form in watchmaking.

The first Tonneau timepiece was presented by Cartier in 1906 – just a short two years after the Santos was introduced. The Tonneau was the very first Cartier wristwatch for men, but the luxury watch producer soon began to manufacture this iconic shaped timepiece for women as well. Whether it is a men's watch or a ladies' watch, the exclusive Tonneau lends a touch of class to any wrist.

Over time, Cartier presented variations of the Tonneau model. The basic barrel shape of the watch remained consistent among the design elements of different Tonneau models, as the watches can often appear quite different.

Today, the original Tonneau models belong to Cartier's rare vintage watches. They also comprise a very important chapter in Cartier history. The world jeweller can look back on great accomplishments including opening boutiques overseas, introducing the first men's wristwatches, and acquiring prestigious customers on a global scale. But among all the accomplishments of the luxurious watchmakers, the world jeweller can proudly look back to the successful period in history in which the classic and exquisite Tonneau was presented to the world.

A 100th anniversary surprise

Cartier Tonneau and Cartier Tonneau XL

In order to celebrate the centennial birthday of the Cartier Tonneau, the luxurious watch manufacturer enriched the collection with a new model: the Cartier Tonneau XL. The Cartier Tonneau XL better adapts to the spirit of the times with a larger case and a wider strap. A particular model that is highly sought after is the Cartier Tonneau XL Two Time Zone (Ref. W1547851).

The unique shape of the Cartier Tonneau simply turns heads and can be instantly recognised by watch aficionados. The Tonneau is not a timepiece that is currently listed among the Cartier selection, but the demand for earlier Tonneau watches is ever increasing on the second-hand market. An interesting alternative to the Cartier Tonneau, however, is the Cartier Tortue.

The Tonneau was originally created for men but over the course of a century, Cartier has presented a wide range of Tonneau women's watches. They vary in size, materials, and styles, but the one element that remains constant between all Tonneau women's timepieces is the unique shape of the watch case along with the distinct Roman numerals that adorn the watch dial.

More often than not, yellow gold, white gold, or diamonds decorate the case and the bezel of the watches. The watch bracelets are always comprised of high-grade leather or gold. The size of the Tonneau dial also varies in order to ensure the highest level of wearing comfort for each individual wrist.