Cartier Tonneau Dual TimeSold
Cartier Tonneau Dual Time
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The Tonneau was introduced in 1906, just two years after the first men’s wristwatch, the Cartier Santos. The ornate barrel-shaped case—’tonneau’ being the French word for barrel—was a precursor to the tastes of the Art Deco-era that would soon follow: strong, bold, and geometric. Unlike the Cartier Tank, the Tonneau never enjoyed mainstream success. It was truly a connoisseur's watch. The 18k yellow gold 46 mm x 26 mm case on this 2000s Tonneau appears quite large but wears elegantly due to the slim and curved shape of the case that follows the curvature of the wrist. The elongated shape of this Tonneau is wonderfully balanced due to the dual time zone complication. The upper half of the dial features the classic Cartier Tank configuration with large black painted Roman numerals. The second time zone, on the lower half of the dial, is displayed by means of painted Roman numerals on the quarters. Two sapphire-cabochon topped crowns allow each time zone to be adjusted separately. As the watch was originally retailed in Cartier’s flagship Place Vendôme boutique, it features the neat ‘PARIS’ signature as well.
Cartier Louis-François Cartier took over his master’s jewellery workshop in 1847. Over the years, his sons and grandsons inherited the family business and expanded the brand by opening shops in New York and London. King Edward VII of the United Kingdom granted Cartier a prestigious royal warrant in 1904, calling the brand “the jeweller of kings and the king of jewellers.” Such was the renown of Cartier, that royal warrants soon rolled in from all over the world (among which, Belgium, Egypt, Greece, Siam, Spain, Portugal, and Russia). While Cartier is known primarily for its jewellery, it also has a storied history in watchmaking. Cartier’s first foray in watchmaking came in 1888, offering exclusively ladies models. In 1904, Louis Cartier gave his friend and Brazilian aviation pioneer Santos Dumont a watch to wear during his flights. Until then, wrist watches were worn exclusively by women and men opted for the traditional pocket watch. The ‘Santos-Dumont’ was not only the first wristwatch geared towards men but also the first pilot’s watch.