Pre-SIHH 2019: Cartier revives the Tonneau shape from its Privé collection
Cartier has always played on its strengths as a jewellery designer to produce timepieces that defy the norm with their form. The Santos, the Tank, the Crash and even the Panthère have eschewed the ubiquitous circular shapes that pervade the market and have captured the imagination of collectors with their unique forms.
Back in 1998, Cartier recognised this appeal and released the Collection Privée Cartier Paris (CPCP) - the name itself sounds posh. It was essentially a collection of numbered and limited edition timepieces from across Cartier's product lines that paid homage to iconic shapes from its history, and fitted with movements from the likes of Piaget and Jaeger-LeCoultre.
The line wound down in 2008 as Cartier ramped up efforts in its Fine Watchmaking department. For 2019, however, the Privé rears its head once again with one of the most collectible shapes in Cartier's history: the tonneau.
First unveiled in 1906, it makes a welcome comeback in the Cartier Privé family, this time equipped with two in-house movements. The design codes of the Tonneau remain true to the original version, retaining the cabochon crown, Roman numerals, the apple-shaped Breguet hands and screws on the short lugs.
The 2019 version is sexy as hell as well: available only in a limited edition of 100 pieces, the timepiece comes in either rose gold or platinum. While we have a thing for rose gold watches (they're just so elegant), we can't deny the appeal of the platinum version, especially with that silvered dial.
As an additional treat, Cartier has also launched the Skeleton Dual Time Zone Tonneau watch, which pays tribute to the original CPCP iteration, which featured two separate movements driving the two time zones. For 2019, however, Cartier has leveraged on its own watchmaking prowess and presents the timepiece with the 9919 MC calibre, which takes pride of place in the watch. The two dials sit atop the skeletonised gear train, making for a visual treat. Hundred pieces of the rose gold and platinum versions are available, and if you'd like some bling, only 20 pieces of the platinum watch with baguette-cut diamonds will be up for grabs.