An extremely charismatic, attractive and rare elongated tonneau-shaped wristwatch of the famous brand Cartier, founded in 1847. Present reference launched in 2006. Case made of 18k rose gold, dimensions 29.4 x 43.4mm (51.4mm including lugs), 8.5mm thick, Cartier rose gold crown with blue sapphire cabochon, solid-gold caseback with logo, reference and model serial number engraved. White silvered dial with ‘lotus’ guilloché pattern, Cartier ‘secret’ signature at 7 o’clock, blued steel Breguet-style hour and minute hands. Caliber 9790 MC, hand-wound, power reserve up to 40 hours. Functions – indication of time in hours and minutes. Cartier black leather strap, Cartier 18k rose gold double folding clasp.
The Tonneau XL is one of the late timepieces of the famous and highly collectible Collection Privée Cartier Paris (CPCP). The CPCP collection was introduced by the brand in 1998 and lasted until 2008. It consisted of watches based on historic Cartier designs, but employed modern technologies including a sapphire crystal, waterproofness and shock-resistance. The watches were equipped with modern mechanical movements – hand-wound, or, in some models, self-winding – supplied by companies such as Jaeger-LeCoultre, Piaget, Frédéric Piguet, Gérald Genta or Girard-Perregaux. The watches in the CPCP collection were available in very limited numbers, usually produced in small batches of 200 to 250 pieces, and are currently of undoubted interest to collectors.
The characteristic, elongated, sleek and curved shape of the case in the oversized version corresponded to the modern tastes of both ladies and men.
The design of the Tonneau XL is based on the first Tonneau wristwatch of this shape, created by Louis Cartier in 1906, so it was one of the earliest wristwatch designs of the brand (actually, it was the third wristwatch design embodied by Louis Cartier). In 2006, to celebrate the 100th anniversary of this historically important design, Cartier launched two versions of the Tonneau XL, oversized compared to the historical prototype, within the Collection Privée Cartier Paris. One of these watches was the hand-wound time-only Cartier Tonneau XL in 18k rose gold, the present example, and the other was the Cartier Tonneau XL Two Time Zone. The characteristic, elongated, sleek and curved shape of the case in the oversized version corresponded to the modern tastes of both ladies and men.
The dial features typical signs of Cartier’s watchmaking heritage, embodied in many historical designs. It certainly gives the watch a powerful vintage charm. There are pad-printed Roman numerals, a railway-style minute scale, a ‘secret’ signature at VII, blued Breguet or sword-shaped hands, and white silvered dial finishing with ‘lotus’ guilloché motif, which radiates from the 12-petal flower in the centre. It’s easy to suggest the inspiration for this motif came from vintage Cartier clocks, which often exhibited this distinctive decoration. Another unusual characteristic attribute of the dials of CPCP models was the inclusion of “Paris” under the brand logo. This was to be seen as a tribute to the city where Louis Cartier created his designs, many of which have served as the basis for the contemporary CPCP collection.
The Tonneau XL is powered by caliber 9790 MC, based on a Jaeger-LeCoultre hand-wound movement-blank. The caliber is personalized by Cartier and finely finished, including the double-C Cartier monogram engraving of the bridges, which is a must for the models of the CPCP collection.
Reasons to bid
The Cartier Tonneau XL ‘Collection Privée Cartier Paris’ Ref. 2802 H watch would appear to be a fine purchase for the collector who wishes to obtain an understated and at the same time impressive mechanical wristwatch of a legendary and historically important design from a world-famous watch brand, one of the market leaders in haute horlogerie. The ability to create elegant watches of attractive shapes is one of the strengths of Cartier, and the present watch is a clear confirmation of this power. The Cartier Tonneau XL, released to commemorate a century of outstanding wristwatch design, has itself taken an important place in the history of the brand. This is a classic collectible, especially since the production of this reference has been discontinued, and the number of pieces produced was small, undoubtedly adding to the attractiveness of the present lot.