Cartier - The Geneva Watch Auction: XIII Geneva Saturday, May 8, 2021 | Phillips

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  • Manufacturer: Cartier
    Year: Circa 1920
    Case No: 11298 and 4326
    Model Name: Tonneau
    Material: Platinum and 18K yellow gold
    Calibre: Manual, 18 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Leather
    Clasp/Buckle: Metal buckle
    Dimensions: 26.5mm Width and 38mm Length
    Signed: Case, dial and movement signed

  • Catalogue Essay

    One of the most iconic designs of the 20th century, the present watch is one of the very first Tonneau models ever made. Exuding elegance, the present timepiece was the brainchild of Louis Cartier and incredibly modern in appearance when launched in 1906. It is incredible how a design from the early 20th century is synonymous with Cartier's design codes today, attesting to Louis Cartier's vision for La Maison. In fact, this very model today has been revived throughout Cartier's history, proof of its enduring design. Details such as the guilloché flower and cabochon crown can still be found on Cartier models today.

    The present timepiece is consigned from the family of the original owner, a jeweler in Paris who had bought the timepiece directly from the Cartier boutique. Still displaying its original hand stamped Cartier numbers and French hallmarks, the timepiece has not been restored in any way - attesting to its desirability and collectibility. Incredibly important in terms of the brand's historical context, this timepiece represents the history and design flair of one of the most important models from the world's most important watch brands.

  • Artist Biography



    With the Constitution of 1848 came a new standard for luxury in France. Founded one year prior by Louis-Francois Cartier, the house of Cartier was one of the first to use platinum in jewelry making. This incredibly expensive material became the stepping-stone for Cartier to experiment in form, mechanisms and attitude. It helped men move from pocket watches to wristwatches, effectively making the watch much more functional and prominent in a man's overall wardrobe.

    Cartier did not only touch on functionality. Inspired by a commissioned painting by George Barbier featuring a black panther at the feet of an elegantly bejeweled woman, Cartier began incorporating wild animals in his designs—most notably, Cartier Panthère rings, bangle bracelets and watches. Yet it wasn't until the late 1960s that the house of Cartier debuted their iconic yellow and rose gold LOVE collection, which includes the famous bracelet that only a special screwdriver can open. 

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A highly rare and well-preserved platinum and yellow gold tonneau-shaped wristwatch

Circa 1920
26.5mm Width and 38mm Length
Case, dial and movement signed

CHF20,000 - 40,000 

Sold for CHF25,200

Contact Specialist

Alexandre Ghotbi
Head of Watches, Continental Europe and the Middle East

41 79 637 1724



The Geneva Watch Auction: XIII

Geneva Auction 8 - 9 May 2021