La collection Cartier - Historical and Exceptional pieces of la Maison Cartier

Tonneau wristwatch

CARTIER PARIS, 1908

Yellow gold, one sapphire cabochon, leather strap.

Round LeCoultre caliber 10HPVM movement, gold-plated, 18 jewels, Swiss lever escapement, bimetallic balance, flat balance spring.

Sold to Countess von Hohenfelsen, the morganatic wife of Grand Duke Paul of Russia, and one of Cartier’s most important clients.

2.95 x 2.30 cm (case)

Louis Cartier was the first jeweler who set the design codes of modern watchmaking. Unlike his contemporaries, he believed the beauty of a watch was not just a matter of its decoration. Its size, shape and proportions, the look of the metal, the harmony between bracelet and case counted for just as much. He soon became interested in "Shaped watches" – those with a case that broke away from the traditional round design. "Tonneau" shaped watches in 1906, square cases from 1908, and "tortue" shapes in 1912 were the first examples of very beautiful watchmaking created by an innovative jeweler. Cartier never stopped conceiving new shapes, sometimes eccentric, often very daring, but always refined.

The composer Igor Stravinsky posing with his Tonneau watch in 1949.
© Getty Images/ Hulton Archives

TORTUE
WRISTWATCH

CARTIER PARIS, 1919

Platinum, one sapphire cabochon, leather strap.

Engraved on back of case: From the personnel American officer’s Hotel Paris, May 17th 1919

Round LeCoultre caliber 126 movement, fausses Côtes de Genève decoration, rhodium-plated, 8 adjustments, 19 jewels, Swiss lever escapement, bimetallic balance, Breguet balance spring.

3.25 x 2.25 cm (case)

Wristwatch
with curved bezel

Cartier Paris, 1965

Yellow and pink gold, leather strap. Flat notched winding crown on back.

Round LeCoultre caliber 496 movement, fausses Côtes de Genève decoration, rhodium-plated, 15 jewels, Swiss lever escapement, monometallic balance, flat balance spring.

2.8 x 2.0 cm (case)

Crash
wristwatch

Cartier Paris, 1967

Yellow gold, one sapphire cabochon, leather strap.

Barrel-shaped LeCoultre movement, caliber 840, rhodium-plated Côtes de Genève decoration, 17 jewels, Swiss lever escapement, monometallic balance, flat balance spring.

The company legend is that the design was based on a watch that had been in an accident.

4.25 x 2.50 cm (case)

Maxi Oval
wristwatch

Cartier London, 1969

Yellow gold, one sapphire cabochon, leather strap.

Barrel-shaped LeCoultre movement, caliber 840, rhodium-plated Côtes de Genève decoration, 17 jewels, Swiss lever escapement, monometallic balance, flat balance spring.

5.25 x 2.28 cm (case)

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