Curve Appeal: The New Shape in Luxury Watches

Undulating edges and oblong casings—we're seeing watches that aren’t square, but aren't quite round, either.

For so long, it seemed as though watches were one of two shapes. But the return of tonneau timepieces—French for barrel—has opened the door for watchmakers to push the envelope—and for us to adjust our eyes. 

The second watch Louis Cartier designed was a tonneau. That was in 1906, and the company recently brought the shape back. So did other watchmakers, giving us all a third option. Richard Mille, a relative upstart in luxury watches as it was founded in 2001, created his watches in the tonneau shape from the very beginning. His reasoning was pretty simple: it sits flatter on the wrist. (Drake agrees.)

Below, we point to some of the most sophisticated luxury watches created by iconic brands that are tapping into the recently-revived tonneau trend. Have a scroll to discover our top picks.

Cartier


Courtesy Cartier

The Cartier Privé Tonneau in platinum is a limited edition of 100 numbered pieces—so get it while you can.

To buy: cartier.com, $26,200

Tom Ford


Courtesy Tom Ford

Tom Ford 002 comes on a black alligator strap with a gold-accented watch face. 

To buy: tomford.com, $3,590

Laurent Ferrier


Courtesy Laurent Ferrier

Laurent Ferrier Bridge One has an especially unique curved shape. 

To buy: cellinijewelers, $42,000

 Parmigiani Fleurier


Courtesy Parmigiani

Parmigiani Fleurier Kalpha chronograph is just as sleek as it is utilitarian. 

To buy: parmigiani.com, $36,700

Hermes


Courtesy Hermès

The Galop d’Hermès in steel tapers toward the top—this isn't a shape you'll see often.

To buy: hermes.com, $3,650

Omega


Courtesy The Real Real

Vintage Omega Automatic Prestige De Ville Tonneau features the classic aforementioned French curve shape.

To buy: therealreal.com, $1,995

Hublot


Courtesy Hublot 

The aptly-named Hublot Big Bang Unico Rainbow King Gold is pretty much as flashy as they come—and certainly a one-of-a-kind timepiece.

To buy: hublot.com, $91,600