Glossary – Tonneau

While reading about watches, you may have come across the word “tonneau”. Here is what it means.

“Tonneau” is French for “barrel”. In the context of watches, it is used when talking about the shape of a dial. A tonneau-shape dial is a dial that is shaped like a barrel.

Like this:

Some watchmakers simply love this shape. One such is Richard Mille – see this post here for an example. In fact, I know of only one instance when Richard Mille has not used the tonneau shape. This was when Richard Mille collaborated with Phillipe Starck for the Only Watch charity auction in 2007. You can see the resulting watch here.

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