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INTRODUCING: Cartier’s new Baignoire models

Cartier Baignoire

Elegant and ethereal, this distinctly feminine collection is endowed with a few design tweaks.

After the sexy square Santos was launched in 1904 and the bold, tonneau-shaped Tortue came out in 1906, Cartier’s designers and craftsmen worked on a more feminine form, finally settling on a rectangular case that was smoothed at the edges. From its unveiling in 1912, the softly rounded shape continued to evolve until the late 1950s, establishing itself as the ultimate ladies’ watch. This ‘curved oval’ timepiece, whose slightly curved case was designed to fit the contour of the wrist, came to be named the Baignoire in 1973, displaying the volume and signature details for which it is now known: domed crystal, Roman numerals, and a smooth gold ribbon.

Cartier Baignoire
Lou Doillon’s mother, the legendary Jane Birkin, gave the French singer her first Cartier Baignoire when she turned 18.

This was the very watch that French singer Lou Doillon was gifted upon turning 18 from her late mother, the storied actress and musical collaborator Jane Birkin. Two decades later, in time to celebrate Birkin's colourful life and notable contribution to contemporary style, Doillon lends her inimitable Parisian poise to celebrate the Baignoire’s refreshed styles within the collection. And a substantial one it is, with five references in the Mini size (24.6mm by 18.7mm) and six in the slightly larger Small (31.4 mm by 23.1mm). But while the watches differ in size and finishing, there are certain elements that are constant – a silvered dial, for one, which sits atop a quartz movement and a case crafted from 18K white, pink, and yellow gold that provides water resistance for up to 30m. 

Cartier Baignoire
Lou Doillon effortlessly combines the Baignoire with other iconic Cartier accessories.

The first new version of the Baignoire – which means bathtub in French – celebrates pure elegance through the delicate nature of its proportions, with the bold shine of yellow gold contrasting broadly with a black patent leather strap. For the second, the watch’s emblematic oval is transformed into a bangle, a circle of gold to be slipped onto the wrist. And because it is part of Cartier’s design culture, it can be combined endlessly with other creations from the Maison. 

Cartier Baignoire Mini model in yellow, rose, or white gold with diamond-set options and matching bangle or patent calfskin strap.

“As Cartier was a jeweller before being a watchmaker, a Cartier watch blurs the boundaries between these two founding crafts and makes it possible to capture the best of both,” comments Marie-Laure Cérède, the Maison’s creative director of jewellery and watchmaking. “This combination has resulted in the sleek and sophisticated design of the mini Baignoire. The combination of a beaded bracelet with a pure line and a miniature dial without any attributes gives this aesthetic reference to our heritage a sublime touch. The mini Baignoire becomes a piece of jewellery.”

Cartier Baignoire
Cartier Baignoire Small model in yellow or rose gold with diamond-set options and patent alligator-skin straps.

The complete collection of 11 watches serves a variety of needs and styles. The new bangle and leather strap only feature in the Mini range, letting you choose between a solid gold case or one with a diamond-studded bezel. In the Small line, diamond-studded or plain gold cases are combined with alligator leather straps or metal bracelets. Both lines provide the option of a fully-paved bezel and bracelet too, but we daresay the smooth shape and undulating lines of the Baignoire are best expressed in plain gold.

Cartier Baignoire
Cartier Baignoire Small model in yellow or white gold with matching bracelet and diamond-set options.

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