Beginning of a Revolution
This story begins in the early 20th century with the adventurous idea of shaking up the traditional watchmaking industry and creating an unusual watch that reflects the craftsmanship of the French jewellery house Cartier and surprises with an unprecedented design. In 1912 after reviewing the archives, Louis, the grandson of Louis-François Cartier, the founder of Cartier, presented a watch with an elongated oval dial reminiscent of bathrooms of the time. It was because of this similarity that the watch was baptized "Baignoire" (meaning bath). The novelty of this watch was its horizontally rotated dial. The Roman numerals embossed on the dial were also elongated. For a perfect finish, the ladies' model was decorated with more than 70 diamonds.
Cartier Baignoire continued its journey through to the late 1960s when it was revived with a more modern design - the body turned upright, got a shorter and softer oval, and surrounded by a yellow gold ring. A few years later, the Baignoire underwent another change in the London workshop: the rounded ends of the case were sharpened and the numerals began to reflect the London Westminster bell tower. Fitted snuggly around the wrist, the sophisticated Baignoire Allongée swayed along with the swinging London of the 1970s.
Revival of the Triune
Now in 2019, Cartier has revived the Baignoire model once again. Cartier presented the world with sophisticated variations of all three models. A subtle classic that shines again with hundreds of diamonds or scores with new, unusual cuts. Nevertheless, all models have retained their original characteristics: grace, surprise and craftsmanship that has been perfected for almost a couple of centuries.
Some Baignoire models not only fall into one category - the art of watchmaking - but are also considered high-end jewellery, which is also reflected in the price of the models. One of the most exclusive models in the new collection is the Baignoire Allongée in 18-carat gold, with an ice-white rhododendron and diamond-encrusted dial. The price is set at 160,000 US dollars.
The Baignoire of today is aimed at an elegant but modern lady. The small, oval case comes in in white or rose gold. The Roman readings of 1912 have been retained. The watch is completed with blue steel arrows in the centre and a dark alligator leather strap.
Inspired by the 1960s, the model retains almost the same design - the yellow gold body remains the same, but the dial has the characteristic Roman display and a modern water resistance of up to 30 meters. The watch has a narrower alligator leather strap with 18 carat yellow gold buckle.
The Baignoire Allongée, born almost 60 years ago in London, has probably the most new faces today. Cartier currently offers models in pink or rhodium-plated white gold with diamonds. The Baignoire Allongée is one of the most expensive watches in the current collection. Prices start at over 24,000 US dollars.
Built in Paris in 1847, the Cartier jewelry house has always been known for its elegant French creation, and its ability to adapt to different periods has created an unbroken chain of fashion trends that remain relevant today and carry decades of history and experience.
The chic and modern classic watches were loved by legendary style icons such as actresses Catherine Deneuve, Romy Schneider and Jeanne Moreau. Today, the French actress, singer, pianist and filmmaker Mélanie Laurent also serves as one of the muses of the brand. Her talent has recently been recognized at the prestigious Caesar Awards and the Cannes International Film Festival. Like the women who wear the watch on their arms, the Cartier Baignoire model is known for its unique style and is regarded as one of the finest creations à la francaise.
Photos of CARTIER Jewelry House