Revealing beauty in all its guises: that is an enduring concept at Cartier, a filter through which all creation is viewed and an idea which gave rise to the Baignoire. It all began with an unprecedented step taken to reveal the creative power of watchmaking design hidden in ordinary forms. Cartier took this inspiration quite literally by initially designing an oval case in the 1910s that would later be transcended by several years of formal research. Transforming objects and embracing beauty are two key components of Cartier’s stylistic vocabulary and here this combined approach resulted in the birth of the Baignoire watch.
His stylistic research culminated in two straight, parallel lines joined by two curves, which formed the shape of a bathtub (baignoire in French) – hence its name.
The aesthetics would continue to evolve until eventually adopting its familiar slightly curved oval shape in the late 1950s, its dial stamped with Roman or Arabic numerals bordered by gold gadroons. This constituted the first stage of a creative process. Entirely reworked by Cartier’s design studio, today the Baignoire watch asserts its own essence. Its exacting finishes strike a balance between pure design and linear sophistication, paying homage to the cult 1958 model. Its design remains unchanged, yet the piece itself has evolved to offer a narrower bracelet and redesigned Roman numerals on a silvered sand-blasted background. The case back is seamlessly integrated into the case with water resistance up to 30 m offering full conformance with modern quality standards.
The Baignoire watch continues this aesthetic heritage by revealing a more dazzling presence than ever before as a graphic and sensual yellow-gold oval that adorns the wrist. On the white-gold version, the staggered diamond setting continues along the width of the gadroons to reach the case back. Although invisible, it represents the greatest refinement.
The Baignoire watch is a signature watch for women who have their sights set high, who forsake trends and fashions and choose this piece for its timeless French chic.
It speaks to cultured women blessed with great taste such as Catherine Deneuve, Romy Schneider and Jeanne Moreau – women who are only concerned with freedom and wit, in beautiful objects and life in general.