With a traditionally elegant design that has been adapted over the last century, the Cartier Baignoire has stood the test of time and till today remains a chic piece of French jewellery.
The Cartier Baignoire watch has been a cult hit since the 1950s, worn by some of the most stylish women, as the ultimate expression of elegant luxury. A watch with an evolving yet classic design, here are five reasons the Baignoire has been stealing hearts for more than a century.
Its design has evolved, yet remains a timeless favourite
Drawing its name from the French word for bathtub, the origins of the Cartier Baignoire dates back to 1912. Jeweller Louis Cartier took the traditional round watch shape and simply elongated it. Cartier’s subsequent experiments with the shape ultimately yielded a watch with two straight parallel lines joined by two curves forming the shape of a bathtub, thereby giving it its name- Baignoire, which means ‘bathtub’ in French.
Having been reworked by Cartier’s design studio since its cult status in the 1950s, the Baignoire has not lost its essence, striking a seamless balance between pure design and linear sophistication. It remains a timelessly classic piece, loved by women everywhere.
New look, but same attitude
The first stage of the Cartier Baignoire’s creative process back in the 1950s saw its dial stamped with Roman or Arabic numerals, and bordered by gold gadroons.
The piece has now evolved to offer a narrower bracelet and redesigned Roman numerals with a silvered sand-blasted background. The case back is integrated seamlessly into the case and is water resistant up to 30 metres.
It is the epitome of classic French chic
With a traditionally elegant design that has been adapted over the last century, the Cartier Baignoire has stood the test of time and till today remains a chic piece of French jewellery. It is a signature watch meant for women who have their sights set high, and wish to wear something that encapsulates timeless French style.
Worn by style icons of the past and present
Catherine Deneuve, Romy Schneider and Jeanne Moreau. What do all these women have in common? Besides a sleek sense of style and unending wit, these women have all sported the Carter Baignoire on their wrists.
These women in the know and have embraced the Baignoire’s style and have made it their own. They are not interested in following trends, but are concerned with forging their own paths, dancing to the beat of their own drum.
It’s not too much, but rather just enough
The slender design of the Baignoire and now the Baignoire Allongee ensures that there is something for every type of woman. This time-tested design has proven to be an effortless meeting of both sophistication and character, without being too overpowering.
With flawless aesthetics like its sensual yellow-gold oval that adorns the wrist, the Baignoire gives just the right amount of decadence while remaining tasteful. On its white-gold version, the staggered diamond setting stretches along the width of the gadroons to reach the case back, adding an invisible yet refined touch to the timepiece.
The return of the Baignoire
This year, the Cartier Baignoire makes it return with three different models, namely the Baignoire, the Baignoire Allongee and the Baignoire Allongee with the Clou carre design.
The Baignoire Allongee marks the third chapter in this saga of timepieces, seeing its inception in the workshops of 1960s ‘Swinging London.’ The Baignoire Allongee was an oversized watch that stretched across women’s wrists, ensuring a chic yet simple look. It hugs the contours of the wrists, and has sculpted gold worked into studs that are adopted into the shape of clou de Paris and taken from Cartier’s jewellery repertoire.
The Clou Clarre design has been a part of the Cartier vocabulary since the early 20th century and is the inspiration of the stud design on the case of the Baignoire Allongee watch. Each stud is carefully hand crafted and calibrated to fit the curves of its case from the smallest on the inside of the wrist, to the tallest on the rounded shapes.
With its convex shape, the oversized Baignoire Allongee models the extravagance of 1960s Swinging London, without sacrificing chic style.
The Baignoire and Baignoire Allongee watches are available in small, medium and extra-large model sizes, suitable for all women.