Cartier’s Baignoire highlights sensual curves

Cartier and Lou Doillon team up to promote the new Baignoire.

The Cartier Baignoire is an interesting, and indeed under-represented watch in Maison’s long and illustrious lineup. The ancestor of this shape dates way back to 1912, after the Santos and the Tortue, and before the iconic Tank first saw the light of day. Originally this shape was conceived as a rectangular case with rounded ends. The shape evolved until it settled into the form we are familiar with today in 1958. This shape is the ‘curved oval’, where the soft lines of the case are crafted to fit the contours of the wrist.


It took another few decades for this elegant shape to formally be bestowed with the name Baignoire, in 1973. Before we get to the latest iteration of this seductively shaped jewellery watch, it’s worth noting — for all the non-French speakers out there — that Baignoire translates to ‘Bathtub’, which manages to somehow be an accurate descriptor of this complex shape and a pleasing example of dissonant nomenclature that Cartier manages to excel at. To help add to the allure of the Baignoire, Cartier has enlisted the help of Lou Doillon, the talented singer/actor/model with a connection to the Baignoire that goes back to her 18th birthday when her mother (none other than Jane Birkin), gifted her one of the chic watches.

Cartier isn’t messing around, having launched 11 new takes on the Baignoire, five in the Mini size and size and six in the Small. The proportions of the new Mini models have been tweaked, emphasising how well the watch can pull double duty as a bangle (though, of course, there are two versions — yellow gold and fully set — offered on patent leather straps). The large (but still reserved) Small model, which formally measures in at 31.4mm long and 23.1mm across, has also been given a refresh. The curved crystal and elegant Roman numerals are framed solely in precious metals.


At the more accessible end of the collection, there’s solid yellow gold on leather or a yellow gold bracelet which echoes the curve of the case. There’s also yellow and rose gold versions set with a single row of 42 brilliant-cut diamonds or, if white gold is more your speed, there are two versions with cases set with 227 diamonds on white gold bracelets. The most extravagant of these models sees the bracelet dripped out with an additional 798 diamonds, with a combined case and bracelet carat weight of around 6.4 carats. That has to be the flashiest bathtub we’ve ever seen.

Tech Specs

Cartier Baignoire Watch Mini Models

Movement: Quartz
Function: Hours, minutes
Case: 24.6mm length by 18.7mm width, yellow gold, rose gold, white gold, several options with diamonds, water-resistant to 3 bar
Dial: Silvered dial, blued-steel sword-shaped hands
Strap: Offered on bracelet in yellow or rose gold, fully set white gold bracelet or patent calfskin strap
Price: From Euro 6200

Cartier Baignoire Watch Small Models

Movement: Quartz
Function: Hours, minutes
Case: 31.4mm length by 23.1mm width, yellow gold, rose gold, white gold, several options with diamonds, water-resistant to 3 bar
Dial: Silvered dial, blued-steel sword-shaped hands
Strap: Offered on patent alligator strap, yellow or white gold bracelet, or fully set white gold bracelet
Price: From Euro 10,300

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