Though officially released to the public in 1957, the Baignore finds its origins decades prior. In 1912, Louis Cartier himself conceived of a case based around the idea of two straight parallel lines closing into a pair of connected parentheses, with the end result resembling the look of a bathtub (or “baignore” in French). The finished product was gifted to Cartier’s top client, Grand Duchess Vladimir of Russia. Sadly, as she was one of the last members of the Romanov family to escape Russia during the Bolshevik Revolution, the watch was lost to time.
However, the legacy of the piece managed to reach through to the second half of the 20th Century, and 45 years after Louis Cartier gifted his unnamed creation to his dear friend, the Baignoire collection was introduced to the public. The watch featured a rounder, more ovular case, and the Roman or Arabic numerals that circled the dial were stretched and collapsed in accordance with where they fell on the curves, lending the face of the watch a surreal, Dalíesque appearance. Also added to the piece was an electronically powered quartz movement, bringing an invisible air of effortless modernity to a timepiece with roots in a time long passed.
This example of the Baignore line from the 1990’s features an 18 karat yellow gold case that houses an ivory dial and curves ever so slightly to fit the wrist of the wearer. The burgundy leather strap adds a rustic edge to this elegant, quietly historic member of the Cartier stable.
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Stephanie Windsor only sells pre-owned, vintage and refurbished watches that are subject to one or more of the following: Repair and replacement of damaged or worn parts or the replacement of the original watch crystal. The original maker of the watch is not under any obligation to service watches by Stephanie Windsor.