Catherine loved it: Cartier Baignoire

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I am talking about Catherine Deneuve, the talented silver-screen star and her Baignoire. She might still love it but I used the past tense since she had a long period in her 20s when she was often spotted it wearing that beautiful Cartier piece. While I am convinced that her Baignoire was a manual wound mechanical piece (for obvious reasons), we have a look at today’s available Cartier Baignoire Ref. CRWGBA0007.

One of the lovely emotions that I personally experience is growing old and starting to recognise people, places, cars, watches and jewellery in movies, pictures and places I visit. It is always a thrill when your brain is pomped with chemicals in the reward of seeing something you like or enjoy.

On this note, I was looking at some pictures from the movies’ casting and recognised the Baignoire on the wrist of the marvellous Catherine Deneuve. This happened just a few days after I photographed with the help of Diana (my wife) the said watch.

She was seen several years wearing the same and other several Cartier Baignoire watches. Private life, movie premiers and events, Catherine Deneuve seems to have found in the watch the perfect companion for everyday life but also for socialising on special occasions.

I have even found a picture of her wearing a Cartier Baignoire in full metal bracelet here (I could not embed the pictures due to licensing issues). So it is clear that the actress had a big affinity for this particular model. So we can clearly say that she loved the watch. And there is no surprise to see a French actress loving so much a Cartier.

The Cartier Baignoire

The legends (please read “the Internet”) say that the Cartier Baignoire (which means ‘bathtub’ in French) comes from the very first designs created by Louis Cartier. Is it said (I did not find good enough sources to confirm or infirm this) that in untitled drawings from 1912 was depicted an elongated wristwatch. The then produced oval watches were gifted only to top clients.

Cartier Baignoire

It was only in 1957 that the first Baignoire was released to the public. It was loved, and still is, by famous women like Catherine Deneuve, Romy Schneider and Jeanne Moreau. In the last half a century, the watch received several iterations with various dial styles and even more elongated shapes. Certain is that the Cartier Baignoire grew to receive a lot of love from the feminine collector, becoming somewhat of an icon as well.

Cartier Baignoire

Aesthetics in precious materials

The Cartier Baignoire Ref. CRWGBA0007 is the small quartz movement model in yellow gold. The bathtub looks good in this material giving it a certain elegant aura. With the case’s dimensions of 31 mm x 23 mm and a thickness of 7 mm, the watch tends to be a delicate but well-visible companion.

Cartier Baignoire

I would not go so far in saying it is a statement piece but it is definitively something a Cartier fan will recognise and admire. In a time when the Tank tends to throw a shadow on every other collection, having a Baignoire is a sign of not only knowing the other Cartier‘s collection but also of distinction. The watch needs a certain lifestyle to be fully enjoyed.

Cartier Baignoire

The oval shape with voluptuous lips (a.k.a. rounded generous bezel) presents a longitudinal curvature that will make it perfect for the smallest wrists out there. As any lovely Cartier piece, the watch has a nice crown with a blue cabochon insert and beads for a better handling. The small crown is surprisingly easy to use for setting. Although being a quartz movement-powered watch, a setting will be necessary two times per year for summer/winter time adjustment.

  • Cartier Baignoire
  • Cartier Baignoire

The integrated strap in taupe alligator leather looks good with the yellow gold of the case. The gold 18k ardillon buckle is presented in the familiar C-shape. A small detail that makes the piece even more connected to the brand’s history and heritage.

Cartier Baignoire

A typical Cartier dial

The Baignoire comes with a very “traditional” Cartier dial: a matt silver dial with a very subtle texture. The Roman numerals in black follow the shape of the case (elongation and curvature). A small detail is the name of the brand included at the ten o’clock index (as a side from the X). The time is displayed using the blued-steel sword-shaped hands. The dial is covered by a curved sapphire crystal.

Cartier Baignoire

The Cartier name is present in the median position of the top. The lower side of the dial presents the Swiss Made print, also in black. In the picture above, one can notice how subtle and well done is the integration of the strap. Again, the choice of colour shade fits perfectly this model.

Cartier Baignoire

The back and the movement

The watch is covered on the back with a full caseback manufactured in yellow gold 18k fixed with four screws. The watch offers a water-resistance up to 3 bar (approx. 30 meters/100 feet), making it an excellent candidate also as a daily piece. Cartier offers no details on the website regarding the movement. I suppose that it is a movement from one of the Swiss Quartz players and offers a long battery life.

Cartier Baignoire

Obscure for the uninitiated, fabulous for the connoisseurs

The Cartier Baignoire is not a watch for everyone out there. It is not a fashion driver (at least not now), it is not something that every lady will choose and it is not something that everyone will recognise. Although relatively simple in design, the watch is a strong presence and one must love it in idea and on the wrist.

Diana felt it natural on the wrist and agreed on the idea of day-by-day wearing comfort and pleasure. For her personally, the watch is not the best choice for work as a doctor in the hospital, but for outside working hours or events where something elegant but versatile is needed – a great choice.

Cartier Baignoire small model Technical Specifications

Reference CRWGBA0007 – CHF10.500 / €11.200 / £9,450 / $11,000.00 / S$16,300 / HK$90,500

Movement

Quartz

  • Function: hours and minutes

Case

  • Yellow gold 750/1000 case.
  • Dimensions: 31.4 mm x 23.09 mm
  • Thickness: 6.95 mm
  • Yellow gold 750/1000 beaded crown set with a sapphire cabochon.
  • Water resistance: 3 bar (~30 metres)
  • Sapphire crystal

Dial

  • Silver dial
  • Blued-steel sword-shaped hands

Strap & Buckle

  • Taupe alligator leather
  • Yellow gold 750/1000 ardillon buckle.

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