This shaped watch (not a round thing) is an innovation of Cartier and, like the leopard motif, is part of its creative tradition, or for that matter, the watch itself – the first watch on record, the Cartier Santos is square. In 2015, the brand began redesigning its shaped watches, first with a platinum skeleton version of the Crash watch, then a year later with a pink gold version. Last year, it resurrected the Square Panther (discontinued in the early 2000s) for a full collection that included a new movement and a slightly altered bracelet. In January, Cartier revisited Crash at the SIHH with a new model and presented four new pieces in the Baignoire collection (mainly oval cases). The new models are all part of the Libre collection. With the exception of the new Crash, all include a quartz movement.
Launched in 1967, the Crash was inspired by the wreckage of a customer’s BaignoireAllongé watch that had been dislodged in a violent car accident. The watch was an interpretation of the surrealist art of the time. In the early 1990s, it was revisited again in 2013 as a ladies collection. In 2015, it took on the status of haute horlogerie with the Crash Skeleton, a skeletonized manufacturing movement designed to accommodate a distorted case shape. The new Crash Radieuse features a crumpled case and dial with almost invisible stretched Roman numerals that elevate the Crash to a new level. The case is yellow gold and houses the hand-wound 8970 MC-type movement. It is a limited edition of 50 pieces.
The BaignoireDébordante is designed to explode, with an oval dial that perfect Cartier Santos radiates openworked white gold spikes at its center. The stem is set with diamonds and black spinels at the front and back, with the spinels concentrated at the top and bottom. This limited edition of 50 pieces includes a quartz movement.
The Baignoire Infinie is composed of four concentric rings radiating from a central dial. The ring is randomly set with baguette diamonds, white mother-of-pearl, black Tahitian mother-of-pearl and black spinel. The circle appears to be cut off at the side. The movement is a quartz movement and is limited to 20 pieces.
The Baignoire Étoilée is a jeweled watch with an elaborate bracelet of tiny round and baguette-cut stones set randomly in a skeletonized link structure. On the dial of the east-west oval case, the inverted squares of the stones are repeated in a pattern, with two rows of white diamonds on top and double rows of black spinels below. The 18k white gold bracelet is set with diamonds and black spinels. The movement is a quartz movement and is limited to 15 pieces.
The “Baignoire Interdite” is entirely in keeping with Cartier’s signature Roman numerals, crisscrossing the east-west oval dial. They are painted with black ADLC, contrasting with the white dial. The bezel is set with white diamonds. The movement is quartz and is limited to 50 pieces.