A Pioneering Legacy of Santos de Cartier and Cartier Baignoire Timepieces
Cartier shows how simplicity, practicality and innovation are combined together in the timeless and signature design of two of its most groundbreaking wristwatch lines: Santos de Cartier for men and the Baignoire for women
Founded in 1847, French luxury jeweller and watchmaker Cartier is known for its pioneering and timeless timepieces. In the beginning, Louis Cartier initially granted the wish of famous Brazilian pilot Alberto Santos Dumont: to be able to tell time while in the air. Thus, in 1904, one of the first wristwatches was born: the Santos de Cartier watch collection. Simplicity, practicality and innovation. These were the three major principles of Alberto Santos-Dumont, the aviation pioneer who ordered the first modern wristwatch from Louis Cartier in 1904. Cartier reinvented the new Santos-Dumont watch while keeping the same principles and paying an homage to the historical model.
Understated and fitted to an alligator leather strap, the new Santos-Dumont watch remains true to the elegance of the original 1904 model. Cased in gold, gold and steel or all steel, it features Roman numerals, visible screws, a beaded winding crown and blue cabochon, all elements which perpetuate the heritage of classic watchmaking. Its unchanged square shape promotes pure and symmetrical design to mirror the four sharp corners of the Eiffel Tower. By symbolising the design revolution of the early 1900s, it ran counter-current to contemporary codes, highlighting straight lines and breaking with the round cases of the period’s pocket watches.
In 2019, Cartier enhanced its ease of use by introducing a high-efficiency quartz movement that can last for six years—twice as long as traditional movements. To achieve this feat, the Cartier Manufacture reworked and resized the movement to reduce its energy consumption combining this with a new high-performance battery. Secondly, there is Santos de Cartier Chronograph Watch. Made to measure records, the new Cartier chronograph takes this heritage into the 21st century. Always attentive to elegance and ergonomics, Cartier gave it a single start/stop push button, visible at 9 o’clock, with the reset function being directly integrated into the crown. This lighter design naturally leads to lighter movements.
The piece is fitted with the 1904-CH MC Cartier Manufacture movement, which distils the chronograph’s ingenious guidance and coordination systems—column wheel, vertical clutch, and linear reset hammer—while demonstrating superb craftsmanship. Like the Santos de Cartier collection as a whole, the bracelets and straps offer ultimate practicality. Available in steel, alligator leather or rubber, all versions can be interchanged thanks to the patented QuickSwitch system, the invisible mechanism which seamlessly blends into the architecture of the case. Meanwhile the metal bracelet can be adjusted to the nearest link thanks to its patented tool-free SmartLink size adjustment system.
Finally, Santos de Cartier Skeleton Noctambule Watch, a watch inspired by nighttime. Resembling a glow-in-the-dark concept, the bridges are coated with Super-LumiNova pigments which, while invisible during the daytime, reproduce and radiate the stored light once night falls. Whatever your style might be, the daring legacy of aviator Alberto Santos-Dumont soars over the new Santos de Cartier collection. They perpetuate the spirit, style and thirst for altitude held by men who change the world, just like Alberto Santos-Dumont.
Meanwhile, in 1912, Louis Cartier took the traditional round watch shape and stretched it out, and Baignoire watch design was born. Evocatively named so, Baignoire is a cult Cartier object among women’s timepieces. Louis’ stylistic research culminated in two straight parallel lines closed by two curves, which formed the shape of a bathtub (“baignoire” in French). Its aesthetics would continue to evolve until eventually adopting its familiar slightly curved oval shape in the late 1950s with a dial stamped with Roman or Arabic numerals and bordered by gold gadroons.
Entirely reworked by Cartier’s design studio, today the Baignoire watch asserts its own eternal essence. Its exacting finishes strike a balance between pure design and sophisticated lines, paying homage to the cult 1958 model. Its design remains unchanged, yet the piece itself has evolved to offer a narrower bracelet and redesigned Roman numerals on a silvered sand-blasted background. The case back is seamlessly integrated into the case with water resistance up to 30m offering full conformance with modern quality standards.
The Baignoire watch looks aesthetically beautiful in a graphic and sensual yellow-gold oval that adorns the wrist. On the white-gold version, the staggered diamond setting continues along the width of the gadroons to reach the case back. In the 1960s, Cartier London developed a new model variation of the Baignoire, which is called Baignoire Allongée. An oversized watch that stretched along women’s wrists, Baignoire Allongée combines excessive chic with supreme simplicity. This definitive watch exudes style and character while hugging the forms of the wrist.
The Baignoire watch is worn by women in the know, who embrace it for its obvious style and make it their own. It is a signature watch for women who have their sights set high, who forsake trends and fashion for its timeless French chic. For more information, please visit www.cartier.com and www.timeinternational.co.id.