Cartier had a big showing at SIHH 2019, fielding no less than 75 new references which included fetching re-workings of brand staples such as the Baignoire and the Santos. Here is a sampling that we managed to photograph, as a general inkling of what we can expect from Cartier for the year as it forms watches with its unique sense of history and beauty.
Cartier Prive Tonneau Watch
The Cartier Tonneau Watch is one of the company’s oldest wristwatch creations, being introduced in 1906, just two years after the Santos. Signature features included its tonneau dial face, a harmonious union of the rectangle and the oval; curved case that hugs the wrist; and tube screws for the lugs. These elements have been brought to the Tonneau Watch of 2019 in time-only and skeletonized dual time models, aesthetically refreshed and technologically updated with improved water resistance and manufacture movements.
In platinum (limited edition of 100 pieces) or pink gold case, the Cartier Prive Tonneau Watch sports a sensuously curved profile that drapes over the wrist, with it bezel formed from a single block without overhangs, and screwed lugs that flow organically into the case. The applied Roman numerals for the hours also elevate the presence of the watch. Beating within at a leisurely 21,600 vph is the manual-winding Caliber 1917 MC in-house movement with a power reserve of 38 hours.
Cartier Baignoire Watch Small Model
Cartier has the express mission to “to reveal the power of watchmaking design hidden in ordinary forms,” and it’s something it has achieved with such flair here that looking at the Baignoire Watch, the first word that comes to mind is “delicious”, and then we wonder why, while remaining under its spell. Style is dynamic; form is immutable. And the Baignoire story, according to Cartier, begins in 1912 when Louis Cartier took the traditional round watch shape and, like one would a rubber band, stretched it. This would culminate in the Baignoire watch of 1958, a bathtub (“baignoire” in French) of bubbles and joy in the mind of the delighted wearer.
The Baignoire Watch unveiled at SIHH 2019 as well, has too much fun to bother with convention: we don’t really care that it’s a quartz movement beating within when the watch, a small model, is such a delight to the eye; and yellow gold simply accentuates its sunny disposition. What does the Baignoire remind us of? A clutch of sunshine, a wedding band, a honey lozenge with its corners rounded for easy swallowing. A beauty.
Cartier Baignoire Allongée
As much as the Baignoire Watch Small Model epitomizes beauty in simplicity, the Baignoire Allongée in either Medium or Extra-Large model, is stretched to stun, with options aplenty to match the gown of the evening, and degree of diamond setting to suit the occasion. There is even one version that forgoes the diamonds for a spiked bezel to ramp up presence. With manual-winding 1917 MC in-house movement.
Cartier Santos-Dumont Watch
Even after more than 100 years, the granddaddy of the pilot’s watch remains as dapper as the man it was originally created for, pioneer aviator Alberto Santos-Dumont. Not much has changed from the 1904 original, just sharpened a lot. Aesthetically, the Santos-Dumont Watch of 2019 is sharply defined, like quality men’s tailoring, yet retaining a robust sensuality in its curves, that wears beautifully. In addition to automatic three-hand and chronograph models, as well as a skeletonized range, 2019 offerings in the Santos line include the Santos-Dumont, powered by a “high autonomy” quartz movement that keeps ticking for twice as long, six years.