Haute horlogerie and haute joaillerie come together in latest line-up of Jewelled Tank, Baignoire, and Métiers d’Art Baignoire Allongée timepieces from Maison de Cartier
Once again, Maison de Cartier leverages its mastery in watchmaking and jewellery to create a glittering series of watches. This time around, two emblematic shapes from the brand’s portfolio are brought forward: the rectangle of the Tank and the oval of the Baignoire. These are then elevated through clever gem-setting, creative interpretations of colour and materials, and – most importantly – exquisite craftsmanship…
The Jewelled Tank
The design of the Cartier Tank goes back to 1917. Today in 2023, the hallmarks of the iconic design remain the same: two parallel brancards, a rectangular case and a seamlessly-integrated bracelet. The bracelet itself, meanwhile, is in this case composed of mobile cylinders articulated by links for elevated flexibility and comfort. The cylinders, in turn, are finished with a cabochons studded with a gold nail and a reverse-set stone as a nod to the piqué beads used by Jeanne Toussaint.
This new bejewelled Tank comes in three distinct variations. The first mixes yellow gold and black onyx in a marvellous play of contrasts. The yellow gold case is set with 50 brilliant-cut diamonds, and another 50 are set into the yellow gold and onyx bracelet. The onyx dial features a single diamond at the 12 o’clock position, while one final stone is set on the crown.
The second Jewelled Tank watch combines a rose gold case and dial set with diamonds – 155 on the former and 272 on the latter plus one more on the crown – with a bracelet composed of amethysts, coral, and chrysoprases as well as rose gold. Another 272 brilliant-cut diamonds adorn the bracelet.
Finally, there is the Jewelled Tank version featuring rhodium-finished white gold. The case is further enhanced by 18 brilliant-cut diamonds plus one on the crown, along with rubies and onyx. The bracelet prominently features 598 brilliant-cut diamonds as well as rubies, chrysoprases, and onyx. Much like the first variant, this Tank comes with an onyx dial punctuated by a single diamond.
The Métiers d’Art Baignoire Allongée
Born in London during the swinging sixties, the Baignoire Allongée speaks of timeless extravagance as well as Cartier’s mastery of curves. This year, the artisans at La Maison des Métiers d’Art came up with a sparkling aesthetic to bring this icon to ever new heights.
There are two limited edition Métiers d’Art Baignoire Allongée watches released this year. Both are distinguished by their elaborate dials and – collectors take note – only 50 of each are created. The first bejewelled Baignoire Allongée is in a case made of both yellow and white gold set with 212 brilliant-cut diamonds. The dial is divided into distinct sections; a large slice is covered in sunray-brushed white gold, and two small opposing sections come in polished white gold and sunray-brushed white gold. The black parts are lacquered or enamelled. In total, nine areas of expertise are involved in the creation of each watch.
The second Métiers d’Art Baignoire Allongée, meanwhile, highlights the art of marquetry on the dial. There, mother-of-pearl, turquoise, onyx and white gold create an interplay of shiny and matte hues in a kaleidoscope-like composition. This exquisite painting is then housed in a rhodium-finished white gold case set with blue tourmalines, grey and black spinels, and 98 brilliant-cut diamonds.
The Jewelled Baignoire
“Baignoire” is the French word for “bathtub.” And with the Baignoire watch, Cartier casts a light on the refined beauty of a simple, everyday object. Another major quality of the Baignoire is how it constantly reinvents itself through the decades. And for 2023, four jewelled versions of the design have come to life.
All four models of the Jewelled Baignoire feature cases and bracelets in rhodium-finished white gold. The case and bracelet of the first model is set with 36 brilliant-cut diamonds, sapphires, emeralds, and tourmalines. Another 130 brilliant-cut diamonds and a single tourmaline adorn the dial. The second model is all about diamonds, with 168 brilliant-cut stones on the case and bracelet, and 131 on the dial.
The third Jewelled Baignoire boasts 40 brilliant-cut diamonds, sapphires, emeralds, and chrysoprases spread across the case and the bracelet, while the dial is decked with 166 brilliant-cut diamonds and a sapphire at 12 o’clock. Last but not least, the fourth watch in the family boasts 204 brilliant-cut diamonds on its case and bracelet, which surrounds a dial glittering with the light of 167 brilliant-cut diamonds.
A New Sparkle
There’s plenty to be excited about from Maison de Cartier’s novelties for 2023, as the brand once again flexes its watchmaking and jewellery muscles – much to the delight of watch collectors and haute horlogerie connoisseurs everywhere. This particular line-up of jewelled watches, however, present a unique sparkle that feels both spontaneous and flamboyant. Whichever design eventually takes your fancy – one of the Jewelled Tanks, or perhaps the Métiers d’Art Baignoire Allongée, or maybe a Jewelled Baignoire – with one of these spectacular creations on your wrist, you will radiate amid an outburst of coloured lights.