Watches & Jewellery

Cartier’s new Libre collection warps its most iconic watches

These beautiful watches are also extremely limited

Photo: Cartier


We could all do with a little time-fixing now and then. We’d like to stretch it so that the moment feels a little longer, shrink it so it goes away faster, or change it up when it suits us. Cartier likes the idea, too. At the recent SIHH event (that’s would be Geneva’s annual Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie), it “stretched, shrank and transformed” the iconic timepieces from its Baignoire and Crash ranges into five individually numbered, very limited, and endlessly fascinating jewellery watches for its Libre collection.


Photo: Cartier


The Baignoire Etoilee

The original oval Baignoire face is extended - horizontally. Two rows of precious stones and a bracelet of diamonds and black spinels are then added. Limited to 15 pieces, each with a 18K white gold case and a quartz movement.


Photo: Cartier


The Baignoire Debordante

It features a dramatic ring of open “petals” around its oval dial, set with diamonds and black spinels for a gradient effect. Limited to 50 pieces.


Photo: Cartier


The Crash Radieuse

This is one of Cartier’s rare reinterpretations of its iconic Crash, which was first launched in 1967 and said to be inspired by an actual, accident-damaged Baignoire Allongee. In this take, gadroons are added to the Dali-like “crushed” bezel, distorted Roman numerals are distorted further, and carved “shockwaves” radiate from the centre of the dial. This is also the only watch in the Libre Collection with a yellow gold case and manual movement. Limited to 50 pieces.


Photo: Cartier


The Baignoire Interdite

Oversized Roman numerals formed from strips of glossy black ADLC (amorphous diamond-like carbon, which makes a smooth and durable coating for luxury goods) wrap around the case. The original oval Baignoire face is vertical; this is horizontal and set with diamonds. Limited to 50 pieces.


Photo: Cartier


The Baignoire Infinie

A ring of diamonds encircles its miniscule round black dial. It is finished with a white gold case set with baguette-cut diamonds, white mother-of-pearl, Tahitian mother-of-pearl, and black spinels. Limited to 20 pieces.


This story was first published in the March 2018 issue of Her World.