Even before Cartier’s new Baignoire Mini bangle watch arrived online and in stores around the world in late June, there were waiting lists of prospective buyers.
And by mid-August, the versions in 18-karat yellow or rose gold, priced at $11,800, were no longer available on Cartier’s website; the jeweler said they would appear again in November.
“This is unusual for a women’s watch,” said Paige Reddinger, the watch and jewelry editor at Robb Report magazine. The race to get a new timepiece, she said, is more typical for men’s limited-edition mechanical timepieces or a coveted Rolex or Audemars Piguet model.
But this summer, the feminine, oval shape of the Baignoire — in English, bathtub — has been “the talk of the town,” Ms. Reddinger said, referring to the new, expanded collection of Baignoire models, including the Mini bangle and the standard size offered in white, yellow and rose gold on gold bracelets and leather straps.
“We are seeing a return to small, elegant timepieces, which ties back to fashion, and that’s why models like the Baignoire are seeing a resurgence,” she said. “Cartier has their ear to ground, they know what’s cool, and what’s happening.”
The demand is evident on eBay, which reported that in the United States and Canada there was a 90 percent increase in searches for “Baignoire” from April to July, compared with the same period in 2022. And searches for “Mini Baignoire” increased more than 375 percent during the same time period compared with the previous year.
Harry Fane, a vintage dealer in London who specializes in Cartier watches, said he does not think the renewed interest has anything to do with fashion. “Cartier is very clever at marketing its watches,” he said. “They