Cartier Transforms the Baignoire Allongée Into a Gold-Mesh GloveThe unique Mitten Watch.
A master of often extravagant, occasionally whimsical, jewelled timepieces, Cartier has just debuted the Mitten Watch. Despite the plain name, the Mitten Watch is a dramatic blend of the jeweller’s longstanding oval watch case – the Baignoire Allongée – and a half glove of woven rose gold, finished with a sprinkling of over 1,500 diamonds.
The Mitten Watch is the first unique wristwatch in Clash [Un]limited, a riff on the Clash line up of edgy jewellery. A step upwards in both exclusivity and creativity, Clash [Un]limited is a collection of watches and jewellery made up entirely of limited editions or unique creations.
Watches as jewellery are unsurprisingly a specialty of Cartier’s. Past examples include watches shaped like an overflowing bathtub, inspired by animals, and of course the famous Crash. But still the Mitten Watch still manages to stand out – it is quite a special creation.
Being a metallic half glove certainly makes the watch interesting in both form and function, but the execution really brings the idea to life. The Baignoire Allongée – French for “elongated bathtub” – is perhaps the ideal choice for the design, with its stretched but slim profile that’s prominent enough to be visible, yet sleek enough not to be obtrusive, against the mesh glove.
And then there are the diamonds that cascade outwards from the watch, giving the mitten a dynamic appearance that will no doubt sparkle and glitter furiously in the light.
Still all of that is academic. Being a pièce unique, the Mitten Watch will no doubt be oversubscribed manifold.
A glove watch
Two years in making according to Cartier, the Mitten Watch is a result of a collaboration between a French glove maker and the Maison des Métiers d’Art, a workshop specialising in artisanal crafts – which we visited a few years ago – that’s located just beside its watch manufacture in the Swiss town of La Chaux-de-Fonds.
The result is a supple glove that hugs the palm and wrist. It’s essentially a single layer of mesh comprised of tiny, square bits of solid rose gold, painstakingly assembled by an artisan with the help of modern tools such as laser welding and surgical-grade pliers.
On top of that, close to 1,600 diamonds are set on the glove as well as the watch. The dial is paved with diamonds, while the Baignoire case is surrounded by diamonds set in a radiating, “constellation” pattern – the brand’s term for a scattered setting. The entire process of creating the watch took 227 hours according to Cartier.
The Baignoire watch within the Mitten isn’t new – this version with “durian thorn” knurling on the bezel was introduced two years ago – but it has been smartly tweaked to flow easily into the gold mesh. Instead of the usual crown at three, its winding crown is moved to the back of the case, leaving a seamless border between the case and the glove.
Key facts and price
Cartier Clash [Un]limited Mitten Watch
Diameter: 47 mm by 20.7 mm
Height: 8.46 mm
Material: 18k rose gold set with diamonds
Water resistance: 30 m
Functions: Hours and minutes
Strap: 18k rose gold mesh
Limited edition: Unique piece
Price: On request
For more, visit cartier.com.
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