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Cartier's ever-evolving timepieces

(Left) Panthere de Cartier is truly the essence of the Panthere. (Right) The new Santos-Dumont runs on a quartz movement that lasts for around 6 years.

(Left) The Baignoire Allongée – visually arresting – has won over cultured women with great taste. (Right) Revelation D'une Panthere Watch with minuscule round brilliant-cut diamonds depicting the panther's graphic form against a black lacquered dial.

CARTIER'S new timepieces for 2019 reflect constant reinvention, especially through the French luxury time and jewellery house's Panthere de Cartier, Santos de Cartier and Balgnoire collections. There are also new interpretations of the figurative panther, viewed through artistic crafts and jewellery.

Here are highlights from the new collections:

  • Panthere de Cartier

Panthere de Cartier timepieces are an ever-evolving idea - and Cartier is offering two new interpretations in this year's collection: the manchette and mini watch. Both are truly imbued with the essence of the Panthere Cartier watch: "a celebratory, hedonistic and ultra-femine spirit" that Cartier pushes to its very extremes through jewellery.

In the manchette timepiece, Cartier accentuates its flowing, silky bracelet. The dial of the original watch is off-centred, while the exaggerated jewels spread to gain the upper hand. A partly open-worked chain reveals a glimpse of the skin and lightens the material to create a casual yet stylish piece.

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The stylistic exercise is concentrated on the proportion in the mini watch. It takes the forms of the original model to new heights of elegance. The delicate jewel lends itself to pairings or accumulations of several bracelets.

  • Santos-Dumont

Still true to the the elegance of the original 1904 model, the Santos-Dumont watch introduced in this collection is understated and pared-down. It comes in two sizes - 27.5 and 31.4 millimetres wide - and in steel, two-tone and rose gold.

The Santos-Dumont looks very much like the Santos de Cartier, both having the symmetry of the square and the presence of eight functional screws. But, instead of the eight-sided winding crown of the Santos de Cartier, the new watch features a beaded crown. The latter is fitted to an alligator strap while the Santos de Cartier is strapped to an interchangeable leather band or metal bracelet.

An automatic movement powers the Santos de Cartier; the Santos-Dumon runs on a quartz movement that lasts for around six years.

  • The Baignoire

The Baignoire acquired its now familiar slightly curved oval shape in the late 1950s but its roots went much further back, to 1912 when Louis Cartier took the traditional round watch and stretched it out. His stylistic research culminated in two straight parallel lines closed by two curves, which formed the shape of a bathtub, which is baignoire in French. Hence its name.

The watch has won over cultured women with great taste, such as Catherine Deneuve, Romy Schneider and Jeanne Moreau.

This year, Cartier has taken the Baignoire Allongée to new heights by redesigning the Roman numerals, adding a silvered sandblasted dial and creating dramatic design elements on the case. It has turned to a stepped case style but, instead of a smooth oval, has created the gold three-tiered case using a bold, modern geometric motif. The result of this carved look - almost resembling the teeth on a wheel - is visually arresting.

The new Baignoire Allongée watches are being offered in 18k white, rose and yellow gold in an extra-large size (47mm tall) and a medium size. There is also a version entirely set with diamonds. The Cartier Baignoire Allongée watches are equipped with the manual-winding 1917 MC movement.

  • Panthere de Cartier - Revelation D'une Panthère Watch

Two years ago, the Revelation D'une Panthere watch rolled out showed that, by a sleight of hand, a panther's head is formed of a multitude of gold pearls to appear or disappear on the dial with just a movement of the wrist. The piece plays with time, giving it shape and making it rise and fall through the ancestral technique of the hour glass - a creative feat born of five years' work.

This year Cartier has taken it further, from gold to diamonds. The gold beads are replaced with 650 minuscule round brilliant-cut diamonds, which depict the panther's graphic form against a black lacquered dial. The timepiece - both its bezel and bracelet - is paved entirely with diamonds.