Cartier watches are synonymous with luxury and timeless elegance. Aided by its illustrious background as a jeweler of incomparable prestige, the House of Cartier has successfully introduced watches which have transcended their time of introduction to become truly legendary.
A Brief History (That’s Not Really Brief At All!)
The jeweler was originally founded in Paris in 1847 by Louis-François Cartier. In 1874 his son, Alfred Cartier took over the administration of the company, but it was his sons, Louis, Pierre and Jacques, who were responsible for establishing the famous world-wide brand name of Cartier.
Louis retained responsibility for the Paris branch, moving to the Rue de la Paix, in 1899. He was responsible for some of the company’s most celebrated design innovations, like the legendary mystery clocks, high fashion wristwatches and exotic orientalist Art Deco designs, including the daringly colourful “Tutti Frutti” jewels. Jacques took charge of the London operation and eventually moved to the current location at New Bond Street.
Pierre Cartier established the New York Branch in 1909, moving in 1917 to the current location of 653 Fifth Avenue, the Neo-Renaissance mansion of Morton Freeman Plant, son of railroad tycoon Henry B. Plant. The Cartier flagship mansion was purchased by the company from Morton Plant and his wife, in exchange for a pearl necklace, valued at the time at $1 million.
The Turning Point
After Louis Cartier designed a wristwatch for famed Brazilian aviator Alberto Santos-Dumont in 1904, Cartier timepieces rapidly became known and celebrated. Throughout the early years of the 20th century, designs such as the Tank, Tortue, and the Pasha were introduced, their appeal enduring to the present day, where they still remain as timeless as ever, and are continually enriched by new and sparkling variations.
The Final Word
Today, the house of Cartier continues to be a leading force in the world of high luxury. Aficionados of prestigious mechanical watchmaking can find much to admire with Cartier, whose elite Privee collection includes timepieces that feature such horological masterpieces as the tourbillon, the minute repeater, and the perpetual calendar. At the same time, Cartier remains dedicated to creating fresh and fashionable new designs which is evidenced in every new timepiece they create.
Truly a brand of distinct and distinguished tastes.
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