Cartier was founded in 1847 when Louis-François Cartier, then an apprentice to Parisian jeweler Adolphe Picard, took over the business when his master passed away. By 1853, young Louis-François had become a favorite of Napoleon III’s cousin Princess Mathilde, who helped Cartier gain entry to Parisian society.
For the next quarter century, Cartier was strictly a jeweler, but in 1874, Louis-François’s son Alfred gained the company’s reins. He in turn brought his sons, Louis, Pierre, and Jacques, into the firm—it was this third generation of Cartiers that would make the Paris jeweler’s name synonymous with luxury wristwatches.
The first Cartier wristwatches were diamond-studded bracelets for ladies, which were introduced in 1888 and languished until Parisian fashions changed enough in the mid-1890s to encourage the adornment of a bare wrist with a watch.
But the real wristwatch breakthrough came in 1904, when, according to Cartier lore, a Brazilian aviation pioneer named Alberto Santos-Dumont complained to his friend Louis Cartier of the shortcomings of fumbling with a pocket watch on a short test flight. Cartier made his friend a flat, square wristwatch called, appropriately, the Santos. In the process, Cartier popularized wristwatches in France and throughout the world.
In 1912, Cartier introduced the oval Baignoire and tortoise-shell shaped Tortue models, followed in 1917 by Cartier’s most famous early wristwatch, the Tank, which was reportedly inspired by the design of Renault tanks used during World War I. Rudolph Valentino wore a Tank in the 1921 silent classic The Sheik.
In the early 1920s, Cartier partnered with fellow Frenchmen Jaeger and Breguet to produce movements for its watches. Other illustrious Cartier collaborators included Swiss makers Vacheron Constantin, Patek Phillipe, and Audemars Piguet.
During the 1920s, Cartier started stamping its watches with four-digit reference numbers—today, knowledgeable collectors know to look for and verify these codes before purchasing...
By 1940, Cartier had introduced a motoring watch, with a curved shape that was designed to be worn on the inside of the wrist—the winder was on the back of the watch, against the wearer’s skin, rather than the side. And then, in 1942, after the death of Louis Cartier, the company began several decades of stagnation.
Countless variations of the Tank appeared (in the Chinoise, horizontal bars at the top and bottom of the dial rest on the Tank’s vertical "treads"), and in 1965 there was even a watch whose body was shaped like a parallelogram. But it was not until the Must de Cartier in 1976 and the reissue of the Santos in 1978 that the firm was able to reestablish itself as a player on the wristwatch scene.
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Watch bought at auction for £900 turns out to be a 5.5-carat diamond Cartier ...BT.com, June 23rd
The Cartier watch. Facebook; Twitter; Google; Email. Share this. 0. Carla Challis. By Carla Challis. Last updated: 24 June 2015, 11:29 BST. Print this story. Ads by Google. Keen-eyed Collin Hufton had a bargain on his hands when he bought a watch for...Read more
Cartier watch bought in Batley for £900 is worth almost £10000Huddersfield Examiner, June 22nd
It's a gem of a discovery – and one that TV viewers are set to share. Huddersfield auctioneer and antiques dealer Collin Hufton paid £900 at a Batley auction for an appealing art deco ladies wrist watch. Now a gemologist has put an insurance value of...Read more
Miami-Dade Cop Accused Of Stealing Pricey JewelryCBS Local, June 16th
Martinez was taken in federal custody and after bonding out of jail, she noticed that several pieces of jewelry, including a Cartier watch containing a custom diamond bezel, Cartier-style “Nail” bracelet, Rolex Daytona watch and several other pieces of...Read more
The Queen attends Cartier Queen's Cup while Prince George is with Kate and ...Daily Mail, June 14th
The monarch beamed as she presented a Cartier watch and the understated silver cup to the finals teams, King Power Foxes and the Dubai Polo Team, with Gonzalito Pieres's King Power Foxes emerging victorious. The three-week tournament saw 12 teams ...Read more
Zoe Appleyard-Ley who accused nanny of thieving is accused of making fake ...Daily Mail, June 8th
One of the items reported missing was a yellow gold women's Cartier watch with sapphires around the face, the court was told. Mrs Appleyard-Ley - a former girlfriend of tennis star Boris Becker and TV impressionist Rory Bremner - sold a Cartier watch...Read more
Nigeria First Lady Aisha Buhari Slammed For $52K Cartier Watch Amid ...International Business Times, June 2nd
Chief Justice of Nigeria Mahmud Mohammed swears in Muhammadu Buhari (C) as Nigeria's president while Buhari's wife Aisha looks on at Eagle Square in Abuja, Nigeria May 29, 2015. Reuters. The Nigerian media was in an uproar this week over a watch ...Read more
TICK TOCK: Time runs out for brazen Cartier watch thief found dead in jailNew York Daily News, May 20th
Time has finally run out for a brazen watch thief. One of the five jewelry thieves arrested for a daring 2014 smash-and-grab robbery at the landmark Cartier store on Fifth Ave. has died in jail, federal authorities confirmed Wednesday. Roberto Grant...Read more
Honest TSA agent returns lost $100K Cartier watchNew York Post, May 7th
A Japanese real-estate mogul forgot his $100,000 Cartier watch at a Newark Airport checkpoint — but lucky for him, an honest TSA agent was working the lane and kept it safe, officials said Thursday. Newark is one of the top 10 airports in the US for ...Read more