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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Recent News: Cartier Watches
Source: Google News
Barber to hip-hop stars cut it close most of his lifeLos Angeles Times, October 18th
Though Walker appreciated the rich-and-famous lifestyle, especially when Knight gave him a $9,000 Cartier watch for his birthday, he was never particularly interested in the music industry. He preferred to focus on doing his job well, then going home...Read more
Police identify suspect in French Quarter robbery and beatingWGNO, October 17th
The attackers also took the victim's cell phone and Cartier watch, valued at more than 10-thousand dollars. Police say security cameras mounted nearby captured Jones in the act. “That's very good news you know they should figure out who the rest of...Read more
Man beat and robbed in the French Quarter (Video)WGNO, October 16th
The suspects took the victim's wallet, cell phone and Cartier watch. The victim told detectives that one of the men had a black handgun. Anyone with information regarding this incident is urged to contact Det. Michael Flores at (504)658-6707 or...Read more
Watch with snake motifWorld Tempus (press release), October 16th
New watches · Watch Culture · World Events · Industry News · Watch Reviews · Trends · Watches & Wonders · GPHG 2014 · GPHG Selection · Watches · Brands · About · Wishlist (0) · Sign in · Register · Home · New watches; Cartier — Watch with snake motif...Read more
Pawn store owner gets probation for killing robberLas Vegas Review-Journal, October 13th
Thomas Cola was high on cocaine and used a fake ID to get Park to pull out a $1,300 Cartier watch from a display case, defense lawyer Louis Palazzo said in court. “It's not Mr. Park's fault,” he told the judge. After Park pulled out the watch, the 21...Read more
Two men accused of using fake credit cardsSun Sentinel, October 1st
On Monday, a woman named Dayana Torres, 25, came to the same store and tried to use a fake credit card to buy a $41,600 Cartier watch. After two of her credit cards were declined, employees called police, according to an arrest report. She told police...Read more
Woman tries to buy $40000 Cartier watch with fake credit cards, police saySun Sentinel, September 30th
Woman tries to buy $40,000 Cartier watch with fake credit cards, police say. Dayana Torres. The Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office. Dayana Torres, 25, is accused of using a fake credit card. Dayana Torres, 25, is accused of using a fake credit card...Read more
Cartier reduces working hours at watch factory as demand slowsReuters UK, September 26th
From November, 230 employees at Cartier's watch factory in Villars-sur-Glane in western Switzerland will have to stay at home for three days a week, Cartier spokeswoman Aurelie Ohayon-Bastide said. "This has become necessary in the current economic ...Read more