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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Home rammed as intruders get away with big haulDunstable Today, August 20th
several oak chairs with leather seats, cash, a Toshiba laptop, a Panasonic fax machine, salmon ski boots size 11, a salmon rucksack containing ski equipment, a gent's Cartier watch, a gent's Rolex stainless steel watch, a ladies Cartier stainless...Read more
What the Too-Cool Team at Otte NYC Wears to WorkRacked National, August 19th
Nancy Zhang, VP and COO, is wearing an Otte top, Opening Ceremony shorts, Marni shoes, a Cartier watch, and a Hirotaka necklace. Her rings are by Demitasse, Blanca Monros Gomez, and vintage; her bag is Céline, sunglasses are Ray-Ban, and nail ...Read more
Calvin Klein says of the man who became one of the last century's most ...Vanity Fair, August 17th
His dark hair severely parted and slicked back, his enormous eyes gazing penetratingly into the distance, Niki wears around his narrow wrist a Cartier watch fastened by a braided-leather band and, on his pinkie, a hammered-gold ring fashioned for him...Read more
It's Your BusinessCleveland Jewish News, August 14th
Alson Jewelers is excited to announce that Shaw Abrams won a Cartier watch with a hole-in-one at the North Coast Community Homes Golf Outing at Sand Ridge Golf Club on July 21. David and Chad Schreibman, owners of Alson Jewelers, were golfing ...Read more
Khimji's Watches launches the Ballon Blanc de Cartier rangeMENAFN.COM, August 10th
The jewellery and watchmaking secrets of the Maison come together in the airy graceful Ballon Blanc de Cartier watch. To view the latest Ballon Blanc de Cartier watches collection visit the Khimji's Watches showroom at Way No 3036 Building No 2825 Al ...Read more
A Safe & Profitable Platform for Selling Cartier Watches & Jewelries Available ...DigitalJournal.com, August 8th
According to him, they intend to be the best service provider for anyone who wants to sell their Cartier watch in London. The service has been designed to offer a convenient, safe and the most profitable timepiece selling platform for the common people ...Read more
Do you recognise stolen Rolex and Cartier watches recovered in Brentwood?Brentwood Gazette, July 24th
Two Rolex watches, a Cartier watch and three distinctive rings were found in a car during a stop-check in Brentwood on Friday. Detectives have now released images of the items in the hope they can be re-united with their owner. DC Chris Bailey said...Read more
Khimji's Watches launches the new Ballon Blanc de CartierMuscat Daily, July 22nd
The jewellery and watchmaking secrets of the Maison come together in the airy, graceful Ballon Blanc de Cartier watch. To view the latest Ballon Blanc de Cartier watches collection, visit the Khimji's Watches showroom at Way No 3036, Building No 2825, ...Read more