20 September, 2018

Cartier - The Pursuit of Perfection

Cartier is the namesake of Louis-François Cartier, a master jeweller who founded the company in 1847. 

Their reputation for luxury caught the praise of King Edward VII who called them the 'Jeweller of Kings and King of Jewellers'. It didn't stop there as they received royal orders from all over Europe!

You'll notice the panther being used as the centrepiece of many designs. This inspiration came from its elegance, subtle movements and symbol of feminity and strength.

Once Louis's sons, Jacques and Pierre, got involved in the company, they had ambitions much bigger than Paris, they wanted the world!

Cartier's International Ambitions

To accelerate Cartier's international ambitions, Pierre and Jacques expanded into new territories to raise the profile and reach of Cartier.

  • Jacques managed Cartier in London which attracted aristocrats of the UK and Russia.
  • Pierre set-up a store in New York which attracted the stars of Broadway, silent movies and Hollywood.

Now that Cartier was increasing their size and scale, they diversified their collections and ventured into watchmaking under the guiding principles of Swiss excellence.

Cartier's Watchmaking History

Their journey in watchmaking began in 1888 when Cartier started to create timepieces in the form of Brooches and Chatelaines.

Being a master jeweller, Cartier was able to blend jewellery with the tradition of Swiss watchmaking to devastating effect by adorning them with onyx, pearls and enamel.

This fusion enabled Cartier to create a new dynamic for watches which led to some famous designs.

Famous Cartier Watches

After predicting a future in wristwatches, Louis pursued it with one goal in mind, the aesthetic perfection of watchmaking. This pursuit had led to an array of iconic watches which remind us of how much Cartier has impacted watchmaking. 

Here, we take a look at iconic watch designs by Cartier.

Cartier Santos - 1904.

The inspiration behind this watch came from Alberto Santos-Dumont, a Brazilian inventor and aviator. His friendship with Louis Cartier along with his perseverance led to the creation of this watch because he had trouble using his pocket watch during flying.

In creating this watch, Cartier invented the first modern wristwatch.

Cartier Tank Watch - 1917.

Inspired by the Renault tanks of 1917, this watch took watchmaking to new levels.

Notable wearers include Jackie Kennedy and when her watch was put up for auction, the winning bidder turned out to be Kim Kardashian.

Cartier Tortue - 1928.

Tortue is French for Tortoise which inspired the shape of this watch. At the time of its creation, the watches were round-shaped which made this one stand out. 

Note: No one ever said you need to follow the rules to become famous!

Final Words

As Cartier continue to realise their ambition, there is no doubt their next design will be worth looking at and we look forward to writing about it!

Keep the conversation going or share it with someone who you think will enjoy it as much as you did.

Continuing our Luxury Watchmaking Series is Breitling which you can view in our article: Luxury Watchmaking Spotlight: Breitling

You can own your own piece of aesthetic perfection in our auction featuring an array of famous Cartier models. Hit the button below!

Luxury Watchmaking Spotlight: Cartier
Luxury Watchmaking Spotlight: Cartier
Luxury Watchmaking Spotlight: Cartier
Luxury Watchmaking Spotlight: Cartier
Luxury Watchmaking Spotlight: Cartier
Luxury Watchmaking Spotlight: Cartier