Cartier – By Watch Fanatics, For Watch Fanatics
Hailed as “the “jeweler of kings and the king of jewelers” by King Edward VII of England, Cartier has long established its reputation as one of the most famous, if not the most famous, high-end jewelry and watch brand worldwide. In the first two generations of the Cartier family, the Maison focused primarily on its jewelry business. Royal houses around the world are regular customers for their extravagant creations. It was not until Louis Cartier (1875 – 1942), who was a watch fanatic, timepieces were added to Cartier’s offerings. Under his leadership, the Maison produced the first wristwatch in the history of watchmaking – the Cartier Santos. Monsieur Cartier also gave impetus to the industry throughout his life. His inventive ideas led to the creation of watch classics that outlast changes in fashion, such as the Cartier Tank. Up to this day, Cartier timepieces are still highly regarded by watch lovers across different generations.
Building upon its tradition, Cartier developed a unique design language for its watch collections, whose aesthetics parallel to that of the Brand’s famed jewlery creation. The square-shaped casing and bezel screws of the Cartier Tank and Santos, the Roman numerals used across all collections, including the Ballon Bleu and even the Chronographs, like Driver de Cartier and Calibre de Cartier, such design elements are synonymous to the Cartier signature at the 12 o’clock position. Apart from its aesthetics, Cartier’s timepieces also seek to break new grounds on a technical level. Since the 1990s’, Cartier began to focus its efforts in creating their own manufacture movements. The 1904 MC (automatic movement), 9907 MC (chronograph movement), and the 9452 MC (the flying tourbillon movement), are just a few of the creations from the Brand’s swiss atelier headed by Cartier’s very own Director of Movement Development – Carole Forestier-Kasapi.
The new edition of the famous ladies watch from the 1980s is a wristwatch and jewelry combined. The square watch case with round edges, the Roman numerals, as well as the delicate watch bracelet give the Panthére collection its elegant visual appeal. The typical octagonal crown is set with a sapphire, so the watch is just as suitable for business, as it is as a refined accessory for special occasions.
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This newer model for men has a pillow-shaped case. Its unique silhouette gives the Drive de Cartier watches a more modern edge, yet remain distinctive from other men’s watches in the market. The brilliant design of the Drive is especially striking on the wrist, as it blends perfectly with the arm’s contour thanks to the Watches’ slim case.
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Calibre de Cartier
This round model for men is not only sportier looking than the other Cartier horological creations, it even comes different variations, like the diver’s watch and chronograph. Needless to say, its unique date display and the inclusion of the small-seconds complete the dynamic and chic look of the Calibre de Cartier watches.
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Santos de Cartier
In 1904 Cartier designed the first wristwatch ever, which was also a pilot’s watch. It is named after the Brazilian pilot and friend of Louis Cartier: Alberto Santos Dumont. Rounded corners and visible screws on the bezel define the unmistakable character of this men’s model.
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Clé de Cartier
The crown in the form of a key (Clé). The harmonious proportion and the fine lines are the character traits of the Clé, which is available in women’s and men’s models. The round, slightly curved silhouette also provides excellent comfort on the wrist.
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Rotonde de Cartier
This smart column wheel chronograph for men has a very masculine appearance on the wrist despite its moderate size. The thicker case and the broad band connections achieve this visual effect.
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This line became famous as a ladies’ and gentlemen’s watch because of its unconventional design. It was originally the third watch from the House of Cartier, issued in 1912 and defined by an elegant, pure and compact style. Today’s models are available in numerous versions and feature combinations such as date display, GMT, and the small seconds.
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The idea for the Tank dates back to 1917. Its appearance is compact and narrow. For women, it presents itself in stainless steel or pink gold in combination with leather straps and are sometimes studded with diamonds. The Tank is one of the most prevalent watches by Cartier, particularly among men. Louis Cartier designed this model and wore it himself. He produced the tank in many variants, such as the Tank Solo, MC or Anglaise.
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The casing of the Ballon Bleu is round like a balloon and fitted with blue accents. The line is available in both men and ladies models. A wide range of selection for color and material for the bracelets offers choice and encourages an individual fashion statement.
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The Ronde Collection is stunning in its classical design for both women and men. Its round case demonstrates a more minimalistic aesthetics, yet the Brand’s signature Blue accents and the Roman numerals are not amiss.
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This masculine line with its round case is a popular men’s model of Cartier, characteristic with the crown, which is defined with a striking crown protector. This and the additional pushers for the chronograph are adorned with attractive cabochons. The Cartier trademarks are apparent on the dial: the Roman numerals, the hatched border and the logo. Some models of the Pasha are also available with Arabic numerals.
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Why should I buy a Cartier watch?
Cartier watches show a great sense of classical elegance and their creations, which come with the Cartier manufacture movements, are technically sophisticated and innovative. They are created for all who look for something of exceptional quality, full of tradition, and outstanding craftsmanship. The fusion of thoughtful design and precision watchmaking comes to full fruition in this Brand. Cartier is synonymous with luxury for the wrist, an accoutrement that will certainly prompt the occasional compliment and admiration for the wearer. Therefore, Cartier, who was long known for exceptional jewelry, has become a big name in the watch market too. Their timepieces are available for men’s wrists in masculine modern fashion with the Cartier Drive or classically elegant with the Calibre, for women as a refined character statement with the Panthére or for partners with the Tank which comes in the same finishes and different sizes. Customers who opt for Cartier, acquire a watch that one does not want to take off and a timepiece that will outlive generations, without a doubt.
Cartier in Numbers
20 pieces was the size of the limited edition of the rare Cartier Tank Platinum with skeleton movement. The clasp on the alligator strap of the model consists of 18-carat white gold.
$1 million was the value of the pearl necklace Cartier traded for its shop on Fifth Avenue in New York in 1917.
69.42 carats is the weight of a diamond, Robert Kenmore, chairman of the board of a Cartier subsidiary acquired in 1969. This gem was sold to Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor.
The first wrist watch for men was created when the pilot Alberto Santos Dumont complained to Louis Cartier that pocket watches are not practical for flying.
is the number of the tiaras, King Edward VII ordered from Cartier for his coronation in 1902.
Cartier: a Chronology
1847: Louis-François Cartier laid the Foundation of the company as he takes over the jewelry workshop of his master, Adolphe Picard on the rue Montorgueil in Paris. A year earlier he had become a master jeweler and registered his trademark, a heart between the initials L and C, framed by a diamond.
1853: Cartier is accessible for private customers at the rue Neuve des petits Champs.
1859: Cartier adds antique pocket watches to their product range.
1872: The trade with new watches will be systematically expanded. In addition to their own pocket watches they sell pieces from other luxury companies (from 1893 Vacheron & Constantin, after 1900 Audemars Piguet).
1874: Alfred Cartier assumes the management of the business.
1898: Alfred’s son joins Louis in the company, which then is known as Alfred Cartier & Fils. The business moves to the famous address on Rue de la Paix in 1899, where it still is located today.
1902: Cartier opens a branch in London, where they produce jewelry for the Royal family.
1904: Cartier develops the first pilot’s Watch called “Cartier Santos” and enjoys great success. It was the first watch with a leather strap.
1912: Louis Cartier designed a miracle watch: Les Pendules Mysterieuses.
1953: Marilyn Monroe quotes Cartier among others in her song “diamonds are a girl’s best friends”
1974: Robert Hocq and Alain Dominique Perrin developed the concept of “Les Must de Cartier” to appeal to a younger audience.
1997: Cartier is now part of the luxury goods group Richemont.
2018: The new Santos de Cartier, featuring a QuickSwitch strap change and a SmartLink bracelet, is an instant hit.
Cartier has always been popular in aristocratic circles. Grace Kelly, Princess Diana and currently Kate Middleton are among their royal clientele. The list of Cartier celebrities fans is long and very impressive: musicians like Kanye West and Madonna or Hollywood celebrities such as Angelina Jolie and Nicole Kidman adorn themselves with a Cartier watch. The latest testimonial to Cartier fame is the film director Sofia Coppola.