The History of Cartier

The name “Cartier” could be considered synonymous with luxury, beauty, and impeccable design. For over 100 years, Cartier has been a brand name to remember. With their high end jewelry designs and objet’s d’art, the Cartier name has lived on to be known as the best of the best in the world of luxury goods. But, how did this incredible maison come into being? Read on to discover more!


C de Cartier Diamond Link Necklace

This incredible C de Cartier Diamond Necklace is a superb example of the amazing artistry Cartier can attain. Comprised of 30.00 carats of white diamonds, the choker is an outstanding piece from the C de Cartier collection. Timeless and elegant, this piece is sure to impress anyone who lays eyes upon it.


In 1847, Louis-François Cartier took over his master’s workshop in Paris, despite the tumultuous times of the ongoing French Revolution, and established the firm we now know as Cartier. The first decade of the company’s existence was a great success, and the first Cartier boutique was opened in 1859. Louis’ son, Alfred, took over the company in 1874, but it was his sons, Louis, Pierre, and Jacques that elevated the brand name as one that was revered world wide as they maintained branches in Paris, New York, and London respectively.


Louis remained in Paris to continue to growth of Cartier, and moved to Rue de la Paix in 1899. The French had a thirst for prosperity, resulting in incredible innovations. some of Cartier’s most revolutionary ideas were established by Louis, such as the use of platinum in jewelry. These innovations earned Cartier the title of, “Jeweler of the Kings, King of Jewelers,” just before the turn of the century. King Edward VII was an avid fan of the firm during this time, as well as many other celebrated individuals.


Louis Cartier was also responsible for the innovative and admired mystery clocks. In 1912, Model A was created as a standard-shaped mantel clock with one intriguing characteristic: the clock appeared to be made entirely of rock crystal with no indication of a dial connected to a mechanical movement, causing the hands of the clock to appear to be functioning as if by magic.


Cartier Prism Mystery Clock

This beautiful Cartier Prism Mystery Clock currently available for purchase from M.S. Rau demonstrates the incredible mechanism described above. Coupling classicism and modernism, this prism clock is an exceptional demonstration of complex engineering and stylish artistry. The dial is concealed at the base of the clock and may only be viewed through the glass paneling from a certain angle. With it’s sleek art deco design and lapis lazuli accents, this prism mystery clock would be an incredible addition to any mantel or desk. Explore our collection of antique clocks for sale.


Cartier’s innovation did not stop there. The firm can be considered responsible for popularizing the wristwatch with their one-of-a-kind designs. in 1904, Brazilian pioneer aviator, Alberto Santos-Dumont, expressed to his close friend, Louis Cartier, his need for a more accessible and reliable form of telling the time. The use of pocket watches during a flight was impractical for Santos-Dumont, and thus a flat wristwatch with a distinctive square bezel was designed for him by Cartier. The “Santos” wristwatch was Cartier’s first men’s wristwatch and attracted the attention of many other customers from around the world.


Diamond Bezel Dual Time Tonneau Wristwatch by Cartier

This incredible Diamond Bezel Dual Time Tonneau Wristwatch by Cartier couples luxury with functionality and encompasses the timeless artistry of Cartier’s legacy. Featuring an 18K yellow gold tonneau case, this wrist watch has dual watch faces that can be set to read two different time zones. The bezel and crown of the wrist watch is emblazoned with shimmering diamonds, heightening the opulence and beauty of this Cartier’s design. The original forrest green crocodile strap can be changed out with three additional bands in black, brown, and red.


With the established New York branch by Pierre Cartier in 1909, the Cartier firm was not only revered for their jewelry designs, but also quickly becoming one of the most well-known brand named for watches in the world. In 1917, the New York Cartier branch purchased the Neo-Renaissance mansion of Morton Freeman Plant on 653 5th Avenue in exchange for $100 in cash and a double-stranded natural pearl necklace.


Many Cartier designs have been made famous during the years, including the Cartier Trinity Ring. The famous “three ring” became popular during the Art Deco craze and was designed by good friend to Louis Cartier, John Cocteau. Supposedly representing friendship, fidelity, and love, the three-stoned design made popular by Cartier became a must-have for any jewelry collector.


Cartier Fancy Vivid Yellow Diamond Ring

This absolutely incredible Trinity ring featuring a fancy vivid yellow diamond flanked by two exceptional white diamonds is currently available at M.S. Rau. Encapsulating Cartier’s desire to place beauty at the foundation of their creations, this amazing ring is everything you dreamed for and more.


Becoming what may be considered the finest jewelry house in the world, the Cartier name has not stopped producing incredible and unique designs sported by some of the most well-known celebrities and aristocrats. Important pieces and collections can be acquired such as the Tutti Frutti designs, Cartier panthers, and love and charm bracelets. The innovation of the firm is endless!


Cartier 18K Gold Charm Bracelet

This 18K Gold Charm Bracelet by Cartier represent some of the most iconic and respected images associated with the firm. Including the “C de Cartier” double C icon, Cartier panther icon, and a “Cartier Tank” watch face among others, this charm bracelet with a trace link chain design is representative of Cartier’s original and celebrated designs as well as there never-ceasing innovation.


Cartier is still today one of the household names of high end jewelry and watch design with no indication of slowing down their creations. Please visit our website to shop our amazing Cartier collection.


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