“Jeweler of the Kings, Kings of Jewelers”. The name Cartier is legendary for it’s royal associations – over a dozen royal families have commissioned Cartier to create signature pieces for coronations and other state occasions.
The year 1847 saw the establishment of the Cartier pocket watch business in Paris, but it wasn’t until the early twentieth century that the brand began to achieve worldwide recognition. The innovative “Santos” flat wristwatch design was pioneered in 1904, starting a long tradition of creating fashionable and practical wrist watches. By 1908, Cartier had become one of the most successful watch manufacturers in the world. Many wrist watch and jewelery designs were inspired by contemporary society; the colorful Tutti Frutti collection was reflective of the Art Deco craze, and the Tank wrist watch design was modeled after the new tank weaponry used on the Western Front during WWI.
A Sample from the Cartier Collection
- The Ballon Bleu Pink Gold and Diamonds: This dazzling timepiece features a pink gold case inlaid with dozens of genuine Cartier diamonds, with a matching bracelet.
- The Tank Solo Watch: This watch has a military feel, with a steel case and an opaline silver dial. Blued steel hands keep precise time, and the leather strap consists of round-scale alligator skin.
- The Santos 100: This watch seems both masculine and feminine. A silvered dial set in a stainless steel case, finished with luminescent oxidized-steel hands and a pink alligator strap.
- The Santos 100 Skeleton: This high-end watch is constructed from pure-grade palladium, with 18 carat white gold accents. If one watch is to be bought to last a lifetime, it should be this one.
- The Rondo Solo: This handcrafted timepiece is unmistakably Cartier, with it’s round scale ebony alligator strap and sword shaped blued-steel hands.
Five Innovations from Cartier
- 1904: Cartier is appointed as the official jewelers for the British Royal Family.
- 1912: Cartier creates the world’s first “Mystery Clock” – so called because of the hidden mechanism.
- 1919: The official launch of the Tank Watch, a timepiece which would become a cult classic.
- 1938: One of the smallest wristwatches in the world was designed by Cartier and given as a gift to Princess Elizabeth of Great Britain.
- 1950: Cartier designs a unique timepiece in the form of a ship’s wheel.
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