Cartier cigarette lighters
Cartier cigarette lighters are cigarette lighters produced by renowned French jeweller and watchmaker Cartier.
Background and Description
Cartier was established by the Cartier family in Paris in 1847. The first Cartier flint and steel lighter recorded dates from 1867. In the next ten years, Cartier became synonymous with success and high society. The company expanded to London in 1902 and New York in 1908. Many early Cartier lighters are bespoke pieces that were made on specific customer request.
In 1932, Cartier took out a patent on one innovative model of lighter, using the system of constant pressure to the flint and double tank fuel system, with an adjustable screw between them that lengthened the time needed between refills. The shape of this lighter was highly influential, being a block of metal with wheel or roller on the side.
The first gas lighter made by Cartier was The Oval in 1968, designed by Robert Hocq, the first maker of gas cigarette lighters in the world. Cartier was the first company to produce this oval shaped lighter, which is now a standard model. It revolutionised the market for cigarette lighters.
Cartier generally use only previous metals in their designs of lighters: gold, silver, and lacquer suffusion. For example pink gold and crocodile leather.
Cartier continue to manufacture cigarette lighters, seen as luxury items. Almost all of them are manufactured in Switzerland. They are considered, along with Dunhill, the top of the market for cigarette lighters.
Collecting Cartier cigarette lighters
Collectors of Cartier lighters may decide to collect only antique or vintage designs, rather than the contemporary models. These can often be more valuable, depending on condition and history.
If once owned by a notable figure, the value of a Cartier lighter increases.
Antique cigarette lighters from the pre-early 1900s are very elusive and hard to find, so it is easier to collect Cartier lighters produced from the 1920s onwards.
Lighters were produced both as compact sizes to carry around, and as large display lighters to be kept on desks. These latter were designed as attractive pieces of furniture, aesthetically appealing.
Some lighters have Cartier watches or jewels included in the design, as well as being made of precious materials. This makes Cartier lighters particularly valuable.
Cartier lighters come in many different styles depending on when they were designed. Some of the first oval designs are popular.
Genuine Cartier lighters will be embossed with the Cartier logo.
New models can be purchased directly from Cartier. Antique and vintage Cartier lighters are often sold through auction websites such as eBay.
Empty Cartier cigarette lighter boxes are considered collectible in their own right.
Cartier lighters on eBay fetch prices ranging from around $30 up to thousands of dollars. This generally depends on age, rarity, condition, and material, and whether they can be proven as genuine.
New Cartier lighters sell for around $1,000.