Cartier S.A. (jeweller and watch manufacturer)
Cartier S.A., based in Paris, France, is one of the oldest luxury jewellery and watch manufacturers in the world.
Its clientele includes royalty and movie stars alike, attracted by the company’s reputation for selling some of the markets’ finest quality jewellery and accessories.
Today, most contemporary Cartier watches (and jewellery) are based upon the distinctive designs of founder Louis-Francois Cartier.
Cartier was founded in 1847 by Louis-Franois Cartier, master jeweller to Europe's crowned heads. By the early 20th century, his three grandsons, Louis, Jacques and Pierre, were successfully managing Cartier boutiques in Paris, London and New York.
First true Cartier wristwatch
The Santos was introduced in 1904, designed by Louis and named for Alberto Santos-Dumont, a Brazilian aviator.
The company released jewelled wristwatches in 1906. In 1910, Louis created and patented the deployant folding clasp.
‘The single most important and influential watch design’
1917 saw the introduction of the famous Cartier Tank watch. It is regarded as the single most important and influential watch design of the 20th century, designed in tribute to the Allied Tank commanders who defended France during World War I.
During the early twentieth century any man wearing a wristwatch made a very daring statement, as the classic pocket watch was considered the only timepiece a gentleman should carry.
First waterproof wristwatch
In 1931 Cartier designed its first waterproof wristwatch with a three piece case made in Paris. Other designs to come from Cartier Paris were a covered wristwatch, a shutter wristwatch, a reversible wristwatch a chronograph and a minute repeater.
A one off Cartier phoenix shaped watch with phoenix décor was introduced in April 2010 and has been valued at $2,755,000.