The Rise of Cartier Watches
Louis Cartier, a Paris-born watchmaker, initially founded Cartier in 1847. Starting as an apprentice to Adolphe Picard, Louis-François Cartier soon began to climb the ranks when he purchased the small Parisian store previously belonging to his mentor, which would evolve into the Cartier brand we recognise today.
As a family-orientated business, Cartier was taken over in 1874 by Alfred Cartier, son of Louis, who would then pass the company down to his own sons Louis, Pierre, and Jacques. It was at this point that Cartier watches really began to take off as they focused on establishing the brand name worldwide.
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In 1904, Louis Cartier was tasked to create a wrist watch for Brazilian aviator, Alberto Santos-Dumont; the Santos de Cartier was born as both the first men’s wrist watch & also the first Pilot’s Watch. A bonafide icon, the design has stood the test of time & beyond.
The Tank Must de Cartier was brought to the market in the 1970’s, a design born of that era, a classic Tank shape was delivered with colourful and decorated dials. The new Tank Must series continues this legend with a case akin to the classic Tank Louis Cartier but in steel!
The Panther element of Cartier’s design history was first incorporated by their famous design Director Jeanne Toussaint in the 1930’s. The Panthere de Cartier was released in 1983 mirroring the art scene of the time. Elegant and distinctive, and now back as a pillar in the Cartier pantheon.
Initially highlighted by the floating ball, the Ballon bleu de Cartier continues Cartier’s mastery of shapes. The crown is hidden into the case, with the dial flowing around this lovely feature. Quickly becoming one of Cartier’s best selling collections, the Ballon Bleu is perfect for almost all occasions.
Originally developed for the Pasha of Marrakesh as a water resistant sports watch, in 1985, the Pasha de Cartier became a collection in its own right. The signature crown copy makes it both distinctive and instantly recognisable as a Cartier design.
Only a true icon can be named after the most famous of the Cartier family. The Tank Louis Cartier, delivered explicitly in precious metal is the most famous Tank model. Curved edges with pointed crown, the modern Louis Cartier collection remains faithful to the original design from the 1920’s.
Enjoying all the hallmarks of classic Cartier Tank models, the Tank Americaine takes notes of the vintage Tank Cintrée and modernises the ideal. Brought to market in 1989, making it a relative newcomer in the Tank family, the Americaine has quietly become a fan favourite, partly due to the fact it was initially only offered in precious metals. Available also in steel as of 2017, the Tank Americaine is as stylish as ever fitting perfectly into the Cartier pantheon of watches.
Furthering the mythos of the Tank design, the Cartier Tank Francaise made its debut in 1996. The Tank design, inspired by military tanks moves into the bracelet with solid links. Offered in both steel and gold, the Tank Francaise offers options from the every day to the glamorous.
The Ronde de Cartier takes Cartier’s classic design elements and delivers them in a round case. Roman Numerals, sword shaped hands – both quartz and mechanical, precious metal and steel – this Cartier collection offers an option for all watch lovers.
In 2016, the Drive de Cartier was designed on the foundation of Cartier’s own in-house automatic calibre. Cartier’s emphasis on curves continues with a curved glass and case built to hug the wrist. The Drive element is a reminder from Cartier to push the boundaries and enjoy life!
Cartier continues to reign as the maestro of watchmaking design with the Cle de Cartier. Soft curves, clean lines, and a rounded profile, this new shape and harmonious design are a true testament to elegance, precision and proportions made famous by Cartier.