Cartier is celebrated throughout the world for amazing jewelry and wristwatch designs. You’ve probably wanted a Cartier piece at some point in your life, that is if you don’t already own one. Still, how much do you know about Cartier? Most people only know and remember the current presence of the brand. However, Cartier deserves a bit more of us. Founded in 1847, which is 176 years ago, the company has a rich history.
After inheriting the company from his teach and master jeweler in 1847 Paris, Louis Francois Cartier renamed the company after himself. When changing the name, Louis Francois founded the now famous Cartier brand. His son Alfred took over the company in 1874. However, it was Alfred’s three sons that really expanded the name and the influence of the brand worldwide. The three brothers opened and managed offices in various parts of the world, including London, New York and St. Petersburg.
Cartier is perhaps best known among men for starting the wristwatch trend. In the early 20th century, a friend of Louis Cartier (one of the sons of Alfred) complained how ineffective pocket watches were for aviators. Louis designed a wristwatch for his friend, and named the series after him, Cartier Santos. They continued creating new watch series, some of which are still active today, including Baignoire and Tank series. They started producing women’s watches shortly after the men’s, with many of the same designs and series being adapted for female customers.
Change of Ownership
For over 100 years Cartier remained in the family name. It was only after the death of the third generation of Cartier’s who owned the business that their children decided to sell. The company is presently fully owned by a group of investors under the name of Richemont. It is a conglomerate of luxury goods based in Switzerland.
Even though they are famous for their watches, Cartier started and has maintained a prominent position in the high-end jewelry market. This aspect of the company’s market is heavily geared towards women. A Cartier, for a woman, is synonymous with brilliant design and a variety of different collections for any occasion. With 14 active jewelry collections, it would be a challenge for anyone to not find a piece they love.
However, Cartier’s legacy and reputation don’t come only from the collections of jewelry. Half a century after the founding of the company, King Edward VII described the House of Cartier as the “Jeweller of Kings and King of Jewellers.” A stunning number of royalty and nobility of Europe have been or still are patrons of Cartier, including royals of Spain, Belgium, Egypt, Portugal and many more; most recently the Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle. This impressive roster of customers came after the King Edward VII ordered 27 tiaras for his coronation in 1902. He was so pleased with the work of Cartier that he issued a royal warrant to Cartier in 1904.
Cartier Jewelry & Watches in San Diego
If you are on a lookout for a piece of vintage Cartier jewelry or pre-owned Cartier watch, visit Leo Hamel Fine Jewelers. Our showroom and jewelry store on San Diego Avenue is the largest source of new and vintage high-end jewelry in San Diego. Our experienced and polite staff will ensure that you find a Cartier piece to suit your style.