Cartier—the Jeweler of Kings and the King of Jewelers
Founded in 1847, there are few jewelers with such a prestigious past, and a knack for raising the bar when it comes to crafting impeccable jewelry, as Cartier. Each piece to bear the esteemed name epitomizes design of the highest degree.
Fit for a king: Cartier jewelry
It’s a universal sign of quality and distinction when the world’s monarchs and most esteemed families consistently turn to a single jeweler. For Cartier, the call of a king is not so surprising. In 1902, King Edward VII of England commissioned Cartier to design 27 tiaras to celebrate his coronation. The English king was so impressed by the creations of the master jewelers that he bestowed a royal warrant of appointment to Cartier, allowing the company to advertise the fact that it provides goods and services to the royal family. In the years after the coronation, Cartier received more warrants from the world’s upper crust, including the courts of Spain, Russia, Greece, Belgium, Portugal, Siam, Egypt, Monaco and the House of Orléans, among others.
Before the call of the king—an early history of Cartier
Cartier is one of those seldom seen, genuinely successful family businesses. It was first created by Louis-Francois Cartier in Paris in 1847 after he assumed ownership of his master’s workshop, and since then generation after generation of Cartier sat at the helm until 1964 when the family relinquished its ownership. First, Alfred followed founder Louis-Francois, and then Alfred’s three sons, Louis, Pierre and Jacques, took charge. Their vision and passion helped transform the company from a promising Parisian jewelers into a recognized name across the world.
With Cartier stores in New York City, London, and St. Petersburg, the company’s expansion was clearly gaining pace at the turn of the 19th century, but Louis Cartier chose to remain in charge of the original Paris branch. There, he oversaw the creation of some of Cartier’s most iconic products of the time, such as the remarkably unusual mystery clock, and striking art deco-inspired pieces which were very much at the cutting edge of early 20th century design.
A partnership with Edmond Jaeger in 1907 further propelled the firm’s expansion. Jaeger, a renowned French watchmaker, agreed a contract with Cartier for the provision of movements. A range of iconic watches followed, helping Cartier cement its place at the pinnacle of the luxury goods market.
At the beginning of the ‘20s Cartier and Jaeger took their partnership to the next level, founding a joint company by the name of Jaeger-LeCoultre. The new venture gave Cartier exclusive rights to movements manufactured by Jaeger, and served as yet another sign of the Cartier family’s ambition and eye for opportunity.
A new era for Cartier
In 1964, however, 117 years after the inception of the jewelers, the family decided to sell their business, seemingly a consequential choice following the death of Pierre Cartier in the same year. Despite the absence of the Cartier family on the board, the company still went from strength to strength under the direction of the new owners, resulting in some classic, unforgettable Cartier jewelry collections.
Classic Cartier jewelry collections
From unmistakably brilliant Cartier diamonds to wonderful vintage Cartier jewelry, the company has been responsible for some of the most beautiful pieces to grace jewelry boxes the world over.
Diamants Legers de Cartier
Comprising necklaces, earrings, and bracelets, this collection is adorned by Cartier diamonds hand-picked by master jewelers and set on elegant gold chains. The subtle design of the chains and frames makes these sparkling, glorious diamonds catch the eye—perfect for bringing glamor and class to any event.
Amulette de Cartier
This beguiling collection of necklaces features ten enchanting amulets—each one reflects a different human emotion or need: Lapis lazuli for serenity; carnelian for vitality; opal for happiness; snakewood for resistance; yellow gold and pink gold both afford the wearer inspiration; malachite brings luck; chrysoprase for fulfilment; onyx for courage; and mother of pearl for protection. This Cartier jewelry collection brings a casual elegance to everyday encounters, and affords the owner a wholesome, spiritual quality.
Cartier LOVE jewelry
The Cartier LOVE jewelry collection features bracelets, rings, necklaces and earrings crafted from gold, pink gold and white gold. An affirmation of loyalty and passion, these pieces symbolize the eternal, beautiful nature of love thanks to the expertly set Cartier diamonds—a stunning representation of an unbreakable bond. The Cartier LOVE jewelry range is a genuinely meaningful way of showing someone special exactly how much they are worth.
Cartier stores around the world
The allure of Cartier jewelry knows no boundaries. Today, there are over 200 Cartier stores, situated in 125 countries. In addition to this, there are three temples (historically significant Cartier stores): in the hearts of Paris, London and New York City.