Jewelry & Watches

Since 1847, Cartier has been the global trendsetter, the judge and jury of fine taste. By remaining true to the jewellery-making traditions and constantly searching for new opportunities, the House created a world-class style. Cartier encourages everyone to share the values that are the bedrock of the house’s heritage and success. These include: the pursuance of eternal beauty, elegance and unsurpassed quality; the freedom of self-expression; a longing for sharing your wealth with true connoisseurs.

How did the jewelry brand history begin?

The House of Cartier was founded in 1847 in Paris by a young jeweler Louis-Francois Cartier, who bought a workshop from his teacher and decided to work only on a by-order basis.

Louis-Francois Cartier had a run of luck when an elegant lady looked into the shop; she spent a long time looking at gold trifles and finally bought three brooches. The lady was the Countess of Nieuwerkerke – the wife of the Superintendent of Fine Arts at the court of Napoleon III and the closest friend of Princess Matilda, the niece of Napoleon Bonaparte. Within three years, the Countess of Nieuwerkerke and her friend Empress Eugene – the wife of Napoleon III – purchased about 150 items from Louis-Francois Cartier. They recommended the newly-discovered jeweler to all their friends and acquaintances. And had no fear that they might see a similar brooch on a friend’s or a rival’s chest: Louis-Francois Cartier didn’t cut corners. He created and didn’t repeat himself. Cartier’s fame (and fortune) grew by leaps and bounds.

Louis-Francois laid the foundation to a family business by teaching the profession to his son Alfred, who later entrusted managing functions in Cartier international branches to his three sons: Louis takes charge of the business in Paris, Pierre moves to New York, and Jacques settles in London.

Where and when was the first boutique opened?
In 1899, Cartier opened a boutique at Rue de la Paix, 13 in a high-end cosmopolitan district of Paris, where it has been located up to the present day.
What makes the brand unique? What is Cartier’s showpiece?
Louis-Francois was a true artist; he tried things out and searched for new forms by combining the most ancient traditions with modern fashion trends. In the course of many centuries, Cartier was the first one to bring images of animals and insects back to the jeweler’s art. The “Panther” collection, created together with Jeanne Toussaint – the jewelry workshop art director and the brand muse – since the early 1920s has been a symbol of the House.
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