The history of Cartier goes back to 1847, when Louis-François Cartier took over the workshop from his mentor Adolphe Picard in Paris, France.
The company went to his son Alfred Cartier in 1874 and was finally passed to Alfred’s sons Louis, Pierre, and Jacques, who ultimately established the brand name worldwide.
The Cartier Santos was the company’s first men’s wristwatch. Named after the Brazilian pioneer aviator Alberto Santos-Dumont, it was produced with the aim of having a reliable and practical wristwatch for pilots to read during a flight. It is the world’s first pilot wristwatch and still produced to this day.
Cartier quickly became one of the most successful brands worldwide, and by 1909 opened a branch in New York, having already established a location in London. In 1919, the company introduced the Cartier Tank, which was inspired by the tanks introduced on the Western Front in World War I.
Further variations of the Tank exist, namely the Tank Louis introduced in 1922, the Tank Américaine in 1989, and the Tank Française in 1996. It has become one of the most desired and copied watches of all times, and has been worn by many celebrities including Princess Diana, Andy Warhol, and Yves Saint Laurent.
After Pierre Cartier’s death in 1964, the three brothers’ children respectively sold the businesses in London, New York, and Paris, which were later acquired by Robert Hocq and a group of investors, who eventually reconnected Cartier worldwide. Today, Cartier is a subsidiary of the Switzerland-based luxury goods holding company Richemont Group.
The Maison Cartier announces several new editions for the next September, from the most important such as the Tank Louis, to the more accessible, like the new Tank Must versions, including one offering an innovative solar-winding mechanism, and eco-friendly straps.
The Cartier Privé Tank Asymétrique is a mark of true design genius: unadulterated or heavily modified, it continues to shine. Privé stands for some of the most exclusive and special timepieces offered by the maison of Cartier.
The early 1910s saw Cartier produce the first Santos pieces — over a century later its inspired design lives on as one of the best options among more elegant luxury watches.
The Pasha de Cartier, a true Cartier classic, is characterised by its own trademark design elements and superb legibility, with the addition of cool Cartier features to enhance wearability.