Cartier History


King Edward VIII

King Edward VII

It all began in 1847 with Louis-Francois Cartier (1819-1904) apprenticing with Adophe Picard in Paris.  His first sale was to Princess Mathilde the niece of Napoleon I and cousin to Emperor Napoleon III in 1856.  He moves his shop to 9, Boulevard des Italiens and added another prestigious customer, Empress Eugenie in 1859.

Combining jewelry with timepieces in 1888, Cartier marries the two creating the first bracelet watch for ladies.  Moving on up in 1899 Cartier opens 13, Rue de la Paix.  The turn of the century brings aristocrats from around the world to buy neoclassical diamond pieces mounted in platinum.

Moving into England, 4, New Burlington Street in London opens coinciding with the coronation of King Edward VII in 1902; Cartier created his crown marking the beginning of their position as jeweler to the kings.  Appointed as official supplier to King Edward VII, Cartier was also chosen as official supplier to King Alfonso XIII of Spain.

Expanding to other continents, Louis Cartier creates a watch with a leather strap for Brazilian aviator friend Alberto Santos-Dumont.  King Carlos I of Portugal caught wind of Cartier’s expertise and appoints them official supplier.

Ahead of the curve, Cartier creates the precursor to Art Deco jewelry in 1906 with its geometric designs.  Close on its heels the first exhibition and sale in St. Petersburg is held at the Grand Hotel, Cartier is selected as official supplier to Tsar Nicholas II of Russia.

Word is spreading like wildfire and King Paramindr Maha Chulalongkorn of Siam appoints Cartier official supplier.  This calls for another boutique to open and 175-176 New Bond Street in London opens its doors.  Cartier hits America the same year with 712 Fifth Avenue, New York, New York.

The famous Blue Hope Diamond is sold to American customer Evalyn Walsh McClean in 1910.  And the following year is the launch of the Santos de Cartier wristwatch inspired by the watch made for Alberto Santos-Dumont.

The Mystery Clock is created in 1912.  Tsar Nicolas II is presented with the Cartier Imperial Egg which now resides in MOMA New York, New York.

Serbia is catching the wave with the appointment of Cartier as official supplier to King Peter I.  The following year Duke Philippe of Orleans appoints Cartier as their official supplier.

The New York City store  moves to 653, Fifth Avenue, the mansion of Morton S. Plant in exchange for a double-strand necklace of 55 and 73 natural pearls, now that’s a great real estate deal.

The famous Tank watch is launched in 1919; timeless design still popular to this day.  King Albert I of Belgium joins the ranks of those appointing Cartier as official supplier.  Prince of Wales, future King Edward VIII and better known as the Duke of Windsor appoints Cartier official supplier.

Cartier continues to expand, to give back to the world and to create beautiful objects of art that transcend all cultures.  Just the mention of the name evokes images of luxury and fine craftsmanship.