Cartier was founded in 1847 by Louis-Franois ,an apprentice in the jewelry workshop of his master, Adolphe Pickard. Louis had an eye for style, elegance and pristine craftsmanship. In time he took over the business located in Paris at 29 Montorgueil. As troubles in Paris subside, people want equisite well-crafted jewelry. Louis' workshop increases in size and soon he draws his own clientèle. Cartier is booming and a new venue is required. Cartier moves to 9 boulevard des Italians in the midst of the Parisian hustle and bustle.
Cartier becomes the master jeweler to Europe's Crowned heads. Opening jewelry stores in Great Britain and New York (1917), Cartier prestige grew.
Cartier (New York) moved into 653 Fifth Avenue in 1917 purchased from Mr Plant for $100 and a pearl necklace valued at One Million Dollars. Today this mansion has been given the title of NYC Landmark and the corner renamed "Place de Cartier"
In 1904 Cartier introduced it first true wristwatch, designed by Louis and named for Alberto Santos Dumont, a Brazilian aviator. In 1906 Cartier began to place jewels on the wristwatch blurring the lines between a piece of jewelry and a watch.
True to his brilliant innovative mind, in 1910 Louis created and patented the deployment folding clasp, still used by many watchmakers today.
In 1917 Cartier introduced the Tank Watch, a popular collection till today. The Tank Watch derived its name in tribute to the Allied Tank Commanders who helped defend France in World War I.
In 1933, Pasha of Marrakech commisioned Cartier to make a watch he could wear while swimming, and so an early water resistance watch was created.
Cartier has reintroduced many of Louis Cartier's designs such as the Santos, the Panther, the Pasha, the Tonneau, the Diabolo and the Tank. (I will be discussing these watches in greater depth in the near blogging future.)
Louis Cartier's innovations and designs thought up over 100 years ago still shimmer beneath jewelers show cases,and are chosen year after year. The beauty of Cartier is in its close tie to its founder who not only founded the company, but imparted a wealth of design, style and elegance to keep its success for generations to come.