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The History of Cartier

The History of Cartier

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The History of Cartier

There’s a reason that Cartier is a name that is synonymous with luxury goods. The prestigious brand has been around for decades, providing consumers with gorgeous and valuable jewelry and accessories. 


It all started in Paris, France in 1847. Jeweler Louis-François Cartier took over his master Adolphe Picard’s workshop and renamed it Cartier. He ran the business until 1874 when his son Alfred took over the company. The company did well in France but it was Alfred’s three sons Louis, Pierre, and Jacque who helped establish the brand as a name known worldwide.

In 1899 Louis moved the Paris branch to the Rue de la Paix, and the company began to spread worldwide. Pierre established Cartier’s New York City branch in 1909, joining other branches in London and St Petersburg.

Growing popularity caused the brand to spread farther worldwide, securing Cartier’s position as one of the world’s most prestigious jewelry manufacturers.

Signature Pieces

Cartier’s packaging for their products is just as iconic as the brand. The company’s signature red box is recognizable and eye-catching.

The Cartier family were also revolutionaries when it came to jewelry and watch design. During his time with the company, Louis created some of Cartier’s most beloved designs. He designed Art Deco wristwatches and mystery clocks, which are a type of clock with a hidden mechanism and a transparent dial. He also created the brand’s most popular watch style, Tank, in 1919. The timepiece was inspired by the tanks rolling across the Western Front during World War I.

In 1926 the brand introduced the Baguette watch and in 1935 the Bismarck Sapphire Necklace was unveiled. The necklace now shares time between the Logan Sapphire and the Hall Sapphire and Diamond Necklace in the Janet Annenberg Hooker Hall of Geology, Gems, and Minerals at the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of Natural History in Washington DC.

Favorite of Royalty and Celebs

Shortly after Louis, Pierre, and Jacques took over Cartier, the brand began to attract some attention from royalty. The United Kingdom’s King Edward VII named the brand an official purveyor in 1904. Edward’s consort Queen Alexandra was taken with the jewelry and purchased a necklace that was designed with an Indian influence. Cartier was also made official purveyor for Tsar Nicholas II of Russia, King Albert I of Belgium, and King Fouad I of Egypt. The brand designed one of the smallest wristwatches in the world for Princess Elizabeth of the UK. Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton has been spotted wearing the brand’s Ballon Bleu watch as well.

Celebrities are also big fans of the brand. Gloria Swanson wore two diamond and rock crystal bracelets in the famous film Sunset Boulevard. Reese Witherspoon, Kylie Jenner, Kristen Stewart, and many other celebs have been spotted wearing jewelry from the brand as well.

If you’re interested in selling your jewelry or having it appraised, contact Ralph Mueller and Associates, or call us at 480.949.9299. Our knowledgable staff would love to answer any questions you may have.