The Jeweler Of Kings And The King Of Jewelers
The Cartier House was founded in 1847 by Louis François Cartier. Settled in Paris, rue Montorgueil, he takes over the jeweler’s craft from his master.
Five years later, the first store opens at 5 rue Neuve Des Petits Champs, today rue des Petits Champs.
In 1874, Alfred Cartier took over the family business, which moved to 9 boulevard des Italiens.
Alfred’s sons inherit of the business, Pierre, Jacques and Louis.
Pierre opens a shop in London and obtains the patent of official supplier of the British crown for the coronation of King Edward VII. On this occasion the king orders 27 tiaras and describes Cartier as “the jeweler of kings and the king of jewelers”. In 1909, he opened a boutique in New York by buying a whole building on 5th Avenue in exchange for a pearl necklace. He installed a huge clock on the facade, decorated with a French cock and an American eagle.
Jacques becomes engraver medalist within the Cartier workshops.
The oldest, Louis Cartier is the one who made the reputation of the brand. He traveled a lot in search of exceptional stones. He opened a studio of creation, Cartier is then a rare mark to have his own studio. He became the artistic director of his brand and the Cartier style was gradually installed. He imposed the platinum in the early 1900.
In 1925, he created with Jean Cocteau a ring. A combination of yellow gold, red gold and platinum. In 1998, this ring will be called Trinity. It was the first time that a great jeweler created a jewel only made of metal.
In 1899, the Cartier house moved to 13 rue de la Paix, in Paris.
From the beginning of the 20th century, the house counts among its clients celebrities and royal families. Tsar Nicholas II, Mary of Romania, Princess Mathilde (niece of Napoleon I), Wallis Simpson, Grace Kelly, Doris Duke, Tina Turner, Sharon Stone, the Kardashian family.
Gunter Sachs offered bracelets to Brigitte Bardot for their wedding anniversary.
Cartier stands out from other brands by its wristwatches. In 1904, Louis Cartier created with his friend, the Brazilian aviator Alberto Santos, a watch with a leather strap, which will be marketed in 1911.
The Cartier House continues today to market a wide range of watches whose best known names are La Panthere, La Tank, La Ballon Bleu, La Baignoire.
In 1933, Louis Cartier entrusted the artistic direction of the brand to his friend Jeanne Toussaint. She created what became the emblem of the brand, the Panther jewel.
During the occupation, she created a pin representing a bird in cage. Because of this jewel, she was interrogated a few days by the Gestapo. She was released with the help of her friend Gabrielle Chanel. At the liberation, she adapted the jewel, which became “the liberated bird”.
The designer deeply influenced the style of the house and created a true brand identity. She stayed at Cartier until 1970.
CARTIER STYLE AND MYTHIC PIECES
The Cartier style is quite recognizable. At the beginning of the 20th century, Louis Cartier’s creations were completely Art Deco, often platinum brooches and necklaces.
The panther is the symbol of the house, today the motif comes in rings, earrings, bracelets and necklaces.
In the 1970s, the brand launched with the designer Aldo Cipullo the Love bracelet, which has the distinction of opening with a target shot, as well as the Nail Bracelet.
The Trinity collections, the Nail Bracelet and the Love bracelet are today the bestsellers of the brand.