Cartier Watches and their Luxury Status
Simply mentioning the name “Cartier” immediately denotes something of luxury, importance and (most likely) a hefty price tag. Why and how has this brand achieved such vaulted status, after all aren’t they simply just another watchmaker?
Cartier is one of the oldest jewelers in the world.
Time itself is testament to the quality, attention to detail, and star like reputation of this company. They have grown stronger with the centuries, creating masterpieces for both Royalty and the world’s elite.
Diversity is one ingredient that makes the “human race” strong and diversity is what Cartier offers its clientele; creating bejeweled masterpieces adorning the wrists of superstars, to finely crafted models worn by men and women of affluence and distinction. Cartier is in a word, “timeless”.
The roots of Cartier can be traced to the royal court of Napoleon III, who choosing a young jeweler, Louis-Francois Cartier, to service his court, likely could not envision the generations that would heed his advice. From the creation of a finely crafted silver tea service for Empress Eugenie, to setting up shop on the fashionable Boulevard des Italians, Cartier was a man whose eye was always tuned to his next creation. He would sow the seeds to a legacy that would firmly implant his name into the annals of history.
WHO WEARS CARTIER TODAY?
• Anna Wintour
• Angelina Jolie
• Elle MacPherson
• Princess Marie Chantal
• Gwyneth Paltrow
• Donatella Versace
• Gerry Halliwell
• Princess Mary of Denmark
As the years past and Cartier’s son Alfred took over the business, the company expanded, focusing more on watches (Louis-Francois only dabbled) but it was Alfred’s son Louis, who would guide the company toward world-wide fame and a heritage that continues unabated even today, they were to create their own brand of Cartier watch.
Through the years (and guided by changing leadership) the company would continue to rise to the challenges put before it. In 1904 they created the “Santos”, crafted specifically for Alberto Santos-Dumont, a Brazilian aviator, but received with such acclaim, the watch is still produced (over 100 years later) with few design changes.
Years pass, generations come and go but a legacy is timeless. By 1907, with offices in London, New York and St. Petersburg, the name Cartier was becoming synonymous with time, quality and affluence. Looking backward we can see the introduction of the Baignoire and Tortue Cartier (still in production today) marked a pivotal moment, but Cartier did not look back, rather forward with an eye ever on the future and what would be the next innovation.
FOUR FAMOUS NUMBERS
In the early 1920s, Cartier began stamping a four-digit-code onto the underside of each watch. These codes gave the watch history, a birthright and authenticity; many of today’s fine collectors will not accept a Cartier unless those four digits are present.
From Failure to Fashion
When Louis Cartier left this world in 1942, the company lost its direction and fell into financial difficulties. For thirty years the company floundered, becoming stagnant both in innovation and expansion, it was a company looking at the end of its legacy, but that was not to be. Recognizing the core ideals of Cartier, a group of investors acquired the company and named Alain Perrin as CEO, through his leadership the company again found its Muse, introducing the “Le Must” line, and breathing new life into older more established lines.
Cartier is a company with roots that date to Napoleon, but a vision that looks toward generations yet to come. It is a company that has seen adversity, but risen above it to lay claim to its legacy. Cartier denotes luxury not only with is artistry, craftsmanship and bejeweled masterpieces, but also the spirit of innovation that drives it ever forward into the annals of time.
Cartier is just one of the brands that has behind the face of it’s watches, engineers and technicians that have been trained in a very special type of training. The WOSTEP training in the USA is a course/watchmaking program which was setup by luxury Swiss watchmakers in order ensure that technicians were able to meet a standard that would be of a sufficiently high standard to grant watchmakers the ability to work in one of the recognized service centres that the brands operate internationally. The WOSTEP courses that are run by the Institute of Swiss Watchmaking in their watchmaking schools in Hong Kong and Dallas, USA, provide the best opportunity for students that are planning on making a career out of time.