Nobility, artistry, timelessness and passionate refinement – these are the purest ethics of luxury, the essence of an ageless treasure, and they have been at the very core of the House of Cartier for over a century and a half. But it is also the exceptional history of this illustrious brand that captures the imagination. It surrounds every precious object Cartier creates and encircles those that possess them.
Paris in the mid 1800’s: a city pulsing with culture and society, the emerging apex of luxury. One did not easily enter the lofty and guild-driven world of the master jeweler. The royal commissions that established absolute credibility were very hard-won and took decades to cultivate. It was in this setting that Louis François Cartier, an apprentice jeweler to Master Adolphe Picard, founded his own atelier in 1847, giving birth to a house that would become a legend.
Immediately, Cartier electrified the world with dazzling creations that defied convention yet maintained the highest level of integrity. Within just a few years, Cartier was recognized and commissioned by the Imperial House of France. Shortly thereafter, Cartier was appointed to the Royal House of England. Eventually, Cartier went on to be appointed to or commissioned by nearly every royal house on earth.
By the turn of the century, Louis François’ three grandsons took over management of Cartier, expanding aggressively into watchmaking, writing instruments, eyewear and other accessories. At a time when crossing borders was relatively unheard of, the house experienced revolutionary growth, spreading to London, New York, St. Petersburg and every other corner of the globe by the end of the 19th Century.
This remarkable heritage, along with a reputation for constant innovation, extraordinary design, unquestionable quality, and unimaginable beauty, makes Cartier the archetype of luxury. It inspired Edward VII of England to say of Cartier, “They are the jeweler of kings, and the king of jewelers.” Today, Cartier is stronger and more vibrant than ever. It is a name that resonates with emotion – a name that makes the heart beat just a little bit faster.