Cartier Watches History


Ever since the beginning of fine crafted watches, Cartier has been at the forefront of luxuriously designed timepieces that have kept impeccable time for centuries. Cartier is a top watch brand that many aspire to own and wear. Few timepieces stand the ultimate test of time like this brand does with its signature blue sapphire look and timeless quality. But, what makes Cartier so special?

Louis-Francois Cartier started the company that bears his name in Paris in 1847. the name stayed in the direct family until 1964. The Cartier brand of watches has a long run on the Forbes annual list of the World’s Most Valuable Brands.

The styles were creative and unique with quality that far exceeded the norm with top-dollar price tags to match. Over the years, the look of French design with the excellent quality of Swiss workmanship has piqued the interest of royalty, such as the Duke of Windsor and Princess Grace of Monaco. The brand also made its way onto the wrist of presidential first lady Jacqueline Kennedy.

A Cartier worn by Jacqueline Kennedy once sold at the Christie’s auction block for close to $380,000 with an inscription engraved revealing the date on its Made in France 18K case back. The inscription reflected the moment the watch was presented to Jackie as a gift by her brother-in-law, Prince Stas Radziwell. John F. Kennedy had asked Americans to complete a 50-mile hike as part of a national health initiative. Jackie challenged Radziwell to attempt the hike as well. When he completed the hike, he then presented Jackie with the watch which read, “Stas to Jackie,” 23 Feb 63 2:05 a.m. to 9:35 p.m. The time-stamped reflects the start and stop time of Radziwell’s hike.

Cartier has introduced many different styles and product lines over the years but has maintained its Art Deco influence that started in 1904. Many of the Cartier watches, including the Tank model, feature bold Roman Numerals encircling the Chemin de fer, which is a black and white geometric double line minute tracker that had its influence in steel railway tracks. The minute and hour hand on the watches are designed to reflect the idea of two swords and a crown set with sparkling blue sapphire.

Other popular Cartier models throughout the years that still hold their value today include those that reflect a panther featuring white diamonds and black onyx. Also, the Cartier Bagnoire that 1960’s actress Catherine Deneuve wore. The watch was remastered to offer it in a white gold feminine style with a diamond set mini model resting on a dark gray fabric strap. Others include the Santos, Ballon Bleu, drive, and the Ronde.