Brand Directory: Cartier

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In 1847 Louis-Francois Cartier founded Cartier in Paris, France. He quickly established himself by catering to the elites in society. In 1903 they created their first men's wristwatch, inspired by his pilot friend Alberto Santos-Dumont, who called it the Santos. Just 4 years later in 1907 Cartier began a partnership with Edmond Jaeger of the prominent watch brand Jaeger-LeCoultre. Jaeger agreed to be the exclusive supplier of movements for Cartier watches. In 1917 they debuted the Tank. Their watches were so popular that copies soon appeared to counteract this. Cartier introduced reference numbers to each watch. 

In 1919 they introduced the Tank which was inspired by the robust American tank used in the first world war. It has been famously worn by many over the years including Andy Warhol, Alain Delon, Clarke Gable, Catherine Deneuve and Duke Ellington.

The early watches were all handmade in France, with movements by Jaeger.

In 1972, a group of investors led by financial wizard Joseph Kanoui bought the company. During 1973 we saw the first “Must de Cartier” boutique opened in Biarritz, followed by one in Singapore..

During the 1980s they acquired a number of non-jewellery businesses such as Beaume et Mercier in 1988 and Piaget and Alderbert in 1989.

Today Cartier is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Swiss Richemont Group that includes IWC, Montblanc, Vacheron Constantin.


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