The Cartier design house has a long history of serving royalty, stars, and celebrities. The one time Prince of Wales, Edward VII, called Cartier the “Jeweler of the Kings, King of Jewelers”.
Cartier was founded in Paris in 1847 by Louis-François Cartier when he took over the workshop of his master. In 1874, his son Alfred Cartier took over the company, but it was Alfred’s sons; Louis, Pierre and Jacques, who were responsible for establishing the brand name worldwide. Cartier has since become a world renowned fashion house for jewelry, watches and other goods. Louis retained responsibility for the Paris branch, and he was responsible for some of the company’s most celebrated designs, such as the fashionable wristwatches and exotic oriental flavored Art Deco designs. This year they created this beautiful advertisement highlighting their history and icons, notably in the ad is the journey of the Cartier panther.
In 1904 an aviator friend of Louis Cartier complained of the unreliability and impracticality of using pocket watches while flying. Cartier designed a flat wristwatch with a distinctive square bezel. This watch was loved by many and thus the “Santos” was born, this was the first men’s wristwatch. In 1907, Cartier signed a contract with Edmond Jaeger, of Jaeger Le Coultre who agreed to supply the movements for Cartier watches. By this time, Cartier had branches in London, New York and St. Petersburg. Pierre Cartier established the New York City branch in 1909, moving in 1917 to 653 Fifth Avenue, into the mansion of Morton Freeman Plant. Cartier acquired the mansion from Plant in exchange for $100 in cash and a double-stranded natural pearl necklace valued at the time at $1 million. Cartier was quickly becoming not only a sought after jeweler, but also one of the most successful watch companies in the world. My personal favorite of Cartier’s pieces is one I occasionally wear, the Cartier Roadster.
When the ubiquitous pocket watch began its journey to the wrist and out of the pocket, it was certainly prompted by Cartier’s tank. It has been worn by the likes of Clark Gable to Muhammad Ali, and even John Kennedy. The Tank was one of the first commercially successful wrist watches, and this year Cartier refreshed its 1930s aesthetic with the new Slimline XL. The Louis Cartier tank in this design was originaly introduced in 1922. The new Slimline is an ultra thin case with a hand wound movement; the movement is Piaget‘s fantastic calibre 430. The Tank Louis Cartier XL Slimline is available in pink gold on a brown alligator strap and is the slimmest watch in the Cartier collection. The case dimensions are: a width of34.92 mm including the crown, a length of40.40 mm, and thickness of5.1 mm. It wears a grained silver-plated dial beneath a glass mineral crystal, and it is Water-resistant to 20 meters or 65 feet. This watch is supremely elegant, and perfectly executed. It is the watch many of us have been pining after – a handsome, traditional tank design from Cartier. Price is set to be $14,200, and even with that tag this watch is swell.