Most people believe that luxury brands focus on the same products, but this is quite wrong considering that some decide to aim for clothes, others for watches. In the case of Cartier, the latter is the accurate one except for the later introduction of jewelry.
There’s a lot of history behind a brand, especially one that comes from the early 1800s and how its founder went through a lot of work to reach the point of not being just “popular” but rather being the face of a luxury company.
Personally, the reason why we love reviewing and writing these articles is that most people don’t take the time to go over people’s history and how they achieve success.
In the case of luxury brands, it is something like: “I like the brand. I don’t care about anything else but the products or merchandise.”
Well, we consider that brands are more than just the products they sell, which is why we are going to do justice to Cartier today by going over its history even when some of it is missing (yes, that was mentioned in advance).
However, we are confident you will enjoy going over the details, and we hope you are ready for more than the regular information.
Who Was Louis-François Cartier? – The Brand’s History
If you never thought about going over the founder of such an iconic brand, don’t feel bad about it.
It’s easy to forget that many of the great design houses we admire have their roots in smaller businesses, and we usually don’t go back to their roots but rather stay with what we know today and ignore so many facts and details that could change our perspective.
Many, such as Cartier, started out as small-scale manufacturers or retailers and then quickly became known.
Now, what is the case with the brand Cartier? Since we don’t have much information about his life, considering it goes back to the early 1800s, we will make sure to focus on both the brand and the founder.
First, watchmaking was the trade of Louis-Francois Cartier. This skill made their family name synonymous with the high-quality products for which they are known today.
At the time, Cartier was the first to use number stamping to identify his watches. This became a popular way of identifying a variety of unique and exclusive pieces from many other designers and changed the way to work with watches.
But when did everything start? Let’s go a bit back than this.
Cartier was born in Paris, 1819. After completing his apprenticeship with Adolphe Picard as a master watchmaker, he eventually purchased his employer’s small store in 1847 and turned his passion for watchmaking into an incredibly successful business.
Cartier also advertised “imaginative jewelry and fashion items” to make the store more appealing to a wider audience.
Although most of the Cartier non-timepieces were purchased from other manufacturers, Louis-Francois was an eminent businessman and had a keen eye for quality.
He quickly became a favorite of the European aristocracy and was a popular choice for the stock lines.
These connections provided the funds and incentive to move the store to Rue Montorgueil, to various more prestigious addresses, before finally settling at the current location on Rue de la Paix, which was established in 1899 under the supervision of Alfred, Louis Francois’ son.
Cartier’s influence and clientele attracted other jewelers, so the Cartier store became the heart of the most exclusive jewelry craftsmen and haute couture fashion houses in the world.
Louis-Francois was a tireless worker throughout the period to establish the main style with Cartier’s ability. This would make his creations stand out from other jewelry houses competing for the same money.
French jewelry was always about being “fancy.” Cartier began to combine precious stones, enamel insets, and elaborate goldwork into his designs. His style was instantly recognizable and quickly became a hot commodity.
Cartier used to design his own pieces before he started outsourcing the final design and manufacturing, and he was based on his own blueprint.
The move to Rue de la Paix and the growing list of clients who were important to Cartier made it clear that he needed more control over every step of the manufacturing process.
He was also providing unique pieces to many jewelry houses at this point, and the demand was outpacing the supply.
Alfred was responsible for the expansion and to make sure the company continued meeting requests instead of falling behind.
He managed the opening of two stores in New York City and London, which were separate businesses.
Louis-Francois, however, remained in control of the business until his death in 1904.
But what happened with the genius watchmaker died?
The Cartier family still owned the Cartier brand until 1964, when the international business units were sold as separate concerns.
A consortium purchased all of the companies and brought them together under one organization in 1972 to reestablish the Cartier brand as the leader in high-end jewelry.
Cartier is the most recognized name in jewelry today despite starting with a watchmaker who decided to move to this niche in the long run after starting in modest Parisian streets.
The finest jewelry today is a combination of elegance, style, and quality. A watchmaker’s apprentice is the key to all of this.
Louis-Francois Cartier is the founder to make sure you didn’t forget to lose yourself in this history. At the same time, Alfred was his son, and other members of the family like Pierre, Louis J., and Jacques Cartier were also involved.
Inside Cartier’s Beauty: What Makes It Unique?
There is a big confusion about Cartier being either a watchmaking store or a jewelry one, and the answer we can give you to clear this is: It is both.
You see, Cartier started as a watchmaker brand, as you already read, but the niches approached to provide diversity were transformed over the years or more like prioritized based on popularity.
However, the brand continues to be known for its huge collections of exclusive high and fine jewellery watches that are usually more extravagant than any bracelet or watch you have seen before.
The unique designs, like the “Secret” watch with a phoenix shape, are special and make people love it every single time.
To give you an idea of how the watches influence the prices and show how special the brand is, consider this: It is made from white gold and over 3,000 diamonds that are a total of about 80 carats.
The watches in Cartier are the pure definition of luxury, and although not everyone can afford them (clearly), the neat and stunning results are something else.
Overall, the brand is also known for being very creative with the designs and always exceeding excellence when creating jewelry, watches, or even perfumes.
The designs and previous “formulas” have remained timeless all this time, and the unique pieces you can get here are definitely worth the price in the long run.
Talking About Prices… How Much Are Its Products?
With so many options available and the fact that Cartier doesn’t focus n watches alone, we will need to cover this a bit briefer than our Rolex articles.
However, rest assured the prices have been checked several times, and averages are very close to how much you will pay.
Of course, prices are based on the USA and for other countries, they will inevitably vary, so keep this in mind in case you are reading us from another place.
That being said, let’s dive in.
- High jewelry: There aren’t prices available on the website unless you visit a local store to request the designs and know how much they are worth.
- Jewelry: This section includes bracelets, rings, necklaces, earrings, engagement rings, and wedding bands. Prices usually range between $550 and $835,000, being necklaces the most expensive items.
- Watches: This collection includes women’s watches, men’s watches, and special Cartier watchmaking. The collection is also divided into specific ones: the Tank, Pasha de Cartier, Ballon de Cartier, Santos de Cartier, Panthere de Cartier, Ronde de Cartier, and many others. Prices usually start at $6,500 and reach the $123,000+ mark.
- Bags: For both men and women range between $1,200 to $114,000.
- Fragrances: This includes women and men and starts at $33 and goes all the way to $850.
Other products like appliances for your home, writing and stationery, personal accessories and eyewear, and available in different collections and usually reach the $5,000+ price.
Wearing Cartier? – Celebrities Loving the Brand
Finally, we have reached that showbiz part of the article where you find out how many celebrities actually sponsor or endorse the brand.
Luxury brands are very eager to work with celebrities because this has shown to be key for their sales, and we don’t doubt it.
In fact, we have been part of that group of people who decide to buy something because our favorite celebrity wears or uses it, so we can’t say much about this.
In the case of Cartier, many popular actors and actresses are ambassadors of the brand.
Timothée Chalamet is the most recent “acquisition” of the brand due to its current popularity. In contrast, others like Willow Smith, Rami Malek, Troye Sivan, Maisie Williams, and Jackson Wang are part of the list.
Priyanka Chopra is another famous celebrity that was added to the endorsement part and continuously used the brand’s designs and crafting.
Chiara Ferragni and Lou Faillot are others we can add.
When it comes to people swearing the watches or any item, many can be mentioned:
- Eva Mendes.
- Angelina Jolie.
- Sarah Jessica Parker.
- Robert Downey Jr.
- Meghan Markle.
- Jake Gyllenhaal.
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