One of the world’s most innovative jewellery and watch manufacturer will turn soon 170 years old. Cartier, which has been celebrated for its sense for proportions, welcomes the lovers of fine jewellery in over 200 stores across the globe. One of the most famed boutiques with a century long history is the Cartier Fifth Avenue Mansion, which has gone through extensive renovations in the past 4 years. It was reopened 7th September 2016 with a space four times the size of the previous. The expanded 44,100 square feet space spanning across four floors is decorated with unique furniture by Thierry Despont, remodelled chandeliers and antiques pieces.
The Cartier watch- and jewellery house originates from France and bears the name of the founding family. The company’s headquarters are located in Paris, and their story stems back to the mid-1800s.
A glipmse into Cartier’s history
Louis-François Cartier took over the atelier from his master in 1847 and founded the Cartier company. In 1856 they received their first prominent commission from the cousin of Napoleon III, Princess Mathilde. Later the wife of the ruler Empress Eugénie also became their customer. Alfred Cartier took over the company in 1874, but it was his sons (Louis, Jacques and Pierre) who truly laid down the foundations of worldwide fame for the brand. Aristocrats and royal families purchased Cartier’s primarily neo-classicist diamond and platinum jewellery.
In 1904 Alberto Santos-Dumont a pilot friend of Louis Cartier complained about reliability and comfort of use pocket watches during flight. This is why Santos, a flat wristwatch was born. The watch quickly became very popular. Louis was accountable for several other novelties too, including the mystery clock, which lets no visible connection between the mechanism and the dial seen, and numerous fashionable wristwatches and oriental Art Deco jewellery designs.
In 1907 they signed an exclusive agreement with Edmond Jaeger for supplying movements. Cartier introduced many timepiece models in this period which have remained popular ever since (for example the Baignoire, Tortue, and Tank).
Under the leadership of Jacques the London store moved to New Bond Street, where one of the grandest Cartier boutiques can be found to this day. While in in 1917, Pierre opened the New York Fifth Avenue store in a neo-Renaissance style mansion. The boutique was visited by stars, heiresses and socialites, like Marjorie Merriweather Post (1887-1973 – heiress and founder of the General Foods Corporation) or Wallis Simpson (1896-1986 – American socialite who became later the Duchess of Windsor).
Worthy of its heritage, socialites of today took part on the re-opening ceremony of the jewellery sanctuary.
We are wishing great success for the next 100 years!
Photo credits: Cartier©, Loupiosity.com.
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