The Cartier House was one of the first jewelry houses to make watches. Louis Cartier created what is considered the first wrist-watch in the world, that he created for a friend back in 1904. Since then, the watchmaker has been updating and revisiting the design that made the Cartier House famous. The last design and most expensive watches on the online market are represented in this article.
History Of The House
The Cartier was created by Louis-Francois Cartier. The famous luxurious jewelry was created in 1847 and since then it makes various types of jewelry, bags, perfumes, watches and more. In 1856, the company gained worldwide branding thanks to its royal clients who bought their products, like the princess Mathilde who was the niece of Napoleon.
The first Cartier watch for women was produced in 1888. The first shop opened in London corresponding with the coronation of Edward VII. This shop was opened by the second son of Louis-Francois Cartier. One of the first big orders of Cartier was when Edward VII ordered 27 tiaras. Following this sell, Edward issued a royal warrant to Cartier in 1904, which lead to much more royal warrant. After obtaining a royal warrant from England, he received one from the Spanish court. Edward VII of England and the king Alphonse XII of Spain ordered all the royal jewelry from the house Cartier. In 1905, the king of Portugal Carlos 1st signed another warrant with the Carter House. Other royal warrants were received later by Cartier in 1907; Russia and the Tsar Nicolas II, then the king of Serbia Pierre, the Duke Philippe d’Orléans, the king of Belgium Albert Ist as well as the future duke of Windsor and the king of Egypt Fouad Ier. It is why Cartier is called the jeweler of the King. All these royal warrants helped to create the fame and reputation of the House leading famous and rich clients to buy their jewelry at Cartier.
History Behind Making The Watch
Nowadays, the headquarters of the company is still in Paris, but their watches are all made in Switzerland at La Chaux-de-Fonds or in Geneva, for the ones with the stamp of Geneva.
Cartier was known as an inventor, one of his biggest achievements was creating the first hand-wrist watch for his friend, Alberto Santos-Dumont. The aviator Alberto, asked Louis-Francois Cartier, a close friend, to design a watch that he could fly with and not have to look into his pocket while he was in the air (at the time, pocket watches were the only available watches). Cartier created the “Santos” in 1904, the first flat wristwatch with a square bezel. Then in 1906, the timeless wristwatch “Tonneau” was created. This famous wristwatch is known worldwide and was reproduced and copied by others.
The famous “Baignoire” model and the “Tortue” model were introduced back in 1912. Those two models are still in production today, they were followed in production by the “Tank” model in 1917. The “Tank” watch design was inspired by the time, as its name says, by the new tank sent to the Western Front during the great war (WWI). This line too has survived, with over thirty varieties made since.
Cartier did not stop there, he was always looking for ways on improving his watches which lead to a contract with Edmond Jaeger, who agreed to exclusively supply the movements for Cartier watches in 1907. This productive and successful alliance lead to the creation of a joint company between the two in the 1920’s; Jaeger would produce movements solely for Cartier starting then. However, even though Jaeger produced solely for Cartier, Cartier continued to use movements from other makers such as; Vacheron Constantin, Audemars-Piguet, Movado and LeCoultre. Reference numbers began to be added to Cartier watches during this period.
In the 1970’s, the house of Cartier began to sell parts of the enterprise to private investors. In 1972, a group of investors, led by Joseph Kanoui, bought Cartier Paris. Then the group bought back Cartier London in 1974 and finally Cartier New York in 1976. “Cartier World” was created in 1979, combining all three location into one big worldwide brand name.
Many Cartier Watches Can Be Bought Online
Presented below are the most expensive models in each category of Cartier watches. Of course, the price is for basic purchases. People can choose to engrave and make adjustments which will make the price increase. Cartier also has a section on creative jewelry watches that people can customize as they desire, as well as lifetime warranties that can be purchased. Other watches can be ordered, but the price is “on-demand” through the website.
7. Pasha C Watch, Medium Model: $6,150
The Pasha model appeared in the Cartier collection in 1943. This watch is a well-known making of Cartier and helped the name Cartier to become a reference in the world of watchmaking. It is one of the only watches made by Cartier that have four Arabic numerals (others have roman numerals), and also on the one that is the most water resistant (330 feet compared to the 100 feet of others). This watch is composed of diamonds, sapphire diamonds, a steel bracelet and an automatic mechanical movement.
6. Baignoire Watch, Large Model: $45,200
The Baignoire model, known as the first watch made by Cartier in 1906, is revisited with this model. This model is the essence of Cartier and his desire to find the perfect match between purity and timeless chic. This model is composed of 18K white gold with round diamonds, a fabric strap, and white gold buckle. The watch has a workshop-crafted manual mechanical movement manufactured by Cartier. The movement is water-resistant up to 100 feet.
5. Santos-Dumont Watch, Large Model: $48,200
This is the latest model of the famous watch that Cartier created in 1904 for his friend, the aviator Alberto Santos-Dumont. Santos-Dumont asked Cartier for a wristwatch to be able to tell the time while flying, the first wristwatch that was created. The rounded angles of the dial, the seamless curve of the horns, and the exposed screws made for an iconic watch that would inspire countless reinterpretations. This model is composed of 18K white gold with round-cut diamonds, sapphire crystal, silver grained dial, and an alligator skin strap. The manual workshop-crafted mechanical movement is water-resistant up to 100 feet.
4. Tortue Watch, Large Model: $52,500
This model created in 1912 by Louis Cartier came to him as an inspiration while watching turtles. This innovation due to the shape of the watch was revolutionary because at the time all watches were round. This model is proposed for women and men with different materials. This one is made of 18K white gold with diamonds, sapphire crystal, alligator skin strap, and an adjustable 18K white gold buckle. The mechanical movement is made of manual winding Cartier. It is water-resistant up to 100 feet.
3. Ronde Louis Cartier, Large Model: $55,000
The Ronde Louis Cartier is considered a classic timepiece by experts. The alligator-skin strap may be paired with a choice of rose gold or yellow gold. A diamond-set version is also available. This watch is composed of 18K white gold with brilliant-cut diamonds, sapphire crystal, blue sword-shaped hands, a semi-matte alligator leather strap, and 18K adjustable deployable white gold buckle with brilliant-cut diamonds. The mechanical movement is a workshop-crafted manual with a winding mechanism crowned with a sapphire and a rail-track minute circle. The watch is water-resistant up to 100 feet.
2. Ballon Bleu de Cartier: $61,500
This automatic watch is composed of white gold, diamonds and leather. The strap of the watch is made of a pearly pink alligator leather. The white gold fluted crown is set with a blue sapphire cabochon.The white gold dial is 18K with encrusted brilliant-cut diamonds, and sapphire crystal. The mechanical movement is a self-winding caliber Cartier 076, and it is water-resistant up to 100 feet.
1. Tank Anglaise Watch, Medium Model: $62,000
The Tank was created in 1917. Originally composed of four lines, it has two parallel shafts made from gold or platinum, a sapphire cabochon atop the winding crown and a leather strap. The Tank Anglaise Watch is the last redesign of this timeless watch by Cartier that appeared for the first time in 2012. The automatic movement of this watch is supported with leather, pink gold and diamonds. It is composed of 18K pink gold, red alligator leather straps, a sapphire crystal dial and blued-steel sword shaped hands. The automatic mechanical movement with automatic winding is water-resistant up to 100 feet.