|Famous for||Universally recognised as the brand that popularised the wristwatch, with its original Santos, the first men’s wristwatch|
Cartier is a historical and cultural institution, an icon of its time and an ultimate byword for luxury. It first started to craft fine watches and jewellery back in 1847 when Louis-Francois Cartier took over his master’s workshop. It has been universally acknowledged as the brand that popularised the wristwatch at the turn of the 20th century, with the original Santos (named after Cartier’s friend and pioneer aviator, Alberto Santos-Dumont) – the first men’s wristwatch – recognised still today by its flat square bezel. The Cartier brand remained in family ownership until the 1960’s when it was sold to investors. Cartier was acquired by Richemont, the luxury group who’s specialist watchmakers include IWC, [glossary id=’7019′ slug=’jaeger-lecoultre’ /], [glossary id=’7048′ slug=’panerai’ /], [glossary id=’7052′ slug=’piaget’ /] and [glossary id=’7083′ slug=’vacheron-constantin’ /].
Known for producing probably the ultimate in feminine wristwatches, its Tank model, now over a century-old, is one of its legacies alongside its Pasha and Panthere, which both feature a distinctive bracelet watch design and like all its cases and bracelets are meticulously handcrafted. All Cartier watches feature their own four-digit reference number on the lug, without which many collectors refuse to accept its originality.