Innovation is something that baffles humankind. Numerous brands started with great pomp and show but failed to retain their product standard and quality in the long run. In today’s luxury landscape, only a few brands have stood against the test of time with their consistent design standard. Cartier is an excellent example of this.
Cartier watches hold great historical attributes, inspiring their design aesthetics. If there’s one brand that amalgamates the right proportion of luxury, elegance, and class, it is the Cartier watch collection. Every watch collector is familiar with how the timepieces hold excellent value in retail and pre-owned markets. This means if you ever feel the need to sell your Cartier watches for whatsoever reason, remember that Cartier watches hold great value in the secondary market.
Apart from the luxurious appearance, some intriguing facts make Cartier what it is today. It is more than a luxury watch brand associated with royalty (quite literally). Furthermore, there’s a reason why Cartier is the ‘king of jewellers’. Enough of hints! Let’s reveal to you some top-kept secrets of the iconic brand now.
Here are the 13 ‘Secret Facts’ about Cartier
- Louis Cartier popularised the 1st Men’s wristwatch
After listening to his friend Alberto Santos-Dumont’s grieve about the difficulty of using a pocket watch to record the flight times, Cartier founder, Louis-Francois Cartier, set his target to design a practical wristwatch. Eventually, in 1904, Cartier launched the first men’s wristwatch and appropriately named it ‘Santos’. When the society’s elite considered the pocket watches to be gentleman’s timepieces and women wore wristwatches, Cartier’s gesture was indeed a bold move.
However, owning to Santos-Dumont’s popularity and aeronautic achievements, the wristwatch quickly gained popularity, and men were comfortable sporting it. A tale of true friendship or just a mind-blowing invention, we shall not debate. After all, the turn of events has become historic and purposeful.
- Alfred Cartier used ‘Platinum’ in Jewelry-Making
In the 19th century, Platinum was an exceedingly expensive material, commonly used by the royalty. Moreover, platinum’s high melting point made it increasingly difficult to use it for other purposes. So in 1847, when Alfred Cartier used the incredibly strong metal in his jewellery, it became an impressive feat! Additionally, Cartier included it into his ‘Garland Style’ statement pieces to enhance the radiance of the diamonds.
- Cartier: ‘Jeweler of Kings & King of Jewelers’
At the start of the blog, we mentioned that Cartier is the ‘King of Jewelers’. Well, it is not just because we believe it, but King Edward VII of England was the one who entitled Louis Cartier as the ‘Jeweler of Kings & King of Jewelers’. Since its inception, Cartier’s client list entertains an impressive count of elites, royals, and aristocrats. Apart from Princess Mathilde (niece of Napolean I) and Empress Eugenie (Napolean III’s wife), here’s a list of Cartier’s royal clients:
- Edward VII
- Carlos I of Portugal
- Peter I of Serbia
- Zog I of Albania
- Chulalongkorn of Siam
- Fouad I of Egypt
Hence, Cartier rightfully deserves to be tagged the ‘Jeweler of Kings & King of Jewelers’.
- Pierre Cartier purchased the Cartier Mansion in New York with a Pearl Necklace
As unbelievable and absurd as it might sound, but it’s true. In 1914, Pierre Cartier got lucky when one of his double-layered pearl necklaces caught the attention of millionaire Morton Plant’s fiancée. Along with her, Plant wanted to move out of the commercialised and posh neighbourhood, whereas Cartier was keen to move into the aristocrats’ lap. Cartier and Plant made an agreement in which Plant’s six-storey apartment along with £ 75.68 was up for exchange with Cartier’s exotic pearl necklace.
- Medieval Chastity Bells inspired Love Bracelet’s design
In 1969, Also Cipullo, the designer of the iconic Cartier Love Bracelet, drew his inspiration from the brutal practice of the chastity bells. According to history, the chastity belts were a type-of underwear contraption that restrained the wearer from having sex. Women wore it during the Crusades to safeguard their faithfulness to their husbands who left for the battle. Curiously enough, Cipullo drew inspiration from this practice, which symbolised devotion and loyalty.
The signature Cartier Love Bracelet’s design features a solid cuff with a lock and screw mechanism such that it fits securely on the wearer’s wrist. The bracelet comes with a screwdriver kept by the significant other so that only they can open it.
- Cartier Timepieces are Unisex
If any brand promotes gender-neutrality, then it’s one and only Cartier. Additionally, the luxury watch brand has always remained in women’s good books for designing purposeful watches for them. Overall, all Cartier watchs’ designs and structures include both feminine and masculine elements to appeal to both genders on any occasion. This striking attribute gives buyers more reasons to choose Cartier over others!
- Cartier’s exclusivity comes from Manual Polishing
Cartier ensures that the watches undergo a precise assembly process. But the final manual polishing of the timepieces, after paint and construction, makes the difference. This additional effort goes a long way to lament Cartier’s name as the best!
- JP Morgan purchased the 1st Cartier Mystery Clock
Maurice Couet designed the famous Mystery clock in 1913. The clock got its name because of the minute and hour hands that quite mysteriously seemed to float. The hands seated to a transparent rock crystal give the illusion that it’s running without gears. Cartier prolifically adorned the wonder clock with precious gemstones and diamonds, making it look like a piece of art. Financier JP Morgan bought the first Cartier Mystery Clock in 1929. It eventually went up for auction in 1993, fetching £ 1135012.50.
- Cartier ‘Panther’ Bracelet is the costliest bracelet ever sold at auction
Edward III, the King of the United Kingdom from January until December in 1936, disowned his throne to marry an American socialite named Wallis Simpson. The couple had several valuables custom-built from Cartier during their marriage, including a Panther bracelet. Cartier made the iconic Panther bracelet with 545 pave-set diamonds and calibre-cut onyx stones with two bright emeralds for the Panther’s eyes.
Despite having quite a few stones missing, the bracelet was sold at an auction in 2010 for £ 5295115.00.
- Cartier watches feature an uncommon curved glass
An exceptional feature present in many Cartier timepieces is curved glass. While making this unique glass, the designers use a wide array of handmade minerals, including Sapphire crystal. The use of such exotic minerals leads to the watch’s curved shape.
- Cartier has a Secret Watch
When it comes to designing jewellery watches, Cartier is hands down the best! The luxury watch brand encloses a huge collection of exclusive jewellery watches that can also be called extravagant timepieces. And, what better than Cartier’s one-of-a-kind ‘Secret’ watch in the shape of a phoenix to testify it. The iconic Phoenix-shaped jewellery watch is beautifully made with white gold and has over 3000 diamonds throughout the body, totalling over 80 carats. You can only imagine the stunning stature of this ‘Secret Watch’.
- Cartier Sold Rolex
Yes, it did! During the 70s, Cartier indeed sold a few Rolex watches in some of its stores. Cartier could print their logo on Rolex’s dial as part of the agreement. In today’s date, these watches hardly ever hit the auction market. But if you ever come across such an exclusive model, know that the timepieces would cost an astronomical price!
- ‘25 Chosen’ couples were gifted the Cartier Love Bracelet
Designed in 1969, the Cartier Love Bracelet remains one of the best-selling Cartier pieces of all time. As said above, the love bracelets come with a special screwdriver, and only the significant other can open it. When Cartier had first produced the bracelets, it decided to boost the publicity of the iconic bracelet by giving it to ’25 most famous couples’ of the time. The list includes Duke and Duchess of Windsor Elizabeth, Sophia Loren and Carlo Ponti, Taylor and Richard Burton, Steve and Ali MacGraw’, and many others.
We are assuming that by now, you have realised why Cartier watches are a symbol of sophistication, royalty, and class. Apart from their alluring designs and masterful technical specifications, the luxury watch brand holds a rich history that contributes to their elevated luxury status in the industry. To date, Cartier is the only luxury watch brand worn primarily by celebrities and royalty than any other!
If you’re wondering what led to Cartier’s enduring popularity in the watch world, read out the ’13 Secret Facts’ that explains the reason.