From a humble beginning as a jewellery store apprentice to becoming the world’s leading jewellery designers, Louis-François Cartier has come a long way. He is the founder of one of the most expensive and prestigious jewellery brands in the world, Cartier. For more than 100 years, This french luxury goods conglomerate is known for making exquisite pieces of jewellery. It won’t be wrong to say that this high-end jewellery house is one of the few companies that has learned to master the act of balancing between innovating new designs and keeping the traditions alive.
In the year 1847, jewellery maker Louis-François Cartier established Cartier in Paris. However the popularity of this brand grew extensively after it was handed over to Louis’s son Alfred and his three grandsons Pierre, Jacques and Louis. To expand their clientele and meet the demands of the wealthy class, Alfred and his three grandsons moved the store to a wealthy neighbourhood in Paris, the Rue de la Paix in the year 1899. Soon after the relocation, cartier gained popularity among the elite segment of the society. In 1904 Pierre and his brothers travelled to Russian and they were mesmerized by the lavish lifestyle of the country. They soon decided to expand their brand in the international market, hence began designing and manufacturing some of the most stunning and unique pieces of jewellery that eventually caught the attention of Russian aristocrats and the imperial family. As the jewellery brand began to gain popularity among the elite class, the British royal family was very much impressed by the remarkable diamond jewellery of Maison Cartier. Soon the brand became one of the leading suppliers of diamond jewellery to the royals. In 1909, the high-end label opened its first boutique on Bond Street in London.
Within a short span of time, This luxurious brand became famous that its clientele included an impressive list of aristocrats and royals. The first purchase was made by the niece of Napoleon, Princess Mathilde in 1856. In the following years, it became the official jewellery vendor to King Edward VII. The king named Cartier as ‘Jeweler of Kings’ and ‘King of Jewelers’. Not just the royal families, the other major protons of this opulent French jewellery house are celebrities and business magnates. Celebrities who purchase some of the most jaw-dropping expensive Cartier jewellery are Angelina Jolie, Naomi Watts, Kylie Jenner, Anne Hathaway, Celine Dion, Sandra Bullock, and several others. The first Cartier store in the United States of America was opened in the year 1909. It soon became a household top notch jewellery brand in New York.
The design factor along with unique craftsmanship played a major role in the popularity of Cartier. It started from a humble worship in Paris and became one of the global brands in the jewellery industry. Alfred Cartier was the very first jewellery designer to use platinum in making jewellery. Throughout the 19th century, Platinum was an expensive material and was only used to make cutlery for the royal family. Since it was difficult to work with, due to its high melting point, it was not used in making jewellery. However it was only after Alfred took over Cartier, he began to use this expensive yet brilliant material in making jewellery. Alfred’s grandson, Louis Cartier was the first to introduce wristwatches for men. Soon after the first piece was introduced in the year 1904, the brand became famous for selling functional and comfortable wrist watches catered to men. The jewellery pieces designed by this luxurious label were often put on auction. Did you know that the highest auction price was $30,335,698? Yes, you heard it right. Cartier’s Sunrise Ruby, which is a 25.6 carat Burmese Ruby stone was put on auction in the year 2015. With a highest winning bid, it became the most expensive non-diamond and coloured gemstone in the world.
Some of the best selling Cartier pieces are Diamants Legers Necklaces, Trinity de Cartier Ring, Juste un Clou Bracelet, love bracelets and Panthere de Cartier Ring. The iconic and signature panther design from Cartier was introduced by Louis Cartier in the year 1914.
Louis became fond of this stunning painting that he used it to advertise and soon it became the symbol of Cartier. Louis recreated the iconic panthere design by developing a unique setting to create the texture of a Panther’s fur. Precious Diamonds are carefully set into a honeycomb lattice made of small and thin gold wires. To replicate the panther spots, sapphire and onyx stones are used. Louis Carter revolutionized the jewellery industry until his death in 1942.
In the same year, even his brother Jacques passed away. In 1972, This renowned jewellery empire was bought by Robert Hocq. After Robert took over the brand, he branched out into perfumes and leather goods. He also introduced several new capsule collections of watches and jewellery. In the year 1981, the label’s first perfume called Les Must was introduced. With a brilliant combination of vanilla, galbanum and flowers, this product became an instant success. In the year 1997, on the occasion of the 150th anniversary, Cartier introduced a luxurious collection called Cartier Privé. This capsule line consists of watches, pens, jewellery, glasses, a range of chained bags with jeweled clasps. The brand also launched three successful rare objects that have been inspired by its private collection. Apart from the panther motif pieces, the Tutti-Frutti by Cartier is also one of the best selling pieces. This unique collection of jewellery is made using the Indian precious stones sapphires, emeralds and rubies. All these stones are carved in floral motifs.
With 8000 authorized dealers in 123 countries and over 179 stores, Cartier secured the prestigious position of 58th most valuable brand in the world by the Forbes magazine. Till today this French luxury goods maker stands out from the rest for its sophisticated and elegant designs. --- Akhila and Pic Courtesy: www.cartier.com and Carrier instagram account