Cartier Watches

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Unworn Cartier Watches for Men and Ladies

Louis-François Cartier founded Cartier in Paris in 1847 when he took over the jewelry workshop of a man he had apprenticed under. Cartier fortunately got the recommendation of Princess Mathilde, who was the young cousin of Napoleon III, helping establish the Cartier brand among the Parisian elite of the time. Since the brand's initial endorsement, Cartier has enjoyed a long history of sales to royalty and celebrities. King Edward VII of England famously referred to Cartier as "the jeweller of kings and the king of jewellers." In 1874, Louis-François' son Alfred Cartier took over the company, but it was Alfred's sons Louis, Pierre and Jacques, who were responsible for establishing the Cartier brand name worldwide. By 1902, Cartier had already expanded from Paris to London and New York with the latter serving as the headquarters of the Cartier empire. The same year Edward VII, for his coronation, ordered 27 tiaras and issued a royal warrant to Cartier in 1904. Similar warrants soon followed from the courts of Spain, Portugal, Russia, Siam, Greece, Serbia, Belgium, Romania, Egypt, Albania, Monaco, and the House of Orleans. In 1904, Cartier helped revolutionize the watch industry when Brazilian pioneer and aviator, Alberto Santos Dumont, complained to Louis Cartier of the unreliability and impracticality for using pocket watches while flying. In response to this complaint, Cartier designed a flat wristwatch with a distinctive square bezel featuring state-of-the-art automatic or quartz movement highlighted by luxurious features added to later models of the Santos such as stainless steel and 18K gold. This watch was liked by not only Santos Dumont but also many other customers and is credited with the exponential rise in popularity of watches worn on the wrist. Thus, the "Santos" collection was born and became the first Cartier men's wrist watch. In 1907, Cartier signed a contract with Edmond Jaeger to exclusively supply the movements for Cartier watches and by this time, Cartier was quickly becoming one of the most successful watch companies in the world. Following the release of the acclaimed Santos watch Cartier released the Baignoire watch and Tortue watch models in 1912, both of which are still in production today. In 1917 Cartier debuted the Tank watch inspired the newly introduced sleek steel World War One model Tank with similar steel lines and proportions. The Tank watch line is also currently still in production with 30 variants being introduced to the watch collection since the original watch model debuted. In the early 1920's, Cartier formed a joint company with Edward Jaeger (of Jaeger-LeCoultre) to produce movements solely for Cartier watches though Cartier would periodically chose to use movements from other producers such as Vacheron Constantin, Audemars-Piguet, Movado and LeCoultre. When Louis Cartier passed away in 1942 the company was unable to match his watch making brilliance becoming somewhat stagnant until 1972 when a group of investors bought Cartier Paris followed by the subsequent acquisition of Cartier London and Cartier New York so that by 1979 the Cartier interests were combined into the "Cartier Monde" uniting and controlling Cartier Paris, Cartier London and Cartier New York. It was after this consolidation of the companies that Cartier regained lost ground developing the "Le Must" watch line, as well as creating new versions of classics such as the Santos watch, helping to re-establish Cartier as an innovative and fashionable watch maker. Today, Cartier's best-sellers include the classic "Tank" watch ; the hot and fashionable "Tank Francaise" watch which is a distinctive sports watch similar in concept to the original Santos watch design and was brought the watch market in 1996; the "Pasha" watch, introduced in 1933, which has become a very fine watch for ladies; and the "Panther" watch , which features a beautiful bracelet which is available in 18K gold, stainless steel and a combination of gold and stainless steel, and the the Roadster watch debuted in 2001 as a homage to the muscle car and motor racing tradition of the golden age in automotive vehicles: the 1950's and the 1960's. Needless to say, a Cartier watch is finished to very high standards. The cases and bracelets in particular are meticulously handcrafted and exude quality in every sense of the word.