For its extraordinary range of bracelets, watches, rings and other adornments, French luxury house Cartier is undeniably one of the most well known and internationally revered jewelers in the world among clients both existing and aspirational.
Perhaps 1847 was not the ideal time to open a new watchmaking and jewelry business, as the French Revolution was not kind to the aristocracy who could afford such luxuries. Nevertheless, it was the year Louis-François Cartier (1819–1904) — who was born into poverty — founded his eponymous empire, assuming control of the workshop of watchmaker Adolphe Picard, under whom he had previously been employed as an assistant. Of course, in the beginning, it was a relatively modest affair, but by the late 1850s, Cartier had its first royal client, Princess Mathilde Bonaparte, niece of Napoleon Bonaparte, who commissioned the jeweler to design brooches, earrings and other accessories.
Under the leadership of Louis-François’s son, Alfred, who took over in 1874, business boomed. Royalty around the world wore Cartier pieces, including Tsar Nicholas II of Russia, the Maharaja of Patiala and King Edward VII, who had 27 tiaras made by the jewelry house for his coronation in 1902 and issued Cartier a royal warrant in 1904. (Today, the British royal family still dons Cartier pieces; Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge, regularly sports a Ballon Bleu de Cartier watch.)
Cartier’s golden years, however, began when Alfred introduced his three sons, Louis, Pierre and Jacques, to the business. The brothers expanded Cartier globally: Louis reigned in Paris, Pierre in New York and Jacques in London, ensuring their brand’s consistency at their branches across the world. The trio also brought in such talents as Charles Jacqueau and Jeanne Toussaint.
One of Cartier’s earliest major successes was the Santos de Cartier watch — one of the world's first modern wristwatches for men. (Previously, a large number of people were using only pocket watches.) Louis designed the timepiece in 1904 for his friend, popular Brazilian aviator Alberto Santos-Dumont, who wanted to be able to check the time more easily while flying.
Cartier’s other famous timepieces include the Tank watch, which was inspired by the linear form of military tanks during World War I, and the so-called mystery clocks. Invented by watchmaker and magician Jean-Eugène Robert-Houdin and later crafted exclusively for Cartier in the house’s workshop by watchmaker Maurice Couët, the mystery clocks were so named because the integration of glass dials on which the clocks’ hands would seemingly float as well as structures that are hidden away within the base give the illusion that they operate without machinery.
On the jewelry side of the business, Cartier’s internationally renowned offerings include the Tutti Frutti collection, which featured colorful carved gemstones inspired by Jacques’s trip to India and grew in popularity during the Art Deco years; the panthère motif, which has been incorporated into everything from brooches to rings; and the Love bracelet, a minimal, modernist locking bangle inspired by medieval chastity belts that transformed fine jewelry.
While the Cartier family sold the business following the death of Pierre in 1964, the brand continues to innovate today, renewing old hits and creating new masterpieces.
21st Century and Contemporary Unknown Cartier
Yellow Gold, Stainless Steel
2010s Contemporary Cartier
18k Gold, Yellow Gold
Early 2000s Swiss Cartier
Gold, Steel, Stainless Steel
21st Century and Contemporary French Art Deco Cartier
21st Century and Contemporary French Contemporary Cartier
Diamond, 18k Gold, Yellow Gold
Early 2000s French Contemporary Cartier
Early 2000s Swiss Cartier
20th Century French Contemporary Cartier
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Cartier jewelry & watches for sale on 1stDibs.
- How much is a Cartier bracelet?1 Answer1stDibs ExpertFebruary 22, 2021The price of Cartier bracelets varies based on age, condition, and rarity. The least expensive versions of the Cartier Love bracelet, for example, can still cost around $4,000. On 1stDibs, there is a variety of Cartier bracelets for sale.
- Is Cartier real gold?1 Answer1stDibs ExpertFebruary 22, 2021As one of the top luxury jewelry houses in the world, Cartier uses some of the finest quality materials. The company uses 18k gold in their jewelry and real diamonds.
- Does Cartier rose gold fade?1 Answer1stDibs ExpertFebruary 22, 2021Cartier rose gold doesn't tarnish but over many years of wearing, rose gold generally is said to become darker. Rose gold allegedly becomes slightly yellower in tone, toward a traditional gold.
- What is the Cartier symbol?1 Answer1stDibs ExpertFebruary 22, 2021Today, the Cartier symbol, or logo, is the luxury house's name written in a clean serif font that mimics cursive handwriting. Typically, the logo is either black on white or white on a black background. Its refined and understated appearance references the high standards that have long been associated with this celebrated brand.
- What is Cartier famous for?1 Answer1stDibs ExpertMarch 22, 2022Cartier is famous for producing jewelry and watches out of rare and luxury-grade materials and creating innovative designs, often packed with symbolism. Some of the jeweler's most famous pieces include the modern Love and Trinity bracelets and its custom-made antique and vintage jewelry like the Crocodile and Patiala necklaces. Find a range of Cartier jewelry and watches on 1stDibs.
- Is Cartier a luxury watch?1 Answer1stDibs ExpertApril 5, 2022Yes, Cartier watches are considered luxury watches. Cartier is a noted jeweler, taking that attention to detail and access to high-quality metals and jewels to their watches—they spare no expense and are highly desirable. On 1stDibs, find a collection of authentic Cartier watches from some of the world’s top sellers.
- Is Cartier cheaper in Paris?1 Answer1stDibs ExpertFebruary 22, 2021Cartier pieces may be cheaper in Paris than they are in the U.S., but that's because of the exchange rate. Cartier doesn't price the pieces depending on the country.
- 1stDibs ExpertFebruary 22, 2021A Cartier engagement ring can cost between $3,000 and $800,000. The price depends on the diamond's carat weight and quality.
- Are Cartier watches automatic?1 Answer1stDibs ExpertFebruary 22, 2021Most Cartier watches are quartz, but the iconic Tank watch is automatic. While quartz watches work due to a pre-installed battery, automatic watches use a spring system and are self-winding.
- What is Cartier Vendôme?1 Answer1stDibs ExpertApril 5, 2022The meaning of Cartier Vendôme varies. Most often, the term describes a line of watches made by the French luxury jewelry house. However, the company has also produced sunglasses and wedding jewelry with the style name Cartier Vendôme. Shop a variety of Cartier Vendôme watches on 1stDibs.
- Why Cartier is so expensive?1 Answer1stDibs ExpertFebruary 22, 2021One of the reasons Cartier is so expensive is because, since its inception in 1847, the brand has had a massive celebrity fan base that spans royals, movie stars, singers and socialites. The brand also uses the highest quality metals and gems in their pieces, rendering them expensive to produce. Lastly, most Cartier pieces are easy to identify, making brand recognition a key factor in the brand's exclusivity.
- What is Cartier Vermeil?1 Answer1stDibs ExpertApril 5, 2022Cartier Vermeil means a timepiece made by the French luxury jewelry house of Cartier out of a material called vermeil. It is a precious metal produced by combining genuine gold and silver. Shop a variety of Cartier Vermeil watches on 1stDibs.
- 1stDibs ExpertApril 5, 2022The Cartier panther, or panthère, is a symbol of fierce femininity, luxury and sophistication. Cartier continues to produce high-quality jewelry that features its panthère motif, highlighting the brand's creativity. Find a wide range of Cartier pieces, including panthère, on 1stDibs.
- 1stDibs ExpertApril 5, 2022There are a range of Cartier watches that are highly iconic to the brand. The Cartier Tank watch is one of the classic options. The Panthère de Cartier and Clé de Cartier watches are also popular pieces. Shop a range of authentic Cartier watches from top sellers on 1stDibs.
- What gold is a Cartier bracelet?1 Answer1stDibs ExpertMarch 22, 2022Most Cartier bracelets are 18-karat gold. Some pieces like the acclaimed Love bracelet come in yellow, rose and white gold. In addition, Cartier makes some of their bracelets out of platinum. On 1stDibs, you can shop a collection of Cartier bracelets.
- 1stDibs ExpertMarch 22, 2022Cartier only uses high-quality diamonds in their jewelry designs. The brand works only with gemstones that rank as Very Good or Excellent for cut and between IF and VS2 for clarity according to GIA standards. On 1stDibs, find a range of Cartier diamond jewelry.
- Does Cartier have rings for men?1 Answer1stDibs ExpertMarch 22, 2022Yes, Cartier sells rings for men. The luxury jewelry house produces numerous band rings, including the 1895 wedding band, the C DE, the Love and the D'Amour wedding band. In addition, the brand offers a ring version of its Trinity bracelet. The piece combines yellow, white and rose gold bands to symbolize love, friendship and fidelity. Find a selection of Cartier rings on 1stDibs.
- Is the Cartier screwdriver gold?1 Answer1stDibs ExpertApril 5, 2022The Cartier website does not state whether the Love bracelet screwdriver is 18k gold like the bracelet. However, according to owners, the screwdriver is not gold but gold-plated. New screwdrivers can be purchased if you lose or break one or they may be replaced by Cartier. On 1stDibs, find a collection of Cartier Love jewelry from top sellers around the world.
- Who designed the Cartier Crash?1 Answer1stDibs ExpertMarch 22, 2022Rupert Emmerson and Jean-Jacques Cartier designed the Cartier Crash watch. It debuted in 1967. The classic Cartier Oval provided a starting point for the watch, and its crumpled dial reflected the mod fashion trends of the 1960s. Shop a variety of Cartier watches on 1stDibs.
- Is Panthere designed by Cartier?1 Answer1stDibs ExpertApril 5, 2022The Cartier Panthere is one of the brand's most distinctive and iconic shapes, replicating a panther head adorned with gems and jewels. The first panther pattern to appear in the Cartier line was on a watch for women, created in 1914. Shop a collection of Cartier jewelry and watches from some of the world’s top sellers on 1stDibs.
- Is Cartier a British company?1 Answer1stDibs ExpertApril 5, 2022No, Cartier is not a British company. The luxury jewelry maker was founded in Paris in 1847. However, the brand was a jeweler to the British royals, with King Edward VII ordering 27 tiaras for his coronation. Shop a collection of Cartier jewelry from some of the world’s top sellers on 1stDibs.
- Is Cartier Crash for men?1 Answer1stDibs ExpertApril 5, 2022Originally, the Cartier Crash was a watch designed for men. However, upon its reintroduction in 2012, the watch was also marketed towards women, with a gorgeous bracelet in either an 18k white gold or rose gold case and diamond crown. Shop a collection of Cartier jewelry from some of the world’s top sellers on 1stDibs.
- What diamonds does Cartier use?1 Answer1stDibs ExpertFebruary 13, 2023Cartier exclusively uses diamonds from classes D through H to ensure that the gemstones are colorless and have little or no fluorescence. Their high standards contribute to the quality of the luxury jewelry maker's pieces. Shop a collection of Cartier diamonds from some of the world’s top jewelers on 1stDibs.
- Does Cartier use platinum?1 Answer1stDibs ExpertApril 5, 2022Yes, Cartier uses platinum in the production of their jewelry and other items. In fact, Alfred Cartier and his three sons are credited with mastering this metal and creating a process that made it possible for jewelers to use this metal efficiently. Find vintage and contemporary Cartier jewelry from some of the world’s top boutiques on 1stDibs.
- 1stDibs ExpertMay 5, 2023The original Cartier Tank watch, which was emblematic of a stark departure from the renowned jewelry house’s curved and round watch faces in that its case resembled the FT-17’s cockpit, served as a sleek update to the Santos watch. Crafted in 1917, one year before the Great War came to a close, Cartier’s Tank watch reportedly borrowed its clean, sharp lines and boxy silhouette from France’s legendary Renault FT-17 light tank, itself a compact and extraordinary design that inspired numerous copies. When the Tank watch went to market, Cartier offered a limited run in Paris. After those quickly sold, it was given a name, the Tank Normale. The timepiece took off in popularity, but only slightly more than 30 were made in 1920 and annual production has been slow over the years since then. Find Cartier Tank watches on 1stDibs.
- 1stDibs ExpertMay 5, 2023On Cartier jewelry, a 750 stamp means that a piece is 75% gold metal. You will find the stamp on the 18-karat gold pieces made by Cartier, such as the Love bracelet. On 1stDibs, find an assortment of Cartier jewelry from some of the worlds top sellers.
- What is Pasha de Cartier?1 Answer1stDibs ExpertMarch 22, 2022Pasha de Cartier is a watch introduced by the French luxury jewelry house of Cartier in 1985. Today, the watch features an automatic movement and is available with various leather and bracelet bands. On 1stDibs, shop a range of Pasha de Cartier watches.
- 1stDibs ExpertMarch 3, 2023While the Panthère de Cartier watch collection was initially launched in 1983, Cartier included panther spots (and only the spots) in diamonds and onyx on at least one women’s watch in 1914 and another in 1915. These creations were conceived by the Cartier designer Charles Jacqueau. The cat’s major breakthrough came in 1949, with a brooch on which Jeanne Toussaint worked hand in glove with designer Peter Lemarchand. The luxury jewelry house now offers dozens of versions of the Panthère de Cartier timepiece, including double- and triple-wrap bracelets, a series of cuffs and a diamond-encrusted panther spot version. On 1stDibs, shop a collection of Cartier pieces from some of the world's top sellers.
- How do I wear Cartier earrings?1 Answer1stDibs ExpertMarch 22, 2022How to wear Cartier earrings depends on your personal preferences. Small hoops and studs can balance chunky statement necklaces, while dramatic drops and oversized hoops can become the bold focal point of an outfit. Shop a variety of Cartier earrings on 1stDibs.