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Cartier Jewelry

French

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.

Find contemporary and vintage Cartier watches, engagement rings, necklaces and other accessories on 1stDibs.

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Creator: Cartier
Dealer: Glorious
Vintage Cartier Trinity Tri Color Watch
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Cartier jewelry & watches for sale on 1stDibs.

Find a range of Cartier jewelry & watches available on 1stDibs. Each of these unique items was designed with extraordinary care, often using gold. While looking for the most stylish antique or vintage Cartier jewelry to pair with your ensemble, you’ll find that Cartier diamond jewelry & watches, from our inventory of 1,850, can add a particularly distinctive touch to your look. We have 4,559 pieces in this collection as well as a number of other designs by this jeweler. While this collection reflects work that originated over various time periods, most of these items were designed during the 21st century and contemporary. If you’re looking for additional options, many customers also consider jewelry & watches by Mauboussin, Jean Schlumberger for Tiffany & Co., and Chaumet. Prices for Cartier jewelry & watches can differ depending upon gemstone, time period and other attributes. On 1stDibs, the price for these items starts at $65 and tops out at $2,500,000, while pieces like these, on average, can sell for $7,519.
Questions About Cartier Jewelry
  • 1stDibs ExpertFebruary 22, 2021
    As 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.
  • 1stDibs ExpertFebruary 22, 2021
    Today, 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.
  • 1stDibs ExpertFebruary 22, 2021
    One 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.
  • 1stDibs ExpertApril 5, 2022
    Cartier 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, 2022
    The 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.
  • 1stDibs ExpertMarch 22, 2022
    Cartier 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.
  • 1stDibs ExpertMay 3, 2024
    The Cartier logo is a pair of interlocking Cs. However, many people associate the panther with the French luxury jewelry maker more than its actual logo. Louis Cartier incorporated the feline figure into its design lexicon. In 1914, Cartier hired illustrator George Barbier to design advertisements for the jewelry house. Barbier drafted a drawing that featured a glamorous woman with an elegant panther at her feet, and Cartier loved it. He had an additional connection to the panther in the form of his alleged romantic interest, fellow Cartier designer Jeanne Toussaint, who adored the animal so much that she decorated her apartment with furs and donned a coat of panther fur. Cartier gave her the long-lasting nickname Panthère. Since then, Cartier has offered watches, bracelets, necklaces, brooches and earrings inspired by the panther. Find a diverse assortment of Cartier jewelry on 1stDibs.
  • 1stDibs ExpertNovember 14, 2023
    There are at least a few things that make Cartier so special. Cartier is one of the most well-known and internationally revered jewelers in the world. The French luxury brand has helped to define style trends. Cartier made one of the first modern wristwatches for men� the Santos de Cartier� and its panth�re motif and Love bracelet are internationally renowned. Every piece produced by Cartier is also carefully crafted out of high-quality materials. On 1stDibs, shop a diverse assortment of Cartier pieces.
  • 1stDibs ExpertFebruary 13, 2024
    There are a few reasons why Cartier is so popular. For one thing, the French luxury house is known for its very long history of unparalleled prestige and quality craftsmanship. Cartier has been producing extraordinary jewelry, watches and accessories since 1847. While jewelry lovers have long been enthusiastic about Cartier’s elegant and streamlined designs for bracelets, rings, necklaces and other pieces, the brand is also known for innovation. It pioneered the use of platinum in fine jewelry, and its artisans were so mindful of trends in fashion that the house became the official jewelry supplier to King Edward VII. Later, Cartier’s Art Deco-era pieces would help define the movement with which they are associated. One of the brand’s earliest major successes was the Santos de Cartier watch, one of the world's first modern wristwatches for men. Today’s influencers continue to help popularize the brand, increasing the demand for certain pieces like Cartier buffalo horn sunglasses and the Cartier Love bracelet, an icon of modernist jewelry. Find a wide range of Cartier watches, jewelry and eyewear on 1stDibs.
  • 1stDibs ExpertMay 1, 2024
    Yes, some Cartier watches are automatic but the legendary French luxury house also creates collections that include watches with quartz movements. Cartier’s iconic Tank collection, which includes the Tank Française, the Tank Louis Cartier and other models, features both quartz and automatic options for all kinds of collectors. Each of the watches in the Panthère collection, however, carries a quartz movement.

    While quartz watches are powered by a pre-installed battery and a high-frequency quartz crystal, automatic watches rely on a spring system and are self-winding. An automatic watch does not have a battery and is recharged on the wrist owing to the wearer’s movements during the day.

    It was Louis Cartier, grandson of Cartier founder Louis-François Cartier, who was responsible for bringing watchmaking to the venerable maison when he presented Brazilian aviator Alberto Santos-Dumont with a wristwatch in 1904. 

    Although the pocket watch was the de rigueur men’s accessory of the day, Santos-Dumont found his own pocket watch hard to consult while keeping his plane aloft. Louis fashioned a timepiece with a flat, square case on a leather strap that could be referred to easily at a glance. Named in honor of Louis’s friend, the Santos was eventually produced for sale in 1911. 

    Find vintage Cartier watches for sale on 1stDibs.
  • 1stDibs ExpertMay 5, 2023
    The 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, 2023
    On 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.
  • 1stDibs ExpertJune 30, 2023
    To authenticate a Cartier lighter, locate the serial number. Then, contact Cartier’s customer service team to assess whether it is a genuine serial number and whether the product type and style match your piece. Check the official Cartier website for current contact information. On 1stDibs, shop a selection of Cartier lighters.
  • 1stDibs ExpertNovember 8, 2023
    Whether a Cartier watch is bigger than a Rolex watch depends on the particular timepiece. Cartier offers watches in sizes ranging from 28 millimeters for women to 44 millimeters for men. Rolex's smallest women's watch is bigger than Cartier's at 31 millimeters, but the watchmaker's largest men's watch is only 43 millimeters. Find a variety of Rolex and Cartier watches on 1stDibs.
  • 1stDibs ExpertNovember 6, 2023
    Cartier glasses are called by a variety of nicknames. These include 'Ye's, Sticks, Carties and Cardisa. Many people refer to Cartier sunglasses and eyeglasses fashioned out of buffalo horn as Buffs. Explore a wide variety of Cartier glasses from some of the world's top dealers on 1stDibs.
  • 1stDibs ExpertNovember 6, 2023
    Which Cartier watch is the most iconic is open to debate. One of the French luxury brand's most influential watches is the Cartier Tank, which debuted in 1917. A women's watch, the Cartier Panthere is another of the brand's legendary designs. It was introduced in 1914, and its original design drew inspiration from a painting of a panther by artist George Barbier. Shop a large collection of Cartier watches on 1stDibs.
  • 1stDibs ExpertNovember 6, 2023
    What a Cartier bracelet symbolizes varies from piece to piece. With its screw motif, the Love bracelet represents the enduring nature of true love, while the three types of gold featured in the Trinity bracelet stand for love, fidelity and friendship. Translating to "just a nail" in English, the Juste un Clou bracelet is sometimes associated with simplicity and modernity. Find a large collection of Cartier bracelets on 1stDibs.
  • 1stDibs ExpertNovember 14, 2023
    There are a couple of reasons why Cartier glasses are so special. First, the French luxury brand produces each pair with careful attention to detail and precise crafting techniques that make the eyewear stylish and durable. Cartier also uses fine-quality materials like buffalo horn, titanium, gold, leather, onyx and bubinga wood. Additionally, many Detroit rappers like Royce da 5'9", Tee Grizzley and Big Sean have sported Cartier sunglasses over the years, making the brand's eyewear synonymous with hip-hop culture. On 1stDibs, shop a collection of Cartier glasses.
  • 1stDibs ExpertDecember 4, 2023
    Yes, Cartier is a luxury brand. 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. Cartier uses only fine materials and carefully crafts pieces to ensure quality. The jewelry, watches, eyewear, bags and other accessories produced by Cartier are also sold at aspirational price points that meet the definition of luxury. Find a wide variety of Cartier pieces on 1stDibs.
  • 1stDibs ExpertJanuary 23, 2024
    Yes, Cartier diamonds are real. The French luxury jewelry maker follows stringent standards when selecting the diamonds that go into its pieces. For example, the central brilliant cut diamonds in Cartier rings that are over 0.3 carats in weight must be classified as Very Good or Excellent to be used by the brand, and Cartier rarely chooses diamonds with clarity ratings below VS2 or color ratings below H. Shop a selection of Cartier diamond jewelry on 1stDibs.
  • 1stDibs ExpertNovember 27, 2023
    The Cartier Tank is so popular for several reasons. Many people like its unique shape, which was inspired by the linear form of military tanks during World War I. Others appreciate its long history since it was released in 1918. Over the years, some models have featured details that further appeal to collectors. For example, the Tank Divan is notable for its striking rectangular case that is situated horizontally. The Roman numerals on its watch face are elongated, stretching to fit its unusual proportions. On 1stDibs, shop a variety of Cartier Tank watches.

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