This week we are going into the story and history behind the iconic luxury jeweler and watchmaker Cartier. Established in 1847 by Louis-Francois Cartier this renowned brand was family owned until 1964. The French luxury goods house has headquarters in Paris, which as you will see below became an epic milestone for the company. Furthermore the Cartier brand takes inspiration from life. From the very beginning to their Royal appointments all the way to modern day they have been at the cutting edge of design, technology, and innovation. Even the machinations and movements of their Swiss made watches are singular and patented. In this article you will get a good bearing of the company and some of their iconic collections, plus a glimpse of some of the Cartier products we offer at Raymond Lee Jewelers.
Louis-Francois Cartier had set up his Paris workshop crafting timepieces by 1847 and continued to produce artisan watches until 1904. This is when his family friend Alberto Santos Dumont, a Brazilian flight pioneer, complained to him about the impracticality and often imprecision of pocket watches of that time. Imagine trying to fly early iterations of planes while handling a pocket watch to make calculations! This is what Mr. Cartier sought to resolve when he created the very first Cartier men’s wristwatch. As you will see below this major creator of luxury timepieces and jewelry got their true start from this initial step into innovation.
First, a prime example of the pocket watches produced prior to the wristwatch. If not for the influence of Cartier’s family friend Santos, Cartier perhaps would have continued to produce pocket watches such as these for much longer. Featuring a gorgeous blue lapis lazuli dial with 18k white gold casing and diamond bezel this pocket watch is a jewel.
Named after his friend Santos that inspired that very first Cartier men’s wristwatch the Santos collection expanded to include a series of models. These gold and silver watches combined precision and innovative design to deliver functional luxury accessories.
First, a classic Santos 1567 two tone men’s watch. This timepiece features a stainless steel casing with a fixed 18k yellow gold bezel. The bezel has eight stainless steel visible accent screws and a matching stainless steel bracelet. The bracelet in turn has 18k yellow gold screws. The dial is white with roman numeral time markers and a date window at 3 o’clock. Furthermore, the watch has blue steel hands.
Second, is a slightly different version of the Santos watch. This two tone Galbee has quartz movements and 18k yellow gold accent screws and fixed bezel contrasting the stainless steel casing. It has a matching stainless steel bracelet and a white roman dial with a date window at six o’clock and 32mm crown guards. Also, the bracelet has a fold over hidden clasp.
Third, is another two tone Santos watch. However, this one features a unique silver Guilloche dial with gold roman numeral hour markers and gold hands. Further, it has a date window indicated at the 3 o’clock position. The case and bracelet are stainless steel with 18k yellow gold accent screws. Opposingly, the fixed yellow gold bezel has eight stainless steel accent screws.
The iconic timepiece with its visible screws and rounded angles was not only sported by one of the very first aviation pioneers but also trailblazed the beginning of men’s wristwatches. For the 100 year celebration of this iconic design Cartier launched the Santos 100XL collection. This new series of timepieces inspired by the original design has a more modern touch. Furthermore each watch has a gorgeous leather strap bracelet.
First, a bright shining stainless steel casing with matching stainless steel bezel to take off the Santos 100XL collection. This watch has a chronograph and automatic movements as well as three sub dials. It has roman numeral time markers, luminescent hour and minute hands and a date window between 4 and 5 o’clock. It also comes with a Cartier black leather alligator bracelet and a blue sapphire pull out crown.
Second, for the commemoratory Santos 100XL collection is this two tone beautifully classic watch. The 18k yellow gold bezel has visible stainless steel accent screws. These match the stainless steel casing. The brown leather alligator strap is luxuriously classic along with the white dial. This watch has roman numeral time markers, luminescent hands, and a blue sapphire pull out crown.
Another, version of the celebratory Santos 100XL collection is this unique 18k rose gold watch. It is a stunning piece. The contrast between the brushed steel case and rose gold bezel and roman numeral markers give it a modern look. Furthermore, the alligator leather bracelet brings a unique edge.
Finally, a true jewel in the Santos 100XL collection this Cartier features a diamond bezel along with the iconic leather bracelet. The boxy casing with its visible screws is accentuated by the two rows of round brilliant diamonds surrounding the 42mm dial. This watch also features a white dial with roman numeral time markers, three sub dials and a date window between four and five o’clock. The time and minute hands are also luminescent.
Santos Collection: Men’s Accessories
Further than the timepieces created for aviation, Santos also inspired a series of gentleman’s luxury accessories. Cartier has crafted unique fine quality accessories using the finest quality materials. They are for the refined gentleman looking to have inspired design and ultimately the best crafted objects for his day to day. Below are some of the items that comprise the Cartier Santos collection that are available at Raymond Lee Jewelers. We curate our selection of offerings carefully that is why you will find refined exquisite pieces like these at our showrooms and online.
First, a classic men’s accessory this leather belt is made from genuine fine leather and is reversible. This Santos two tone belt can be worn on either side black or brown. Further, the buckle bears the iconic Cartier Santos collection insignia. It is for refined gentlemen who perhaps travel often or are otherwise practical while still stylish in their fashionable accessories.
Another fine accessory this stylos two tone rollerball pen is for those gentlemen who appreciate a good writing tool. This gold pen also bears the Cartier Santos insignia at the top. Whether being used for flight calculations, signatures, or writings this is a gorgeous luxury men’s accessory.
The Jeweler of Kings, and King of Jewellers
Overtime Cartier received many Royal appointments both to craft celebratory jewels and timepieces for Royalty. To this day modern royals sport Cartier jewelry, watches and use accessories. Notably, as they delved deeper into the crafting of jewelry King Edward VII of England referred to Cartier as “the jeweler of kings, and king of jewellers”. He eventually issued a royal warrant to Cartier and ordered numerous jewelry pieces. Here are some of the Cartier jewelry pieces we have available at Raymond Lee Jewelers. While they are not royal jewels they are made by the ‘jeweler of kings, and king of jewellers’ as according to the British King Edward VII.
First, a Cartier tri color men’s wedding band. This ring features yellow, white and rose gold in a stacked formation. Unique and an undoubtedly Cartier design this ring is like no other men’s wedding band out there.
Another, gorgeous iteration of the Cartier trinity tri-gold jewelry collection this men’s ring is a unique design. With interlinked bands in each type of gold color, yellow, white and rose, this ring is emblematic of the Cartier brand. A timeless design and intricate structure render this piece appropriate for any man’s style.
Additionally, to their luxury timepieces and jewelry Cartier also began expanding into fashion. As a well established and world renowned brand Cartier elevated their scope by delving into a wide assortment of accessories. As seen above they produced men’s leather belts and writing instruments among other men’s accessories. Undeterred by the fashion industry and welcomed by their clientele they also began producing seasonal fashion accessories like the men’s sunglasses below.
Inspired by the tropical and sportive lifestyle this pair of sobe champagne men’s sunglasses is a modern Cartier approach. Lightweight, protective and cutting edge these are not your traditional boxy pair. Emblematic of the 00’s with lightly reflective lenses and curved edges these Cartier are subtly stylish and as with all their products, never out of style.
The Cartier Mansion, New York City
The Cartier New York City branch was first established in 1909 at the Neo-Renaissance mansion designed by famed architect C.P.H. Gilbert. Named the ‘Place de Cartier’ this mansion would remain the emblematic American home of the Cartier brand until 2003. The original mansion was purchased with a million dollar valued string of pearls and some cash. Then in 2001 it was shifted to the store at the intersection of the iconic 5th Avenue and 52nd street while renovations were underway. This was the same year that the Roadster Collection was launched, which we will go into below. In 2003 the store at the intersection of the iconic 5th Avenue and 52nd street officially became the new ‘Place de Cartier’.
The Roadster Collection
Going into the 1950s and 1960s Cartier continued at the cusp of the modern and fashionable. As an interest in automotive racing grew so did its influence in fashion. Cartier like always was there to meet the desire. Inspired by the automotive races and luxury race cars Cartier’s Roadster Collection comprises of modern timepieces As an ode to motorsports this collection has curves and features like a battery ‘fuel’ gauge and unique dials.
First, is this unique yellow gold chronograph Roadster with a brown leather strap. Like the Santos this watch has visible screws. However, that is where the visual similarities end. This Roadster features three sub dials, roman numeral time markers, automatic movements and a smooth fixed gold bezel. Also, this watch has a date window at 3 o’clock.
Another, gorgeous classic part of this Roadster collection is a more modern take with stainless steel casing and a matching stainless steel bracelet. The dial of this watch is similar to the one above with threee sub dials, chronograph, roman numeral time markers and a date window at 3 o’clock. However, this one features a sleek silver dial rather than gold.
Overall Cartier is one of the world’s most high quality, fine material, and innovative design timepieces on the market. From their tradition in jewelry making many of the timepieces feature jewels and intricate designs. The influence of the eras they grew through, starting all the way back in 1847, can be seen clearly throughout their collections. Furthermore, throughout those years they expanded to include more men’s luxury accessories and delve into the fashion world. These items while less frequently found than the jewelry pieces and watches are nonetheless prime examples of the Cartier quality and design. Finally, whether it is an iconic timepiece, jewelry or a luxury accessory Cartier is a brand for collections and families. We at Raymond Lee Jewelers know a thing or two about that, having been serving the South Florida community for the past 30 years. Our commitment is to service and quality and we therefore hope to continue serving all of our clients over the next 30 years. We would love to meet you in person at one of our conveniently located and expertly designed showrooms to show you some of our collection.