Since beginning to design fine jewelry and luxury watches in 1847, Cartier’s name has been synonymous with sophistication and quality. The brand manages to retain its sense of elegance even as the company experiments with innovative designs. It’s no wonder that they have been popular for decades with royals, politicians, and celebrities around the world.
Cartier Started the Fashion for Wrist Watches
Although Swiss watchmaker Patek Philippe made the first wristwatch in 1868, it did not supersede the pocket watch for many more decades. The first watch worn on the wrist to become popular was designed by Cartier in 1904. The story goes that Louis Cartier was inspired to create a watch for his friend Alberto Santos-Dumont. Santos-Dumont was a keen aviator and complained to his watchmaking friend that he struggled to use his pocket watch while flying.
Cartier responded by making his friend a wristwatch he could wear while in the air and, seven years later, that model was released for public sale, dubbed the “Santos.” Santos watches remain one of Cartier’s most popular styles to this day. Since then, Cartier has continued to be an innovative luxury watch and jewelry brand that pushes the boundaries and is a constant beacon for style.
They Have an Impressive Variety of Case Shapes
Some watchmakers, such as Rolex, are known for having one distinctive dial shape while others offer their customers much more variety. Cartier stands out from other famous watch brands due to its wide assortment of case styles and shapes to suit all tastes. Cartier’s ability to create original cases comes from their 174 years of experience as luxury jewelers. Cartier’s selection of dial shapes ranges from the square and rectangular styles seen in the Tank, Panthere, and Santos series, such as this Cartier Tank Louis Cartier WGTA0011, to the circular shapes featured in the Ronde and Ballon Bleu collections, to the oval cases that characterize the Baignoire and Delices series.
Cartier is also famous for producing some truly unique case shapes, such as the iconic Crash series. Said to have been inspired by the wreckage of a Cartier Baignoire Allongé that had been savaged by a car crash, this quirky watch case is reminiscent of the Salvador Dalí painting “The Persistence of Memory.” No matter what the case shape, Cartier timepieces all have the brand’s sophisticated elegance. Cartier’s impressive range of case sizes goes from a delicate 28mm to a substantial 44mm, but even the larger models are never too heavy or bulky, no matter which hand you wear your watch on.
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Their Unique Use of Cabochon
Cartier’s use of the deep blue cabochon sapphire has become one of the brand’s most popular signatures. Most Cartier timepieces feature a cabochon crown, which adds a touch of color and panache to even the most pared-down model. Many Cartier watch designs pick up the color of the stunning blue gem in the hands, using blue-colored steel to create a unique look, but never overpowers the overall design. An example of this can be seen in the Cartier Pasha WSPA0013, where the blue hands and cabochon pair well with the stainless steel case and bracelet.
Their Bracelets Are Always Elegant
Just as Cartier plays with case shape and size, they also offer their customers a wide range of bracelet and strap styles, from alligator leather in a variety of colors to 18k gold link bracelets. Despite their selection being incredibly diverse, they all have one thing in common: their elegance.
Both Cartier watches for men and their women’s timepieces are never too bulky, and the lugs always blend beautifully into the watch case, no matter what the shape. This impressive level of design is emblematic of the brand’s role as one of the world’s most famous jewelry designers. Some of Cartier’s most striking pieces are their jewelry watches.
The Designs Are Often Gender Neutral
When you peruse a watch seller’s collection of Cartier timepieces, you will probably find that the watches are divided into “men’s” and “women’s.” This distinction largely refers to the proportions of the watches, with the women’s watches being smaller than the men’s pieces. However, if you look again, you will notice that there is often no—or very little—difference between the style of the men’s and women’s watches.
Cartier watch designs manage to strike a chic balance between masculine and feminine styles, which means they look fantastic on everyone. This is also great news for watch enthusiasts who may want to pass their timepieces on to their children.
Cartier Is Always Chic
The list of reasons why we covet Cartier watchesgoes on and on. If you were to ask a group of horological enthusiasts why they loved Cartier, each one would probably have a different answer. However, the brand’s overwhelming success comes down to the taste level they put into all their designs: If you want chic, go Cartier.