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Cartier The History


The first timepieces started to appear in the Maison’s registers from 1853: men’s pocket watches as well as watches in the form of pendants, brooches and châtelaines for women. Over the years, Cartier watchmaking has distinguished itself by focusing on the notion of design, symbolised in 1904 by the creation of the Santos de Cartier watch: the first modern watch designed to be worn on the wrist. The Cartier watchmaking heritage is ever-evolving, allowing the Maison to revisit the shapes of timeless classics through new versions, all while remaining as faithful as possible to the historic model yet with modernised ergonomics that meet today’s requirements.

Cartier The Culture Of Design


For Cartier, it all starts with the design. An uncompromising feature. The line is clean and precise. This radical design concept, implemented by one of the only Maisons capable of creating a unique collection of iconic watchmaking pieces, will become Cartier’s signature. Tank, Santos, Panthère or Ballon Bleu: instantly recognisable, these watches are based on four main principles of creation: the purity of the line, the accuracy of the shape, the precision of proportions, the precious details.

The intelligence of their design places them seamlessly within their time as well as securing their future. They can all be reinvented and continue to inspire conversations: a boundless source of creative energy which Cartier dares to develop over time.

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In 1917, Louis Cartier took inspiration from the purity of the lines of the Tank watch to create a new watch shape. The secret lies in the balance between the lines and shapes, the volume and harmony that emanate from the design and lend the Tank its remarkable elegance. In 1904, Louis Cartier granted the aviator Alberto Santos-Dumont’s wish: to be able to tell the time while flying, without having to let go of the controls to check his pocket watch. Rounded edges, symmetrical bevels and curving horns that converge towards the bracelet. First created in the 1980s, the Panthère watch is the ultimate women’s designer watch. Instantly recognisable, the Panthère de Cartier women’s watch takes its name from the bracelet which exudes lusty sensuality and the fluidity of its links which coil seductively around the wrist. Created in 2007 from a new vision of roundness, the Ballon Bleu case is domed on both the front and back. With this watch, Cartier pays homage to the great tradition of watchmaking and brings a new twist to its codes by transforming the “rail-track”, introducing the blue bubble, and adding the optical illusion of the domed sapphire crystal.