Monday, 1 June 2015

Cartier Watches From Watchfinder & Co.

This is a guest post by Sarah-Jane Adams.

Diamonds may be a girl’s best friend, but luxury brand Cartier isn’t just known for its exquisite jewellery. Pioneers in making the wristwatch fashionable amongst men, the purveyor of luxury goods is more than just a pretty (watch) face. In fact, Cartier is responsible for some of the most interesting developments in horological history, a detail easily overlooked among the shiny lights and twinkling offerings of their lavish jewellery showrooms.




At the turn of the century, the fashion for short sleeves ensured that ladies’ wristwatches were already popular, adorning the exposed wrists of high society, yet the concept was deemed to be too feminine and delicate to be favoured by men. The pivotal change in attitudes came in 1904, when Louis Cartier created a small pocket watch mounted on a leather strap in order for his friend, Brazilian aviation pioneer Alberto Santos Dumont, to be able to tell the time hands free while flying. Later dubbed the Santos De Cartier, this model popularised the new male version of the accessory, and set a new standard in watchmaking.

In the same year, Cartier received its first royal appointment as official purveyor to King Edward VII, cementing its reputation as the ‘King of jewellers, jeweller of Kings.’ Cartier would reinforce its close ties with the Royal Family by presenting Queen Elizabeth with one of the smallest wristwatches in the world in 1938. Whether she followed Dumont’s example and donned a set of flying goggles to use it while manning her own aircraft remains unclear.



Perhaps the most recognisable Cartier watch, the Tank, came into being in 1917, and the ladies’ version has subsequently been embraced by women as legendary as Jackie O, Greta Garbo and Michelle Obama. A timeless classic, the Tank is often identified as the go-to aspirational timepiece for women, and has been universally adopted by the fashion set; Parisian couturiers such as Hubert de Givenchy, Pierre Balmain and Yves Saint Laurent all wore the men’s’ model. The Tank is not for everyone however, as the first choice of current Royal icon Kate Middleton is the Cartier Ballon Bleu.


As expected from one of the world’s most famous names in gemology, Cartier watches don’t shy away from a touch of sparkle, with many of the higher end models incorporating precious stones and metals into their design. The iconic motif of the company, the panther, even formed the basis of a ladies’ wristwatch in 1914, extravagantly created from diamonds and onyx. Fortunately, today’s buyer has access to vintage Cartier watches, allowing us to enjoy a touch of luxury at pre-owned prices.

‘A little bit of Cartier is good for everyone,’ declared a Cartier New York advertisement in 1972. And that’s certainly true for those with a taste for the finer things in life, whether it be watches, or jewellery. Richard Burton may have famously gifted Elizabeth Taylor the $1.1 million Cartier Diamond, and Prince Rainer may have proposed to Grace Kelly with an emerald cut solitaire, but for us, Cartier’s greatest legacy will always be worn on our wrists.

Sarah-Jane Adams is a contributor to Watchfinder & Co.’s digital publication The Watch Magazine. Visit thewatchmagazine.com for more on watches, and www.watchfinder.co.uk to browse a selection of fine pre-owned watches


* In collaboration with Watchfinder & Co.
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29 comments

  1. I would love a Cartier watch - it's such a iconic brand. I would have to earn significant brownie points from the husband though!

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    1. They are beautiful watches and so well made too. I would love to have one as well Linda!

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  2. This is a really interesting post. If I wore watches I would definitely consider a Cartier one. x

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    1. I think their branding is spot on, so cool, classic and beautiful.

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  3. I didn't know all of that about Cartier watches! And they're absolutely beautiful to boot. If I had the money it would definitely be one I'd consider!

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    1. I think classic luxury watches like this are a fabulous investment too.

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  4. I would to own a Cartier watch, they are so beautifully designed and if only I had the money x

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    1. They are beautifully designed, I agree with you.

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  5. It's very interesting to read about the history of Cartier - and the watches are lovely. My current watch is my daughter's discarded Timex!

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    1. I think it is always great to read the history behind just an iconic brand.

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  6. Great article, thanks for sharing. Dave - www.luxurylifestyle.today

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  7. oh i do love the look of those gorgeous watches

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    1. They are just so beautiful aren't they?

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  8. Beautiful watches - I am not allowed expensive things like that - I have a habit of losing watches!

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    1. I would have to be ultra careful wearing a watch like this but you have to wear a beautiful watch as what is the point of buying one otherwise?

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  9. Such lovely elegant watches - would love to have one like those.

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    1. Hi Erica, a watch like this is a great investment and such a treat.

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  10. charlotte clavier2 June 2015 at 12:18

    Gorgeous watches. I wish i could afford one. They're very classy

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    1. I think they are the epitome of class.

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  11. They have some super beautiful time pieces. Spoilt for choice, so glamorous in the true form.

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  13. Cartier watches are beautiful they should not be refereed to as watches - luxury timepieces is more like it , it is beautiful so see how they evolved and the history behind this fabulous brand!

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    1. Yes I think luxury timepieces is an excellent term to use.

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  14. Wow now that is a pretty watch :)

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  15. Oh gosh what beautiful watches - they are such classics aren't they? I would LOVE one of these!

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    1. Very beautiful watches - a classic investment.

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