The House of Cartier, a true dynasty of style, elegance and fine craftsmanship, was founded in 1847 by Louis-François Cartier, master jeweler to Europes crowned heads. By the early 20th century, his three grandsons, Louis, Jacques and Pierre, were successfully managing Cartier boutiques in Paris, London and New York.
The first true Cartier wristwatch, the Santos, designed by Louis and named for Alberto Santos-Dumont, a dashing Brazilian aviator, was introduced in 1904. Jeweled wristwatches followed soon after in 1906. In 1910, Louis created and patented the deployant folding clasp. 1917 saw the introduction of the famous Cartier Tank watch. Long regarded as the single most important and influential watch design of the 20th century, the distinctive timepiece was designed in tribute to the Allied Tank commanders who helped defend France during World War I. In 1933, Cartier was commissioned by the Pasha of Marrakech to create a watch he could wear while swimming. As one of the earliest truly water-resistant designs, the watch featured an attractive round case of solid gold.
Today, the companys watch designers draw on the astounding design archives left by Louis Cartier, the design genius responsible for many of the houses signature innovations, patents and collections. Most of the contemporary Cartier collections are based upon Louis distinctive design classics such as the Santos, the Panther, the Bagnoire, the Pasha, the Tonneau, the Diabolo, and the Tank. Introduced in 1996, the Tank Francaise is widely regarded as a contemporary model of horology and design mastery. Available in three sizes and offered with a variety of movements from quartz to automatic, the Tank Francaise chronograph features a perpetual calendar and automatic time zone changing capability.
The Cartier collections offered by Ashford.com are eloquent testimony to the lasting value and rich heritage of the House of Cartier legacy. From the functionally elegant to the opulently jeweled, each Cartier timepiece carries with it a 150-year pedigree of excellence, elegance and quality beyond compare.
Cartier Watches at Ashford