The History of Cartier Watches

Below are a highlight of dates from the history of the Maison Cartier. You might also be interested in our hints on how to spot a fake Cartier.


  • 1847 - Louis-François Cartier takes over the jewellery workshop of his master, Adolphe Picard, at 29 rue Montorgueil in Paris. This marks the birth of the Maison Cartier.
  • 1874 - Cartier's son Alfred takes over the business and expands it to include watches
  • 1899 - Cartier moves into 13 rue de la Paix, the Maison's current address. The future of the Maison falls to the three Cartier brothers: Louis, Pierre and Jacques. They travel the world, from India to Russia, from the Persian Gulf to the United States.
  • 1902 - 1909 - Cartier branches are opened in London in and New York in. The foundations of the Maison Cartier are laid. Cartier soon wins fame among the royal courts of Europe. The Prince of Wales, who in 1902 was to become Edward VII, proclaims Cartier “Jeweller of Kings and King of Jewellers.”
  • 1904 - Edward VII grants Maison Cartier the first Royal warrant as supplier to the court of England. Cartier's creations are marked by the exotic influences of the civilisations that the three brothers discovered on their travels.
  • 1904 - the Cartier Santos watch is created by Louis Cartier for his friend the Brazilian aviator, Santos-Dumont. This success was to be followed by the creation of several other models which, taken as a whole, form the watch-making heritage of the 20th century.
  • 1906 - the Cartier Tonneau watch is created.
  • 1910 - two more Cartier branches open in Moscow and the Persian Gulf.
  • 1912 - the Cartier Tortue watch is unveiled.
  • 1919 - the famous Cartier Tank watch inspired by the First World War Tank is designed.


  • 1931 - Cartier design their first waterproof wrist watch, a version of the Cartier Tank.
  • 1957 - the Cartier Baignoire with its distinctive oval case is produced.
  • 1983 - Cartier begin production on one of its most iconic designs - the Cartier Panthere. Available in many options the Panthere watch continues to be as popular today and is hailed by women as one of the most feminine and chic watches ever!
  • 1985 - crowds are amazed once again by the Cartier Pasha range of watches with their unique device for making the watch water resistant. Originally designed for the Sultan of Pasha's exclusive use in his swimming pool, this watch continues to fascinate and amaze. A rubber version of the Cartier Pasha is available today.
  • 1996 - Cartier creates the Cartier French Tank (aka the "Tank Francaise") to world acclaim. The French Tank is a new take on Cartier's classic tank watch. The French Tank is available with automatic and quartz movements and in steel and precious metals. The French Tank combines elegance and function and Cartier make this watch to suit both men and women.
  • 1996 - Cartier also re-visit previous designs and introduce the Cartier Tank American. Hailed by Ralph Lauren as the most stylish watch, the Tank American with its distinctive shape is a very desirable watch. Cartier continue to make this watch much to the delight of the it clients.


  • 2002 - Cartier produce the Cartier Roadster with its unique inter-changeable straps. The Cartier Roadster is a great watch and is available in steel, steel and gold and all gold.
  • 2004 - Cartier celebrates 100 years of the Santos Watch be creating the Cartier Santos 100.

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