When it comes to luxury watches, few brands do it better than Cartier. A name that has become synonymous with opulence and sophistication, this quintessentially Parisian jewellery designer and watchmaker has long been established as a respected name, and if you want to give a gift that is certain to impress, its little red boxes, filled with bejewelled delights of all kinds, are certain to do the trick.
Show us a woman who wouldn’t turn all sparkly-eyed at the sight of a Cartier box under the Christmas tree, or a man who wouldn’t come over a little breathless at the prospect of trying on a Cartier watch – we’ll wait. These beautiful and sophisticated timepieces are one of the most highly coveted gifts you can give to that special someone in your life, whether for a big birthday, a special anniversary, or ‘just because’ – but why exactly have they become such an iconic symbol of wealth, opulence and excellent taste?
Renowned for its impeccable craftsmanship and all-round excellence, this is a brand that doesn’t do things by halves. And, if you’re concerned about your Cartier watches holding value, then don’t be – because these luxurious masterpieces are also perfect family heirloom material, with prices often increasing with age. Antique Cartier pieces have been known to go for huge amounts at auction – so if you ever manage to get your hands on an older model, then be sure to keep hold of it, because it could well end up turning you a tidy profit in years to come.
Founded back in 1847 by Louis-Francois Cartier, it was his three grandsons – Louis, Pierre and Jacques – who made Cartier what it is today, enchanting Russian aristocracy and charming Indian princes as they travelled the world.
This is a brand that is truly international, and has been worn by various members of royalty from across the globe. In fact, King Edward VII once declared Cartier the ‘jeweller of kings and the king of jewellers’ – and today, it remains one of the most coveted brands on the market.
It’s not just royalty who have been seen sporting an opulent Cartier watch though, and iconic women through the ages – from Grace Kelly to Elizabeth Taylor – have been seen finishing off their red carpet looks with one of the brand’s beloved timepiece, too. No doubt, this celebrity endorsement is partly what has propelled Cartier to the elevated status it enjoys today – and with the age of Instagram seeing some of the world’s wealthiest stars showing them off, too, the influencer effect remains strong.
Despite its reputation for creating beautiful wristwatches, it wasn’t until 1904 that Cartier turned its attention to them, its first and most notable creation being the timepiece it created for aviator, Santos Dumont. The pilot had complained that he couldn’t see his pocket watch whilst flying – and so, the ‘Santos’ wristwatch was born.
Although a French brand that was born in sophisticated Paris, today, the majority of Cartier’s watches are made in Switzerland – a nation renowned for its unrivalled expertise when it comes to creating the very best timepieces in the world. They don’t just look good; they are impeccably well made, too – a Cartier watch is built to last and last.
So, if you’re looking to treat yourself, a loved one or that someone special to the gift of a lifetime, then you could do a lot worse than a Cariter watch. But with such a beautiful array of designs to choose from, which one is guaranteed to impress?
Male recipients will adore the ‘Tank’ – a stunning timepiece that was inspired by the tanks of the Western Front – which, thanks to its distinct historical significance, has become an icon for the brand.
Meanwhile, the ‘Ballon Bleu’ continues to make waves in the women’s fashion world to this day today, and despite its modern makeover, remains a classic. Its blue sapphire cabochon, enclosed by a pristine ark of metal, makes it instantly recognisable amongst those who know their designer watches, and it has long been seen as a symbol of status.
Whichever Cartier watch you choose to gift, it’s guaranteed to become one of their most treasured items, and one that will stay with them for years to come.
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