Friday, June 22

Cartier -- The Jeweler of Kings

Cartier has maintained a long history of superior jewelry making, dating back to 1847.  Due to their unmatched craftsmanship and exceptional artistry, Prince of Wales Edward VII referred to Cartier as “Joaillier des Rois, Roi des Joailliers” (Jeweler of the King, King of Jewelers), an apt epithet for a company with royal warrants from the courts of Wales, Spain, Portugal, Russia, Siam, Greece, Serbia, Belgium, Romania, Egypt, Albania and Monaco.  He placed an order for 27 tiaras for his own coronation, which serves as one of the many legendary orders in Cartier history, including a famed diamond necklace created for the Maharaja of Patiala and an extraordinary 168 carat emerald and diamond necklace presented to Anna Case in 1931, a prima donna in the New York Metropolitan Opera. 
            Cartier played an essential role in the development of the modern day wristwatch.  In 1904, Brazilian pilot Alberto Santos-Dumont told Louis Francois Cartier that his pocket watch was neither reliable nor practical for aviation purposes.  In response to his friend’s complaint, Cartier designed a wristwatch with a slim case and a square bezel named the “Santos”—the first Cartier men’s watch, and an enduring part of their collection.  The Santos pleased not only its namesake, but many other customers as well, paving the way for Cartier to develop several other lines of fine timepieces for both men and women.  A mere three years after the debut of the Santos, Cartier operated branches in London, New York, and St. Petersburg and was one of the most successful watch companies in the world.
            Cartier endures as an unparalleled manufacturer of fine timepieces, designing magnificent new models each year, such as the Grande Complication pocket watch pictured above, part of the 2012 collection.  Carved from a single block of solid white gold, this 59.2 mm watch prominently features the elegant lines of the emerging Roman numeral hour markers, signature Cartier blue hands, and a completely skeletonized case, allowing a perfect view of the movement.  Other features include a perpetual calendar, a chronograph, and an impressive eight day power reserve.  Each Grande Complication requires a total of 500 hours of meticulous work to create.  Check out for a beautiful and vast selection of authentic, brand new Cartier watches, most at 10-30% off.

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