Cartier was founded in 1847 in Paris, France during the ongoing French Revolution. Its founder, Louis-François Cartier, bought the workshop from the master watchmaker he worked for – taking over and ultimately transforming the business into the beginnings of the Cartier brand. In 1874, Alfred Cartier, son of Louis-François, took over the company and relocated the store to the prominent jewelry district in Paris. Keeping the brand within the family, sons of Alfred – Louis, Pierre, and Jacques Cartier – eventually expanded the company to London and New York City, taking the Cartier name worldwide. The brand quickly gained momentum and widespread popularity and even became a favorite among European royalty, earning Cartier the title of “Jeweller of Kings, King of Jewellers.” The Cartier family retained ownership of the brand until 1964, and it is now part of the Swiss Richemont Group.
Making up the Cartier brand are several sophisticated collections suited for both men and women. Cartier is one of very few luxury watch brands that make more watches for women than for men. Watches for both men and women are made in the Pasha de Cartier, Ballon de Cartier, Santos de Cartier, Tank, Ronde de Cartier, and Clé de Cartier collections. Women-exclusive collections include the Maillon de Cartier, Tortue, Panthére de Cartier, Panthe Jewelry Watches, and Baignoire. The collections with watches for only men are the Cartier de Privé and the Drive de Cartier.