When it comes to naming the most iconic jewellery and watch brand of them all, there is only one name that springs to mind. Cartier is a name that is synonymous with style and elegance, a brand that has been beloved of Kings and Queens, both of the royal and movie star variety. As a status symbol, it is hard to beat, as Emily Seares says in an article for The Watch Gallery “…The vibrant, strong red of the Cartier packaging, the spine tingling flash of red like a Louboutin red sole and the prestige associated with it. It is like no other…”
Cartier was founded in Paris in 1847 by Louis-François Cartier, and by 1902 it was a favourite with royalty, shown to excellent effect by the fact that King Edward VII ordered 27 Cartier tiaras for his coronation in 1902. He was just the first of many royal fans of the brand, reaching right up to the current Duchess of Cambridge who was given a Ballon Bleu De Cartier watch by Prince William for her third wedding anniversary. This was a lovely touch from William, perhaps in tribute to the Cartier tiara Kate wore at her wedding.
Another royal fan who wore Cartier on her wedding day was Princess Grace of Monaco. The former actress Grace Kelly was given a Cartier engagement ring by Prince Rainier in 1956, and then wore a three strand Cartier necklace for her wedding. She then often wore Cartier pieces for state occasions right up until her untimely death in a car crash in 1982.
Other iconic Cartier lovers include Elizabeth Taylor, who owned what became known as the Taylor-Burton diamond, a Cartier piece which was one of the largest diamonds in the world, and Wallis Simpson who owned the stunning panther bracelet (one of my favourite pieces of jewellery ever). More recently Karen Elson was the star of a Cartier campaign which fully acknowledged the allure of the brand, channeling Marilyn Monroe in her ‘Diamonds are a Girl’s best friend’ guise as she is surrounded by beautiful Cartier jewel boxes.
And Cartier is not just the domain of female fans. The iconic Tank watch has been a favourite since it was donned by Cary Grant and Clark Gable in the 1940s, with stylish male celebs like Tom Ford and Warren Beatty all fans of the rectangular faced watch.
A Cartier piece, whether it be jewellery or an iconic time piece, is a beautiful sign of love and luxury. If you receive one of those special boxes, be sure to cherish it.