The History of Cartier and Cartier Eyewear

A cartier watch with brown leather strap put on top of a paper with Cartier logo on it

The luxury sector is speeding in terms of growth in the fashion industry. Among the world’s most valuable luxury accessories brands is Cartier.

Cartier jewelry and accessories are now valued at a staggering $7.7 billion. This is a colossal number taking into consideration Cartier’s humble beginnings.

What once was a small shop, Cartier now boasts over 300 boutiques worldwide. Everything from their fine jewelry, sophisticated watches, and Cartier Eyewear provides luxury.

Read on to find out in detail the rich history of one of the world’s most sought-after brands today!

Humble Beginnings of The Cartier Family

The story of the luxury brand Cartier starts with Louis-François Cartier. He was the son of an impoverished metal worker. However, his low-income family origin did not stop him from pursuing a more artistic career.

Louis-Francois refused to engage in the gunpowder cones market as his father did. Instead, he fought to hone his artistic skills under the famed jeweler Picard Adolphe.

Hard work and boldness to buy his master’s workshop set Louis-François on the path to building an empire. He made the heart of Cartier, Maison CARTIER, in the heart of Paris in 1947. The ongoing French Revolution couldn’t stop the spread of Louis-Francois’ reputation.

Cartier gained a massive following among the elite thanks to his elaborate jewels. This was evident in 1853 when he became a supplier to the French imperial court.

One of the leading patrons of the brand includes the wife of Emperor Napoleon III, Empress Eugénie. He also received numerous commissions from Princess Mathilde and Charles Frederick Worth.

In addition, the Cartier house was regularly visited by aristocrats. This helped the brand establish a strong foundation.

In 1874, Alfred Cartier, his father’s only son, took over the business. Over the years, Cartier expanded thanks to the ingenuity of Alfred’s three sons. Later, these three stands came to stand for the Cartier houses we’re all familiar with.

  • Louis for the Maison CARTIER in Paris
  • Pierre for CARTIER New York and;
  • Jacques for CARTIER in London

These three houses were responsible for the international recognition of the Cartier brand.

The Expansion

In 1898, the eldest of Afred’s sons, Louis, joined the family business. At that time, Paris was Europe’s fashion and culture capital. Hence, there was an influx of customers from all over the world searching for fine jewelry.

Louis took this as an opportunity to move the main branch to Rue de la Paix 13, the home of Maison Cartier. From 1898 to 1914, Louis Cartier set out to make his name as the very best jeweler. He even bested his inspiration, Carl Peter Fabergé.

He went on regular trips to St. Petersburg, the capital of Russia. Here, he used his intricate craftsmanship to stamp an impenetrable reputation for Cartier.

His works in St. Petersburg brought many members of the Imperial House of Romanov to his patrons’ list. Grand Duchess Maria Pavlovna, for instance, commissioned many crown jewels.

Meanwhile, the Cartier brothers founded the London branch in 1902. Almost immediately, the Cartier house established itself as the official supplier of the English royal court.

Among its loyal patrons was King Edward VII. He commissioned CARTIER to make at least 27 wreaths for his coronation.

Jacques headed the London branch in 1906. He moved the London branch to New Bond Street, where CARTIER London still stands today.

In 1909, another CARTIER branch opened in the United States, specifically in New York at 12 5th Avenue. However, since the premises were too small, Pierre moved the company to where it is today, at 654 5th Avenue, in 1917.

Cartier Jewelry and Accessories

The foundation of Cartier accessories began in 1906. Through the innovation of Loius, Cartier expanded the meaning of luxury jewelry to include luxury timepieces.

In 1888, he introduced the first woman’s wristwatch to the world in a case adorned with precious stones. At first, the watch was unpopular, especially luxury watches designed for men, since pocket watches were the norm then.

This venture soon proved fruitful as gentlemen started investing in men’s watch models. A considerable part of this demanding hike was thanks to Alberto Santos-Dumont, who wore a male wristwatch while piloting. Hence, in 1904 Cartier also became the flagship jewelry brand for premium watches.

The Beginning of Cartier Eyewear

Aside from timepieces, Cartier also expanded into the designer glasses market. In 1887, a French princess commissioned an eye instrument from Louis Cartier himself. The lady-in-waiting’s bid resulted in the first-ever Cartier eye instrument.

Louis created magnificent tortoise shell opera glasses set with diamonds. This masterpiece established gained Louis Cartier as an artistic optician.

For the next 96 years, Cartier’s lavish designer glasses were only available to his elite customers. It was not until 1983 that Cartier sold its first mass-produced custom sunglasses.

Cartier’s first designer sunglasses features the same sophisticated craftsmanship it’s known for. In addition, the high-quality frames of sunglasses for women and men garnered the trust of the common people. Hence, regardless of the expensive price tag, Cartier Eyewear dominated the eyewear market.

‘Till this day, Cartier Eyewear is some of the most sought-after high-end eye instruments on the market. Majority of which cost well over $1,000. However, there are several options for glasses in Houston in the mid-price ranges.

Trusted Eye Wear Boutique

Were you surfing the net for eyeglasses near me? Visit Eye Elegance to bag premium Cartier Eyewear!

As Houston’s premiere optical boutique for custom eyewear, we pride ourselves in providing you with a hand-picked eyewear line. We sell nothing but unique and exceptionally crafted eyewear of the highest quality.

Our boutique provides a relaxed and customized shopping experience. In addition, our optical stylists are always a call away. If you need help finding the right glasses, their expertise in the industry is at your disposal.

Our services include reshaping and resizing frames and lenses and even custom painting. Prefer to make your eyewear personal? We also provide customized lens engraving.

Should the need arise, we provide complimentary buffalo horn conditioning, too. Experience a personable shopping experience at our Houston locations today.

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