In 1904 Louis Cartier designed the first men’s watch after his friend, Alberto Santos-Dumont, rightly said when he was flying it was completely impractical to get a pocket watch out. The watch with a leather strap was called Santos and due to Santos-Dumont celebrity status, the watch quickly became a must have accessory. In 1917 he Cartier Mansion which sits on the corner of 52nd street and Fifth Avenue, New York was bought with an exchange of a pearl necklace worth £1 million to Morton F. Plant and his wife.
In 1919 the classic Tank watch was launched and then in 1928 the creation off the tortue single pushpeice chronograph watch. In 1933 Jeanne Toussaint was made head of Cartier Jewellery. After Louis’ death in in 1942 Cartier’s creative run didn’t stop thanks to the inspiration of Alain Dominique Perrin and Jeanne Toussaint, Cartier continued to pioneer high-end jewellery, introducing the almighty Panther—a symbol of Cartier—into the jewellery and watch line.
After the death of Pierre in 1964, their children sold the company and in 1972 a group of investors led by Joseph Kanoui bought Cartier Paris and later bought, Cartier London and New York. In 1979 the Cartier interests were combined uniting and controlling all three brands. Today Cartier operates in more than 200 stores in 125 countries with the three temples remaining in Paris, London and New York.