As one of the world’s most prestigious and renowned names in traditional luxury, French Maison Cartier occupies a unique position of respect both as a jeweler since 1847, and as an intensely creative, and category-defining watchmaker since its invention of the pilot watch for Brazilian aviator Alberto Santos-Dumont — now widely acknowledged as one of the earliest known “wristwatches” for men. The modern Santos watch retains many of the signatures of that original groundbreaking reference, along with a wide variety of equally creative and coveted references for both men and women.
Cartier might be best known as a traditional Parisian jewelry maker whose origin story stretches all the way back to 1847, but it was the brand’s innovations in watchmaking that have solidified its enviable legacy of prestige and adulation for the beautiful objects it creates for both men and for women. This was done through what is now known as the Santos — a reference firstly created for Brazilian aviator Alberto Santos-Dumont in 1911, now regarded as the world’s first wristwatch for men.
But the Santos wouldn’t be Cartier’s only historical success — the brand’s modern catalog is filled with iconic references like the category-defining Tank, the striking Crash, the playful Ballon de Cartier, along with incredible pieces that blur the line between high jewelry and functional horological art from the Panthere Jewelry collection. And though much of its more traditional design language might still hearken to the golden era of the Parisian art deco period, Cartier’s watchmaking signatures maintain a relentless pursuit of quiet innovation, clever detailing, and the celebration of incredible craftsmanship for anything bearing the brand’s "secret signature."