Cartier – not just jewellery

For many, the Cartier brand name is intrinsically linked with the iconic jewellery collections, such as the Panthère de Cartier, which elevated jewellery design to a new, conceptual level. Where Cartier also excels is in the design and precision engineering of their classic timepieces and watch collections.  

As central London pawnbrokers, Suttons and Robertsons are familiar with many of the pieces and we’re proud to have seen some truly exceptional Cartier watches – but what makes a Cartier time piece stand out from the crowd?

French jewellery house Cartier dates back to 1847, when Louis-François Cartier founded the company in Paris. Behind some of the most beautiful jewellery ever created, Cartier was also behind some of the biggest advancements in time telling – it’s exactly this fact that make loans on Cartier watches worth a second thought.  

Many people cast a glance at their wrist to see the time with little or no idea about the evolution behind the wristwatch. Driven by the need to ever improve on his time pieces, Louis Cartier sought to make telling the time more easily done for people who were increasingly on the move.

Coming together is a perfect – but oh so simple – synergy, Louis’s passion for watches and his friendship with Alberto Santos-Dumont resulted in the development of the flat wristwatch that we know so well today.

As a pioneer in aviation, Santos-Dumont needed to keep an eye on timing without taking his hands of the airplane’s yoke. Human behaviour often informs change and so it was Santos-Dumont’s inability to dig around for his pocket watch that lead to the modern wrist watch. As a well-respected pawn-brokers in London, Suttons and Robertsons always love to see a Santos watch, so-named after Cartier’s Brazilian aviator friend.

Not only a jewellery brand, Cartier have managed to capture a snapshot of society and its preoccupations at any given moment in time. While the brand was able to showcase the best in stunningly beautiful pieces, Cartier also managed to transform the horror of war and create something timeless, useful and robust that has been passed down the generations – and that is still in production today.

The Cartier Tank was created for General Pershing, the Commander of the Western Front, with the design representing the tanks of that Front during World War I. Presented to the General in 1917, it was released for general sale in 1919.

While Cartier has certainly delivered in terms of practical timepieces, the collections for women bring together a sublime blend of delicate functionality. Cartier watches for women most often feature the iconic Cartier watch face that fronts precision in time keeping. Created and developed to sit perfectly on the female wrist, Cartier understood that the most important element of a watch is the ability to tell the time, quickly and accurately. With the Tank available in a range of styles – including the Anglaise and Louis – Cartier also understood a need for more feminine styles. The Ballon Bleu is perfectly rounded and soft, while the Ronde has the option of a leather strap.