Maison Cartier was founded in Paris in 1847 by Louis-François Cartier when he took over the workshop of his master. In 1874 his son, Alfred Cartier took over the company, but it was Alfred's sons Louis, Pierre and Jacques, who were responsible for establishing the world-wide brand name of Cartier.
Louis assumed responsibility for the Paris branch, moving to the Rue de la Paix, in 1899. He was responsible for some of the company's most celebrated designs, such as the mystery clocks, fashionable wristwatches and exotic Orientalist Art Deco designs, including the colourful "Tutti Frutti" jewels. Cartier also created the famous Panthère brooch of the 1940s for Wallis Simpson. Jacques took charge of the London operation and eventually moved to the current address at New Bond Street. Pierre Cartier established the New York City branch in 1909, moving in 1917 to the current location of 653 Fifth Avenue, the Neo-Renaissance mansion of Morton Freeman Plant which Cartier bought in exchange for $100 in cash and a double-stranded natural pearl necklace valued at the time at $1 million.
With a seemingly endless list of elite clientele, from kings to maharajas to Hollywood ‘royalty’, Cartier has since become synonymous with glamour and prestige.