The name ‘Cartier’ resounds quite loudly in the world of high-end jewelry. The French company has been around since the middle of the 19th century and is known for the design and manufacturing of fantastic jewelry.
Getting a Cartier jewelry piece should be a no-brainer.
However, this text is focused on their watch design and manufacturing department, which is sometimes unjustly disregarded when considering high-quality watches.
Pioneers of watchmaking
Wristwatches have been around for a long time. Some claim as early as the 16th century. However, these early timepieces were largely decorative and not particularly accurate. They were mostly targeted towards women, while men preferred pocket watches. However, things started changing towards the end of the 19th century, when military men started using wristwatches for convenience and the improved precision.
Shortly after, the trend spilled over into civilian society, and the head of Cartier realized the potential of this new market. They designed a wristwatch for the famous pilot pioneer Alberto Santos-Dumont. This was the origin of the famous Santos line of Cartier watches.
The other iconic member of the Cartier watch family was the Tank series. Its origin can be traced to the gruesome conflict that was World War I. The head of Cartier encountered tanks on the Western front in 1917. Even these deadly machines radiated a form of beauty and inspired this rugged new line of men’s watches. These two classic lines remain the core of Cartier’s men’s watch collections, through numerous iterations and redesigns.
Alongside with men’s watches, Cartier designed women’s watches as well, including more petite versions of the Santos and Tank lines. Models such as Tonneau (1906) and the Tortue (1928) are flagships of the company.
It’s an investment
If you are considering buying a Cartier watch, or own one and are unsure about it, know that a Cartier watch is an investment. High-end watches usually are. Once the watch model has been identified as iconic or recognizable, its value goes up.
With Cartier, the perceived value usually comes from the design. The watches produced by this jewelry designer are often described as timeless and refined. However, over the last decade, Cartier has invested in their own high-tech watchmaking facility and has produced incredible watches not only in terms of design, but also with regards to precision, new materials, and other innovations.
What will determine the price of a Cartier watch?
Pre-owned Cartier watches can be found in various auctions, sometimes fetching astronomical prices, but they can also be bought at jewelry stores or online from trusted dealers. Cartier’s history as a jewelry designer means that they are quite skilled at using gold and other precious metals when fabricating timepieces. Gold watches fetch higher prices than steel ones, but the overall condition of the watch plays a significant role as well. And of course, if a particular watch has a verifiable story behind it, then collectors are keen to pay handsomely for it.
Overall, Cartier is the road less traveled when it comes to watches. This may come from the fact that their primary business is jewelry design, and not watchmaking. However, this does not mean that the watches produced by Cartier are inferior. On the contrary, if you own one, you may be surprised how much dedicated and knowledgeable collectors value these watches.
If you already have a Cartier watch, you surely know that such luxury commodities should not be left for just any watchmaker to tinker with. Rather, the best place for a Cartier repair in San Diego is Leo Hamel Fine Jewelers on San Diego Avenue. Our resident watchmaker is a holder of the CW21 (Certified Watchmaker of the 21st Century) certification and an expert in fine watch repair. Contact Leo Hamel’s today or visit the jewelry store for a closer look.