Louis-François Cartier founded the company in 1847 in Paris. Cartier remained in the family until 1964. Headquartered in Paris, Cartier is a subsidiary of Compagnie Financière Richemont SA.
Cartier counts among its loyal clients King Edward VII of England who ordered jewelry for his court exclusively from Cartier. At the 1902 coronation of Edward VII, twenty-seven tiaras ordered. Other rules for royalty in Spain, Portugal, Russia, Siam, Greece, Serbia, Belgium, Romania, Egypt, Albania, Monaco, and the House of Orleans soon followed.
Cartier now operates over 200 stores in 125 countries. The newest flagship store in Seoul, South Korea opened in 2008. Descended from three generations of famous jewelers, Louis, Pierre and Jacques were responsible for establishing Cartier as a world brand name worldwide.
By 1907 Cartier owned stores in London, New York, and St. Petersburg. Cartier was quickly becoming the world famous for its watches. After the death of Pierre in 1964, Cartier family members who headed stores in London, New York, and Paris sold the businesses. In 1972, a new group of investors bought Cartier and introduced new products. They bought back the stores in London and New York and combined them with Paris to create "Cartier Monde."
Cartier merged with "Les Must de Cartier" in the early eighties and founded the "Fondation Cartier pour l'art Contemporain" forming an association with contemporary artists. In the late eighties, Cartier acquired a major share in Piaget and Baume & Mercier.
Comite International de la Haute Horlogerie, organized in 1991 has become an annual meeting place in Geneva for professionals. Cartier is now owned, by the South African Rupert family and Elle Pagels, granddaughter of Pierre Cartier.
The Cartier name will always be synonymous with fine watches, jewelry, wedding and engagement rings, leather goods and other luxury items.