The story of Cartier the jeweller starts in 1847 when Louis-François Cartier took over his master's workshop in Paris. It was not long before the pieces produced by his son Alfred (1841-1925), and later his heirs, attracted the attention of the aristocracy and the world's elite.

In 1899, Cartier moved his boutique to no. 13 in the prestigious rue de la Paix which is still the address of the company today and the historical heart of its craftsmanship. The company soon developed an international dimension, setting up in London (1902) and New York (1909) which were the starting points in achieving its vision of a worldwide business. Its reputation has been built on an exceptional level of expertise and an insatiable passion for creation and innovation. It led the way in the use of platinum in jewellery and was a pioneer in watchmaking from 1904 with the first models to be worn on the wrist. With a deep interest in the cultures and traditions of the world, Cartier is recognised for its unique style and the daring of its creations. From the early years of the 20th century, its modern pieces in vivid colours and stylised geometrical forms were forerunners of what would be known as Art Deco. The Panther motif became the legendary emblem of the company; the Tank (1917), the Trinity ring (1924) and the Love bracelet (1969) have become classics. Cartier is a socially committed company with a pioneering ethical policy: it is a founding member of the CJRP "Council for Responsible Jewellery Practices".

It is also a patron of the arts and was the first company to encourage contemporary art with the Fondation Cartier, set up in Paris in 1984.

160 years after its first boutique was opened in Paris, Cartier is now present around the world with a network of 300 exclusive boutiques and a staff of more than 5,500. Today the company is owned by the Richemont group. Through generations of craftsmen, Cartier has reached out to all lovers of beautiful pieces, particularly in Fine Jewellery and Fine Watchmaking, but equally in jewellery, watchmaking, precious objects, accessories and perfumes.