Cartier's global operations
The famed watch and jewelry House of Cartier, one of the classiest brands in the industry, can trace its origins back to 1847, when Louis-Francois Cartier opened a small jewelry store in Paris. Over the years, the brand has evolved to become the official jeweler of the Royal courts of England, Spain, Portugal, Russia, Siam, Greece, Serbia, Belgium, Romania, Egypt, Albania, Monaco and France's House of Orleans. Today, it is the preferred brand for royalty, celebrities, and social elite worldwide.
Louis-Francois did not limit himself to the production and sale of traditional jewelry. He expanded his stock to include ivory products, fans, Wedgwood and Sevres porcelain, Christofle silver and watches. Cartier is credited with introducing the first practical wristwatch, the Santos, in 1904. The company was listed as a public company in 1998, when main Vendome shareholder Richemont offered to buy out Vendome's minority shareholder. Cartier is led by Allain Dominique Perrin, chief architect of the company's development for nearly 20 years. Another well known personality in the Cartier establishment is Micheline Kanoui, the company's lead designer and wife to Joseph Kanoui, chairman of the Vendome group.
In the early 1900s, Cartier expanded from its Paris base into London, New York and eventually Russia and the United States. In 1972, a group of investors organized the purchase and eventual reunion of Cartier Paris, New York and London. Today, it is a global powerhouse, operating in more than 200 stores across 125 countries. The company designs, manufactures and sells a wide range of jewelry, timepieces, leather goods and accessories. The team is presently lead by the President and CEO Bernard Fornas.
An undisputable reference in the realm of luxury, Cartier occupies a unique position in the world of jewelry which carries with it a responsibility to act as a role model within the industry. The brand has always shown the greatest resolve to merit trust through responsible purchasing, fabrication and retailing. Now the policy has been formalized as a commitment in the Corporate Responsibility policy. This policy, consistent with the objectives of the RJC (Responsible Jewelry Council),applies to all product lines, activities and supplier practices. Cartier works in close collaboration with its suppliers to encourage their participation and help them comply with its requirements; It continues to invite other industry players to join the movement.
An example of this social responsibility is the company policy since 2009 to not source diamonds from Marange, Zimbabwe in the light of several human rights violations, occurring in these diamond fields. Cartier has also established 'The Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie' to promote and develop the art and expertise of technical and precious fine watch making around the world.