In the making
Truly iconic in the world of luxury, Maison Cartier is known for exquisite and often daringly designed jewellery and watches—such as the ever
chic Panthère design—worn by some of the most brilliant and famous people throughout history. labelled the ‘the jeweller of Kings and the King of jewellers’, the company was founded in 1847 by louis-françois Cartier and later passed to his three sons, who expanded globally to become the favoured jeweller for royal families throughout Europe—cartier currently holds a royal Warrant from The Prince of Wales.
The urbane new Managing Director, laurent Feniou, took over from Country
Life devotee Arnaud Bamberger. ‘The creations of today are the treasures of tomorrow,’ asserts Mr Feniou, who came to Cartier from rothschild’s bank, having admired the company for many years as he became firm friends with—and was later mentored by—mr Bamberger. ‘If you have antique pieces, the best thing to do is come to the New Bond Street boutique to show them to us.’ Here, Cartier can polish items so they’re ready to wear and eventually be passed down through the generations—or even buy them to enhance its 1,600-piece strong museum collection, which travels the world.
unusually for a jeweller and watchmaker, Cartier have their workshop and archive on the top floors of their flagship boutique, which is currently undergoing a huge refurbishment to stretch right through to Albemarle Street, as it did when Cartier first came to london in the early 1900s. ‘If you think about Cartier, you think about jewels,’ Mr Feniou claims, but I find that it’s often the other way round—such is the power of the little red box of dreams. An exhibition charting the evolution of the Cartier watch, curated by Sir Norman Foster, will open at the Design Museum, Kensington High Street, London W8, on May 25 (020–3862 5900; http://designmuseum.org)
When you have an elegant style, you can rejuvenate it, not always reinvent it Laurent Feniou talks to Hetty Chidwick
Cartier Panthère, price on application (020–3147 4850; www.cartier.co.uk)