Cartier is distinguished from most major manufacturers of watches by virtue that their main business is jewelry and not the watchmakers, although the company also boasts a rich history in the field of watchmaking. Established in 1847 by Louis-Francois Cartier, master jeweler and Goldsmith, Cartier became very estimated by the aristocracy. One of his most famous clients was the Princess Matilda, who was a cousin of Napoleon III. In the first year, Cartier opened a store in the Centre of one of the most modern areas of Paris and the company proved to be extremely successful. In 1874, the company passed to the son of Louis-Francois, Alfred, who continued with the business and family tradition. However, it was not until the company passed into the hands of the son of Alfred, Louis, that the brand Cartier became a name to take into account around the world, with a significant presence in all major countries.
The company had a long history in the design and creation of pocket watches, but Louis Cartier was a fan of mechanical watches and dreamt of producing its own line of such watches. In 1906, when Alberto Santos-Dumont, one of the names pioneers of aviation, he asked Cartier to design him a watch that could carry when it will fly. Cartier jumped at the opportunity and forced with the model of Saints, which also had the distinction of being among the first wristwatches that were designed exclusively with male clients in mind. Another design distinguished Cartier was the Tank, created in 1917 and designed to mimic the tracks of a tank. Enclosed a rectangular box, the Tank was positioned at the forefront of the fashion of the rectangular watches that was starting at that time. Several years later, Cartier entered into a business relationship with Edward Jaeger, who should provide Cartier with mechanisms for their watches.