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Historical Perspectives A Memoir Of Cartier's Pre-WWII Workshop In New York

Historical Perspectives A Memoir Of Cartier’s Pre-WWII Workshop In New York

Today Cartier watches are made in La Chaux-de Fonds, the core of the Swiss watch industry, at a cutting edge 30,000 square foot office. Also, it’s not just plan and assembling that happens under one rooftop, Cartier’s praised rebuilding office reestablishes and fixes any watch Cartier has at any point delivered. Approximately 170 jobs are addressed at the office, all adding to the assembling of Cartier’s amazing present day in-house calibers. 

Alejandro Ferrer’s notes itemizing his vocation, including his 31 years at Cartier New York.

But it may suprise you to learn (it did me) that there was a time when Cartier was producing watches and gems here in New York City. Jonathan Ferrer of Brew Watches was filtering through old family photographs and happened upon an image of his granddad, Alejandro Ferrer, who had worked at the Cartier workshop for a very long time, from 1910-1941, just consummation his residency with the company in the wake of being drafted into the Army during WWII. Alongside the photograph was a written by hand record of life during the early long stretches of the twentieth century among the Catalan community, choosing 50th st. somewhere in the range of second and third avenue. 

The pre-World War II Cartier New York workshop.

“There was a significant community of Catalan families who had come from Spain and France around there,” Ferrer composed. “The greater part of the men were gems experts, and as another family cruised for America, they composed back to individual laborers and recounted the chances in N.Y. They discovered condos for one another and in this way they all lived in the equivalent area.”

Socialite Evalyn Walsh McLean wearing the Hope Diamond. It was bought from Pierre Cartier in 1911. 

He goes on, “Large numbers of the men had worked for Cartier’s in Paris and afterward secured positions in N.Y. for Cartier’s on fifth Avenue,” and notes that his own dad, Michael, turned into a disciple at a gems store at eleven years old, and moved to Paris at 18 years old for his first occupation at Cartier.

The photo and accompanying record is a genuine gander at the Cartier New York workshop from a point of view that is infrequently analyzed. The record takes note of that the majority of the ones who worked at the workshop lived close enough to return to their homes for lunch, and they would frequently mingle together on the ends of the week. Cartier’s procedure on Fifth Ave not just arose as one of the transcendent extravagance diamond setters of New York, maybe the extravagance purveyor of the time, yet it additionally offered openings for a developing worker community that worked in the background, working with their hand and creating fine gems and watches that permitted Cartier to flourish. 

Cartier’s New York workshop was opened in July of 1909, yet the firm was tapped some time before that by any semblance of Americans J.P. Morgan, Cornelius and W.K. Vanderbuilt, and the conspicuous New York socialite Caroline Schermerhorn Astor, referred to just as “Mrs. Astor.” Orders by New Yorkers were recorded via Cartier as ahead of schedule as 1855. With the launch of the New York area by Pierre Cartier came a whole workshop, as found in the photograph from the Ferrer family. In 1909, the London and Paris parts of Cartier were prospering, however the American market took some nurturing.

Pierre Cartier in New York.

Mr. Cartier actually made sure that the contact subtleties of his company were effectively found in the Waldorf Astoria, St. Regis, and the Plaza lodging. His sharp business insight met with a fortunate turn of events from the dynamic American economy of the time moved Cartier to approach moment achievement, also the unfathomable media openness from the offer of the Hope Diamond to The Washington Post beneficiary Evalyn Walsh McLean in 1911. Evalyn and spouse Ned McLean bought the “reviled” precious stone for $189,000 from Pierre Cartier. 

The Hope Diamond.

In Ms. McLean’s 1936 self-portrayal Father Struck It Rich, she composes,  “‘Let me see the thing,’ I said anxiously to Cartier. He inhaled unobtrusively without development for in any event a moment, as a professional piano player may do prior to striking prepared fingers to the  keys of his instrument. That respite was articulate, and caused me to feel – as he wished me to–that I was being favored past most people in being shown this gem.'” 

Vintage Cartier Tank Cintrée; the model was first presented in 1921, when Alejandro Ferrer had been with Cartier New York for 11 years.

Cartier himself carried on with the high-flying life the brand typified, wintering in Florida, spending summers in Paris, all while decisively incorporating into New York society. The magistrate of Cartier siblings in Paris, New York, and London developed the company in a way that could just occur in the early long stretches of the century, when a post-WWI customer culture blast prompted widespread financial thriving. In 1917, Cartier moved to 653 Fifth road, referred to now as The Cartier Mansion , however the workshop remained, holding up a developing community of experts advancing in the enormous city.

Headline picture, Cartier fifth Avenue, 1920.

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