At a 1973 auction in Geneva, for the first time in its history Cartier bought a piece it had made itself half a century earlier: a Portique Mystery clock. It was the start of putting together a fabulous selection of jewelry, watchmaking and precious accessories, all signed Cartier. They represent its changing style from the oldest piece, dating from 1860, to the most recent from the late 20th century.
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Started in a spirit of enthusiasm, the project received official status in 1983 as the Cartier Collection, led by jewelry expert Eric Nussbaum.
Its mission is to assemble and present
the historic Cartier heritage
to the largest possible number of people.
Not in a museum dedicated to it, but in displays around the world. Since then, the Cartier Collection has never stopped growing and travelling. Since 1989, it has mounted more than 25 major exhibitions in the most prestigious museums on five continents. Today it contains almost 1500 exceptional pieces acquired in public sales or from individuals. Three major publications have been devoted to it – with each piece described in detail and shown in actual size – by éditions Flammarion: La Collection Cartier – Joaillerie(2004), La Collection Cartier – Horlogerie (2006), La Collection Cartier – Accessoires (2012).