If Cartier enjoys the dragon’s share of the luxury jewellery pie in Asia it’s mostly because Cartier shrewdly came to the kitchen and set about baking first. The opulent three-storey flagship store in Hong Kong’s Prince’s Building might be relatively new but Cartier first launched at the same location in 1970 on the ground floor. Others might now be playing catch up, but Cartier debuted in Beijing and Shanghai a full 17 years ago, and there are now 32 sleek boutiques – and counting – in other first and second tier cities, with plans to double that number as swiftly as affluence allows. Small wonder the region’s millionaires answered ‘Cartier’ when a poll asked the name their favourite brand?
Still, if you should wish for a more profound symbol of Cartier’s influence on local mores beyond mere statistics and brand power, look to your wedding finger. Cartier might not have birthed the market for classic, elegant engagement and wedding bands here but they’ve certainly expanded it and made their trademark balance between style and stunning a habit for tasteful grooms and brides- to-be. As Managing Director of Cartier Far East, says it’s all about the details. “Our engagement and weddings transcend cultural backgrounds but we do know Asian ladies tend to be smaller, thus, some of our collections are crafted in delicate proportions and are replete with precious gemstones that enhance Asian femininity.
“We actually provide an exceptional service called Set For You, where the bride can choose from seven classic rings for the setting of a exquisite, pure round diamond weighing between 0.18 to 1.99 carats. Our creative combinations and strict criteria make for an emotional moment to treasure.
“The Bespoke service caters to unique and exclusive requests. One of our golden rules is: no copies! Ever! The workshops never reproduce identical models of existing pieces, old or new. Anything is possible for popping the question and the Big Day, as long as it reflects the Cartier spirit.”
And what would that be? “Known by many, owned by few but dreamed by all! I like to think of Cartier as the brand for all those who pursue their dreams.”
…More stories like this are available in Quintessentially Asia.