Cartier has been making eyewear for quite some time. When we look at the history of La Maison, it was Anne Debelle, Princess of Essling, who ordered in 1887 a lorgnette, as far as I can tell the very first piece of eyewear made by Cartier. Although she died in the same year, this was an important purchase as the princess was quite influential, serving as Mistress of the Robes to Eugénie de Montijo, the last empress of France. The first pair of glasses as we know them today were also ordered by an influential woman, as it was famed fashion designer Jeanne Lanvin who was delivered a pair of those in 1932.
Up until 1983, all Cartier glasses were made on specific order by clients, but that all changed with the launch of the Santos and Vendome eyewear collection. Cartier had created some instant classics, and from that day on eyewear has been part of La Maison’s offerings. Today, perhaps more than ever, are glasses part of fashion, which means the introduction of new models several times a year. Cartier already launched a few models earlier in 2019, but now brings additional models in the Santos and the Première de Cartier line.
The Première de Cartier is the perfect example of why Cartier is so successful with eyewear. A great deal of attention has been paid to every single detail. What makes these particular glasses so special is that the frame is crafted from black horn, which means that each pair also will have a different look, as this is a natural material. The Pilot-shape gives it a very masculine flair, while the gold details in Trinity-style add a dash of Sonny Crockett or Gordon Gekko (your choice!).
The new Santos glasses show that even after 36 years, La Maison can still innovate with the design of a classic while keeping it recognizable. This titanium frame has a very unique yet sturdy shape. Small screws secure the grey lenses as a nod to the famous wristwatch that carries the same name. The screws on the side make this pair of glasses also attractive to look at from a different angle. So again, Cartier has made a very worthwhile addition to their eyewear collection, with two pair of glasses which have a very different character yet, are united in the care and attention that went into crafting them.