Cartier. The name evokes romance, style, class, sophistication, and unparalleled use of the finest, most exotic materials in the world. Think of the love bracelet, engagement rings, the jeweled panther, the Santos and tank watches, and the red bag with the gold embossed Cartier logo on it.
Many say Cartier is the king of jewelry, but is it also the king of luxury eyewear? In this video, I will review two of my favorite Cartier frames, one optical and one sunglasses. And you can decide at the end of it if Cartier eyewear is the most luxurious eyewear in the industry.
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Cartier eyewear has been a staple for the luxury eyewear industry for years, with a substantial following among the urban hip-hop crowd. You can either see the iconic C logo on the rimless frame or the white ebony frame on your favorite rap star or their entourage.
It recently made an appearance on Adam Sandler's face in his newest movie:
Image credits: A24/Netflix
Uncut Gems, a fantastic film. Watch it if you have a chance.
They used to have all its frames made in France, but because the demand exploded over the last few years, you can see some of their pieces made in Italy and some even in Japan for their titanium pieces. The pair I am currently wearing is made in Japan, and I love it.
The reception of Cartier being made in places other than France has been mixed, but rest assured, the quality stayed pretty much the same. Some of the designs improve because it has a younger look and feel to it.
Also, Richemont is the parent company of Cartier.
Still, the distribution of the eyewear belongs to Kering, the owners of brands such as Gucci, Balenciaga, and Bottega Veneta.
It’s letting a competing company hand their eyewear line, which is very distinctive in luxury, let alone business. It isn’t abnormal in the eyewear business where the biggest player, Luxottica, owns a portfolio of competing brands like Prada, Burberry, Versace, and Dolce Gabanna.
Anyway, that’s a little about the industry of luxury eyewear. Let's talk about these frames.
First, the packaging:
The first thing you notice about the box is its color, a muted ruby red, which is very distinctive for the brand. Then your eye catches on the gold Cartier engraved on top, so you know exactly what you’re purchasing.
You can find multiple items when you open up the box: A black, leather asymmetrical case that will hold the frames themselves. This smaller case is made of soft leather, so be careful when handling it. The material inside this case is made of black velvet, so it complements the case's exterior. It also comes with a “dust” bag, so your Cartier frames have extra protection from dust or getting damaged.
Other items you can find inside the box include an authentication booklet written in different languages and a black eyeglasses cloth to keep those specs as pristine as possible.
The first pair that I’d like to review is CT 0063O, an incredible rimless frame catered to a female customer.
Rimless frames, in general, have fallen out of style recently due to the trend of plastic frames. However, people still gravitate to Cartier rimless frames, either the white ebony one, buffalo horn, 18 karat gold, precious wood, or this one which is made with platinum.
The beauty of rimless frames is the shape can be made into whatever shape you want. Typically, a demo like this one is square, but one can customize it to be round, oval, deeper, or broader.
Recently, I’ve seen more and more rimless frames customized with an aviator shape.I’ve yet to see a heart-shaped rimless, but it’s bound to happen. The preferred material for rimless is an impact-resistant material called polycarbonate where it is easily drillable.
Now for the detail of the frame. Obviously, right when you lay your eyes on the frame, you will notice that the temple's front is shaped like a panther, a signature and trademark of the Cartier brand. It’s beautifully and elegantly designed, so it does not scream Cartier, but whoever knows the brand would recognize it immediately. You won't be a walking billboard with this.
The panther piece that connects the frame to the temple has 8-hand lacquered spots, and as you move down the temple, there are 14 on each temple. It is very labor-intensive to have these pieces hand-lacquered on. It gives the frame an extra luxury appeal and provides the panther with some character.
For the frame's branding, you can see that they etch the Cartier logo on the temple tip, the nose bridge, and the interlocking CC on it.
The bridge width is 18cm, and the temple length is 136. The lens, as I mentioned before, is customizable to whatever size you want.
This frame is excellent that you would want to get if you're going to buy into the Cartier brand, but you don’t want it to be as common as the C temples or the white ebony. It seems like everyone has those. You want to be different.
The next frame is more masculine and takes an elevated approach to the aviator shape you grew to know and love through Ray-Ban. It is the CT 0074S, part of the Santos-Dumont Series.
Santos-Dumont is named after the founder, Louis Cartier, a good friend of Alberto Santos-Dumont. What is unique about the Santos-Dumont series is its pronounced exposed screws. This motif goes across the Santos series and is most noticeable in their watches and the love bracelet.
Image credits: Cartier
The CT 0074s is a grown-up aviator made with brushed gold. The screws are platinum, the covering over the middle of the frame is made with genuine leather, and the lens is brown polarized.
What is unique about this frame is that you can remove the leather for two different looks and reveal two additional platinum screws on there. You can also replace it with a red one for the days you want to be particularly flashy.
Finally, as you go down the temples, you can see the exposed platinum screws, 4 in total, and each of them at four different angles. The Cartier logo is embossed on the side for subtle branding, and the temple tip is finished with a rubber tip to enhance its grip on your head. Also, they have two interlocking CC on the nose pads.
Those are the things I love about the frame.
Though, it is not perfect. There are a few things that annoy me about the frame. It includes a spring hinge which isn’t my favorite because they typically wear out after a few years, and they are hard to replace. As an Asian wearer, the base curve, or how much the frame curves in, is pretty pronounced, thus sitting uncomfortably on my cheeks.
Hopefully, they make a version that does curve as much as this one. When I bought it for my store, I wanted one personally for myself but realized it didn’t fit well and thus gave it to the store to sell, which it does.
That’s it. Two of my favorite Cartier frames. A classic rimless and an elevated aviator.
What do you think? Do you believe that these frames are the king of luxury eyewear like Cartier is the king of jewelry? Comment below and let me know if there are any other Cartier styles you’d like me to review.
If you are looking for Cartier eyewear, mottoptical.com, linked below, does sell them to you. You can establish a payment plan via Affirm, and it has the latest collection. If you are in NYC, visit the store.
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