Cartier remains true to the finest traditions of watchmaking and jewellery-making by employing rare craftsmanship and unique skills that are often in danger of becoming extinct. For the past decade, the Maison has been actively committed to keeping traditional techniques alive for future generations.
Enamelling techniques have been revived in recent years at the watchmaking Manufacture in La Chaux-de-Fonds. In 2002, the manufacture bought out a firm specialised in mineral-glass processing in order to preserve for future generations the glass-shaping technique known as “chevage”.
For 17 years now, the Cartier Watchmaking Institute (IHC) has pursued a mandate to develop and maintain the specialist skills of Cartier watchmakers, to train the network and sales teams, and to keep abreast of technological developments. The IHC trains students for the Swiss skills certificate known as the Certificat fédéral de capacité (CFC) at the end of a two- to four-year course of study (course length varies among polishing, watchmaking and mechanical specialities). In-house training is provided in additional techniques such as enamelling, gem-setting and “chevage”. The Institute also offers a range of continuous professional development courses for operators and refresher courses for technicians from the Cartier network.
The Cartier Jewellery-Making Institute in Paris was initially founded to provide training in polishing techniques including surface polishing. The Institute subsequently branched out and in 2008 began to offer a pioneering skills development course in jewellery finishing, open to top-ranking graduates. A team of seven instructors also provides continuous professional development courses to around 40 employees every year.
In 2007, the Institute began compiling a documentary database of specialist techniques for consultation by the workshops.