Cartier remains true to the finest traditions of watchmaking and jewelry-making by employing rare craftsmanship and unique skills that are often in danger of of becoming extinct. For the past decade, the Maison has been actively committed to keeping traditional techniques alive for future generations.
Enameling techniques have been revived in recent years at the watchmaking Manufacture in Chaux-de-Fonds. In 2002, the manufacture bought a firm that specialized 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 specialties). In-house training is provided in additional techniques such as enameling, 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 Jewelry-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 offering a pioneering skills development course in jewelry finishing, open to top-ranking graduates. A team of seven instructors also provide 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.