M. Cartier

May 13, 2014

I was an apprentice at a time that no longer exists. We had to arrive half an hour before the jewellers and leave after them. We had to set up the workshop and of course tidy it up and clean it after the day’s work. I even slept in the workshop for a while. I had just arrived from Italy and had no accommodation. My boss had authorised me to do so. It helped me out for a while. Well, as I said, those were the days that no longer exist. And then when I started, I was young, but I was hired in the Rue de la Paix, I was 18. I was proud. I was unbearable, with old age I admit it, it’s called wisdom I suppose. You see, even my sweetheart agrees. One day, when I had exasperated the first one, I got a memorable beating from Mr. Cartier. It was in the late 30s. In front of about 40 people. To say that it put my mind back in place is an understatement. I was furious and red with shame. But anyway, I gnawed at it during the day. The next day, he came to greet me as if nothing had happened. He died a few years later. He was a great, great man. They don’t make them like that anymore!

E., a jeweller, in principle retired, in principle…

Discover other anecdotes


This job is first and foremost a matter of trust. There's nothing else, really. Of course, you can add knowledge, technique, skills. Call it what you like. But for me, the only thing I will remember about this job is trust. You take a stone, possibly several, you leave...