A Love Affair with Cartier

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A Love Affair with Cartier

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Loretta Lazar has a continuing love affair with Paris and with Cartier. “Cartier is a maison with a great history, and I like what they do,” Ms. Lazar said. “It’s elegant and refined.”

As for Paris, it took a few years and moves before that spark was struck. She was born in Shanghai, and her family fled the Cultural Revolution when she was nine and moved to Hong Kong. Ms. Lazar attended the Thacher School in Ojai, Calif., and eventually earned a master of arts degree in economics and East Asian studies from Harvard. Then she fell in love with an American in Paris. “The day I moved to Paris I felt as if I had found my spiritual home.”

Another Cartier vintage piece in Ms. Lazar’s collection.

Pierfrancesco Celada for The New York Times

Today, she and her family live in Paris, but she frequently travels to Hong Kong and China, where she represents the fashion designer Andrew Gn and some smaller fashion brands. She also consults for Christie’s on the Chinese market and high net worth individuals.

Style is important and she says Cartier delivers. She loved her mother’s Cartier bow watch so much she borrowed it, permanently. Her mother gave her a Cartier Baignoire watch; “I wear it with lots of bracelets. It’s super versatile.” But it was the Art Deco style of a diamond-accented Cartier watch that caught her eye in a vintage shop in Paris. “I bought it for myself,” she said, “to reward myself for a job well done, like I earned it.”

She enjoys her sense of the watch’s history. “I wonder who wore this before? It’s a sense of connection with the past,” Ms. Lazar said. “I like the idea that my daughters will wear these watches and pass them on to their granddaughters one day. I can’t imagine why watch companies never profile mothers and daughters — only fathers and sons.”

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