Photo: Instagram / Cartier
The Santos De Cartier’s legacy first took root in 1904, when aviation pioneer Mr Alberto Santos-Dumont took to expressing his frustration with using a pocket watch while flying with his friend Mr Louis Cartier. Mr Cartier then set about to create a watch which straps around the wrist and voila — the first-ever men’s wristwatch was borned, and its name was the Santos Dumont, the predecessor of the Santos De Cartier.
In 1978, it was given a more modern update, taking the square case of the original and adding to it a steel bracelet and trademarks screw details. This became one of the key iconic styles that instantly propelled Cartier into the globally recognised brand it is today.
Since then the timepiece, which prominently features a hardy structured case which was originally inspired by the silhouette of the Eiffel Tower, has remained a fan favourite and has continued to receive tweaks. One such example is the larger, chunkier Santos Galbée XL which launched in 2005. But regardless of anything else, the newly re-imagined designs have always remained true to the original, now-classic design.
The 2018 Santos de Cartier takes many cues from the Santos Galbée. The major difference lies in the bezel, which now covers the entire case down to where the bracelet or strap begins. The other key updates are subtle; the square case had been given slightly softer, more elegant curves that will fit more comfortably on the wrist, and the straps and bracelets can now be interchanged easily without any tools.
Fitted with a quick-release system, the new straps and bracelets allow you to swap ‘em around in a matter of seconds. Not only that, you’ll also be able to size the bracelets yourself to make it tighter or looser — a function that definitely save us from breaking a sweat and bringing our timepieces to watch adjustment shops. This means you’ll also be able to share the timepiece amongst your family and members of the opposite sex, sizing the timepiece to fit each individual’s wrist perfectly.
Each Santos De Cartier comes with two straps when purchased – one bracelet in either silver, rose gold or yellow gold and one leather strap (in a range of colours from brown, oxblood and turquoise to bright mustard yellow). The movement of the dial has been updated to Cartier’s in-house automatic calibre 1847 MC, which was introduced in the 2015 Cartier Clé collection.
All styles come in two sizes: medium (at 35.6mm in diameter) and large (39.8mm), with the latter featuring a little window to tell the date.