The Santos-Dumont is a bit sportier, so generally I want that look over that of the elegant Tank. However simply as usually it’s the opposite approach round.
The Tank and Santos-Dumont are the pillars of the Cartier timepiece assortment. These two watches not solely kickstarted Cartier’s watch empire however have additionally been retained throughout the assortment for eternity, albeit with new variations launched on occasion starting from gown to sport.
As I described in The World‘s First Pilot’s Watch: Cartier Santos-Dumont 1904 To 2018, the Santos-Dumont was created in 1904 however solely launched to the general public in 1911. Since then, this mannequin has been produced in pretty small editions, often in platinum with a leather-based strap and deployant buckle. But additionally in yellow and even white gold, although these are pretty uncommon.
From a supplies standpoint alone, this watch may by no means change into a discount since valuable metals have their worth. It was due to this fact outstanding that Cartier determined to make an impressed sporty variation of the mannequin merely referred to as “the Santos” in 1978 in metal with a gold bezel and gold screws on the metal bracelet.
That Santos-Dumont marked the primary time that Cartier launched a watch not totally made from valuable steel.
The 2019 Cartier Santos-Dumont
At SIHH 2019, we had been shocked to see a shocking new traditionally impressed Santos-Dumont mannequin. And to my eye it appears to be like even higher than the mannequin from the now-defunct Assortment Privée Cartier Paris (CPCP) line.
With its new dimensions, the Santos-Dumont is bigger than Assortment Privée Cartier Paris model.
And one other big distinction – one which I like rather a lot – is the typeface of the numerals. In fact they’re Roman, however now thinner and extra stretched than we’re used to, which provides the watch a extremely classic look extra intently resembling the model from 1916.
One other new and necessary element is the crown. Earlier fashions had a comparatively small crown, which made it generally arduous to wind the watch and set the time. Cartier selected a bigger crown for this new mannequin that once more jogs my memory of early variations. These particulars make this new Santos-Dumont an actual homage to the historic mannequin.
Larger and wider, a greater grip is the end result. Pulling the crown out and adjusting the fingers may be very comfy, though that doesn’t should be accomplished a lot anymore because of the quartz caliber now powering the time show.
The largest shock, although, is the case itself. The historic traces of the basic Santos-Dumont case are retained in a phenomenal approach, with the case again held by 4 screws becoming seamlessly into the slim metal case. Alberto Santos-Dumont’s signature is engraved on the again simply beneath the model identify.
A chrome steel case for the Cartier Santos-Dumont?
Cartier determined for a metal case, which actually will need to have prompted some severe arguments on the model’s Paris headquarters: releasing a males’s wristwatch in metal that had up to now solely been out there in valuable metals is a really massive factor.
That was fairly surprising to me since I’d have anticipated such an necessary mannequin to be crafted in platinum, ideally with a platinum bracelet and solely out there upon request from certainly one of Cartier’s three flagship shops.
However Cartier had a unique view, opting to succeed in for a a lot wider viewers with this historic Cartier watch. Following a method to maintain worth down, metal was then an ideal alternative. And let’s face it, metal is a superb alternative for nearly any watch: it’s robust, extra scratch resistant than gold, and straightforward to take care of.
Nonetheless, that will need to have been fairly a call for Cartier, contemplating that that is the well-known maison’s first males’s watch. However occasions have modified, and now this case variation makes it the right first look ahead to youthful individuals or second look ahead to extra seasoned customers alongside an even bigger daily-wear sports activities watch.
It’s a watch that’s at all times able to go as it’s powered by a quartz motion. Although, actually, that could be one other component for some to beat.
However we’re not speaking right here about any atypical quartz caliber: that is Cartier’s high-efficiency quartz motion with an autonomy of roughly six years – twice so long as conventional quartz actions. To realize this feat, the Cartier manufacture in La Chaux-de-Fonds reworked and resized the motion to cut back its power consumption after which mixed it with a brand new high-performance battery.
Let me first confess that solely once I rediscovered my previous Panthère watch from 1977, which can also be powered by a quartz caliber, did I begin to recognize such a motion once more. The actual fact is that because of the quartz motion, the watch is at all times able to show the precise time. It’s very exact and cheap to take care of.
The motion brings the worth down to only €three,550 for the small and €three,800 for the massive mannequin, making it an actual no-brainer for me.
On this worth class, it’s not important that the watch be mechanical.
Over the previous ten years, we’ve got realized what superb high-end calibers Cartier can develop and produce, and we are going to nonetheless proceed see new watches launched utilizing these actions – like the brand new Tonneau XL Skeleton Dual Time, which is a main instance.
Cartier is king on the subject of design, and that’s what this new Santos-Dumont is all about.
For extra data, please go to www.cartier.com/en-us/collections/santos-de-cartier/santos-dumont.
Fast Info 2019 Cartier Santos-Dumont
Case: stainless-steel, two-tone metal and pink gold, or pink gold; 31.four x 31.four mm (massive) and 27.5 x 27.5
Motion: manufacture quartz
Features: hours, minutes
Value €three,550 (small mannequin) and €three,800 (massive mannequin) in stainless-steel
* This text was first printed on January 19, 2019 at The Best-Looking Cartier Santos-Dumont Is As Of 2019 The Most Affordable.