The Santos-Dumont is a bit sportier, so typically I desire that look over that of the elegant Tank. However simply as usually it’s the opposite method 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 sometimes starting from costume 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, normally in platinum with a leather-based strap and deployant buckle. But in addition in yellow and even white gold, although these are pretty uncommon.
From a supplies standpoint alone, this watch might by no means develop into a cut price since treasured metals have their value. It was due to this fact exceptional that Cartier determined to make an impressed sporty variation of the mannequin merely known 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 manufactured from treasured metallic.
The 2019 Cartier Santos-Dumont
At SIHH 2019, we have been shocked to see a surprising new traditionally impressed Santos-Dumont mannequin. And to my eye it seems to be 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 large distinction – one which I like rather a lot – is the typeface of the numerals. After all they’re Roman, however now thinner and extra stretched than we’re used to, which provides the watch a extremely classic look extra carefully resembling the model from 1916.
One other new and essential element is the crown. Earlier fashions had a comparatively small crown, which made it typically laborious 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.
Greater and wider, a greater grip is the end result. Pulling the crown out and adjusting the fingers could be very snug, though that doesn’t should be achieved a lot anymore due to the quartz caliber now powering the time show.
The most important shock, although, is the case itself. The historic strains of the basic Santos-Dumont case are retained in a fantastic method, 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 brought about some severe arguments on the model’s Paris headquarters: releasing a males’s wristwatch in metal that had to date solely been out there in treasured metals is a really massive factor.
That was fairly surprising to me since I’d have anticipated such an essential mannequin to be crafted in platinum, ideally with a platinum bracelet and solely out there upon request from considered one of Cartier’s three flagship shops.
However Cartier had a special view, opting to achieve for a a lot wider viewers with this historic Cartier watch. Following a method to maintain value down, metal was then an ideal alternative. And let’s face it, metal is a superb alternative for nearly any watch: it’s sturdy, extra scratch resistant than gold, and straightforward to keep up.
Nonetheless, that will need to have been fairly a choice 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 shoppers alongside a much bigger daily-wear sports activities watch.
It’s a watch that’s all the time able to go as it’s powered by a quartz motion. Although, truthfully, that could be one other factor 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 scale back its vitality consumption after which mixed it with a brand new high-performance battery.
Let me first confess that solely after I rediscovered my outdated Panthère watch from 1977, which can be powered by a quartz caliber, did I begin to respect the sort of motion once more. The actual fact is that due to the quartz motion, the watch is all the time able to show the appropriate time. It’s very exact and cheap to keep up.
The motion brings the worth down to only €3,550 for the small and €3,800 for the big mannequin, making it an actual no-brainer for me.
On this value class, it’s not important that the watch be mechanical.
Over the previous ten years, we’ve got discovered what wonderful high-end calibers Cartier can develop and produce, and we’ll nonetheless proceed see new watches launched utilizing these actions – like the brand new Tonneau XL Skeleton Twin Time, which is a primary instance.
Cartier is king with regards to design, and that’s what this new Santos-Dumont is all about.
For extra info, 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; 31.4 x 31.4 mm (massive) and 27.5 x 27.5
Motion: manufacture quartz
Features: hours, minutes
Value €3,550 (small mannequin) and €3,800 (massive mannequin) in stainless-steel
* This text was first printed on January 19, 2019 at The Finest-Wanting Cartier Santos-Dumont Is As Of 2019 The Most Reasonably priced.