SIHH 2018 saw Cartier introduce the latest iteration of one of its most important Collections – the Cartier Santos – showing once again why it remains an aesthetic classic for both men and women. Credited as the first men’s wristwatch, the Cartier Santos shows that it is more than capable of keeping up with its contemporaries.
The 2018 Cartier Santos Collection introduces QuickSwitch and SmartLink – easy systems for changing straps and bracelets – making the iconic timepiece a versatile choice, regardless of the occasion. With several new versions to choose from, we know you’re going to love the new collection as much as we do.
Cartier is known and loved the world over for creating beautiful jewellery and defining trends. Throughout its rich history the company has also played a rather important role in popularising the wristwatch, helping it to become an indispensable accoutrement. Although the Cartier Tank may have led this movement, it was actually the earlier Cartier Santos that started it.
The “Santos” is legendary in the advent of the modern wristwatch, fittingly designed for a legend in the advent of modern flight. In 1904, Alberto Santos-Dumont, a Brazilian aviation pioneer based in Paris, appealed to his friend Louis Cartier – grandson of Cartier founder Louis-François Cartier – for help, complaining that using a pocket watch during his dare devil flying feats was impractical. In response, Cartier created a flat watch with a distinctive square bezel and attached a leather strap so it could be worn on the wrist. The design proved to be popular with other customers and the rest is history.
The Cartier Santos Collection offers two sizes – large at 39.8 x 47.5mm, and medium at 35.1 x 41.9mm – with cases available in steel, two-tone steel and 18k yellow gold, full 18k yellow gold and full 18k pink gold. The square dial offers the classic chic design in white with hours marked by stylised Roman numerals in black. In the large, an aperture for the date is provided at 6 o’clock. The large version is also available in steel or 18k pink gold with an exquisitely skeletonized Roman numeral dial, revealing the inner workings of the mechanical movement beneath, without obscuring the legibility of the time display.
The case thickness – 9.08mm in the large version and 8.83mm in the medium – ensures the new Cartier Santos is comfortable on the wrist and slides out easily from under your cuff for the perfect complement to your evening wear, while the screw-down crown means a water-resistance rating to 100m (330ft), for your days out sailing. The signature eight screws that stud the square bezel maintain the Cartier Santos’ iconic aesthetic but the watch face gets a refreshing, modern look by introducing tapers to the bezel that extend to the lugs, for a seamless transition to the bracelet or strap – and this is where the magic really begins.
The defining feature of the 2018 Santos Collection is Cartier’s new “QuickSwitch” system. By simply pressing a button on the underside of the watchband, the strap or bracelet is quickly released from the lugs. This enables you to effortlessly change between bracelet and straps/ formal and casual/ business and recreation etc., in a matter of seconds. To give customers the opportunity to experience this new technology, all versions of the Cartier Santos come with either a bracelet matching the metal of the case and a leather strap, or two different straps.
Cartier takes its ‘no tools’ technology even further by also introducing “SmartLink” – where each link of the bracelet includes a release button to detach from the neighbouring link – allowing you to easily adjust the size of the bracelet to fit.
Two different mechanical movements are on offer in the new Cartier Santos collection. The main collection is powered by the in-house automatic calibre 1847-MC movement. Operating at 4hz, this automatic calibre offers a 42-hour power reserve and is equipped with 23 jewels. In addition to displaying the hours, minutes and seconds, the large version also includes a date display at 6 o’clock. The skeletonized options, available exclusively in the large case size, feature another in-house movement, Cartier’s calibre 9611-MC. This hand-wound movement is equipped with double barrels and offers a 72-hour power reserve.
It’s clear Cartier has put a lot of thought into refreshing the legendary Santos Collection, making it one of the stars of its 2018 showcase. The Cartier Santos will be available to purchase later this year from Watches of Switzerland – ranging in price from $8,750 (medium in stainless steel) to $61,000 (large version in pink gold) – pre-order now to avoid disappointment.
If you want to make a statement with your attire, choose the Swiss made timepiece that made its name when wearing a wristwatch was considered daring.