The new Santos collection by Cartier features a modern take on a watch that is as loved and admired for its craftsmanship as it is for its rich past

ALBERTO SANTOS DUMONT - THE EDGE SINGAPORE

Although perceived as a man’s timepiece, the Santos de Cartier has had a following among the women too. Such is the appeal of the watch that has captured the attention of its fans since 1904. It was the first watch designed to be worn on the wrist by Louis Cartier at the request of a friend and aviation enthusiast, Santos Dumont.

Back then, it was a gamble Cartier took as pocket watches were still the standard way to tell time. As we now know, it was a risk that has paid off many times over the decades.

This year is no exception as the new collection of these exquisite timepieces has landed on our shores. Whether in gold, steel, or automatic, the Santos de Cartier’s appeal lies in Cartier’s mastery in watchmaking drawing on the concept of form, a taste for minimalism, the precision of the proportions and, finally, an eye for detail.

The Santos de Cartier is derived from the Cartier Santos-Dumont — which Options featured, too, in two designs that were launched this year.

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Here is a closer look at the new offerings:

Cartier - THE EDGE SINGAPORE

The Santos de Cartier

Medium model, 41.9 x 35.1 mm, thickness: 8.8 mm steel

  • Bezel set with 206 brilliant-cut diamonds (0.64 ct)

  • Crown set with a blue synthetic faceted spinel

  • Interchangeable QuickSwitch steel bracelet and calf leather strap

 

  • SmartLink size adjustment system for steel bracelet

  • Manufacture mechanical movement with automatic winding 1847 MC

• Encasing diameter: 11 lines 1/2

• Total dimension: 25.6 mm
• Thickness: 3.77 mm
• Number of jewels: 23

• Frequency: 28’800 vibrations/hour

• Power reserve: 40 hours

Cartier - THE EDGE SINGAPORE

Medium model, 41.9 x 35.1 mm, thickness: 8.8 mm steel
• Bezel set with 206 brilliant-cut diamonds (0.64 ct)
• Crown set with a blue synthetic faceted spinel
• Smokey blue dial
• Interchangeable QuickSwitch steel bracelet and alligator leather strap

• SmartLink size adjustment system for steel bracelet

• Manufacture mechanical movement with automatic winding 1847 MC

• Encasing diameter: 11 lines 1/2

• Total dimension: 25.6 mm
• Thickness: 3.77 mm
• Number of jewels: 23

• Frequency: 28’800 vibrations/hour

• Power reserve: 40 hours

Cartier - THE EDGE SINGAPORE

Medium model, 41.9 x 35.1 mm,thickness: 8.8 mm 18K yellow gold and steel

  • Bezel set with 206 brilliant-cut diamonds(0.64ct)

  • Crown set with a blue synthetic faceted spinel

  • Interchangeable Quick Switchsteel bracelet and alligator leather strap

  • SmartLink size adjustment system for steel bracelet

  • Manufacture mechanical movement with automatic winding1847MC

  • Encasing diameter:11lines1/2

  • Total dimension: 25.6mm

  • Thickness: 3.77mm

  • Number of jewels: 23

  • Frequency: 28’800 vibrations/hour

  • Power reserve: 40hours

Santos-Dumont - THE EDGE SINGAPORE

Santos-Dumont

Extra-large model, 46.6 x 33.9 mm, thickness: 7.5 mm platinum

  • Crown set with a ruby cabochon

  • Engraved caseback with the sketch of Alberto Santos-Dumont’s flying machine “guide-rope maritime”

  • Alligator leather strap

  • Limited and numbered edition of 100 pieces

  • Manufacture mechanical movement with manual winding 430 MC

  • Encasing diameter: 9 lines

  • Total dimension: 20.5 mm

  • Thickness: 2.15 mm

  • Number of jewels: 18

  • Frequency: 21’600 vibrations/hour

  • Power reserve: 38 hours

 

Santos-Dumont - THE EDGE SINGAPORE

 

Extra-large model, 46.6 x 33.9 mm, thickness: 7.5 mm 18K pink gold and steel

• Crown set with a blue synthetic spinel cabochon
• Engraved caseback with the sketch of Alberto Santos-Dumont’s flying machine “N°19” • Alligator leather strap
• Limited edition of 500 pieces
• Manufacture mechanical movement with manual winding 430 MC
• Encasing diameter: 9 lines
• Total dimension: 20.5 mm
• Thickness: 2.15 mm
• Number of jewels: 18
• Frequency: 21’600 vibrations/hour • Power reserve: 38 hours

To look at where the future of where Santos de Cartier is heading is to take a look at its illustrious past.

An online piece on https://prisma.watch/history-of-watches/ states that the early watches were created because “Explorers needed the time to navigate at sea. The latitude could already be accurately determined on the basis of the stars, but the longitude was the local time needed. If the clock was one minute wrong, that was already a deviation of 28 km in the tropics. So the origin of the watch stemmed from the need for a precise navigation tool.”

This holds true of the origins of a Cartier timepiece. History has it that in 1904, Brazilian aviator Alberto Santos-Dumont approached Louis Cartier with a simple request. Santos-Dumont wanted an instrument to be able to tell the time while flying as he maneuvers the controls of his plane without having to stop to fish out his pocket watch.

Louis obliged his friend and a wristwatch was born that was pared-down with clear-cut lines that characterise the Santos de Cartier watch. Over the decades, the style evolved with the times and the demands of the population.

This was how the story of the Santos de Cartier unfolds in chronological order:

1904 - THE EDGE SINGAPORE

1904

Created in 1904 by Louis Cartier for his friend, the aviator Santos Dumont, so that he could tell the time mid-flight, the Santos de Cartier watch was the first modern watch designed to be worn on the wrist.

1911 - THE EDGE SINGAPORE

1911

For the first time, Cartier created a square watch designed for the wrist at a time when the pocket watch was round. When it was made available for sale in 1911, the watch proved a considerable success.

With its visible rivets, three-dimensional bezel and streamlined bracelet, the Santos watch presents a bold style in tune with a flamboyant time.

1978 - THE EDGE SINGAPORE

1978

In 1978, Santos de Cartier made a reappearance, this time on a bracelet in gold and steel — a bold pairing of materials previously unseen at Cartier.

1987 - THE EDGE SINGAPORE

1987

The Santos watch has polished its curves, rounded its shape and adjusted its size — the Santos de Cartier Galbée watch has arrived.

2004 - THE EDGE SINGAPORE

2004

To celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Santos de Cartier, Cartier created the Santos 100.

 

2018 - THE EDGE SINGAPORE

 

2018

Redesigned by the Cartier design studios, the watch continues its evolution: the bezel has been updated, favoring the synergy between the lines of the case and the strap. Furthermore, the watch is fitted with QuickSwitch and SmartLink systems, both developed by the Cartier Manufacture at La Chaux-de-Fonds. An invisible mechanism located underneath the strap, QuickSwitch allows you to switch between all the different versions of the strap yourself with a single push. SmartLink helps adjust the bracelet length without the need for tools.

 

2019 - THE EDGE SINGAPORE

2019

Paying tribute to the historical model by creating a new Santos- Dumont watch, featuring a high-efficiency quartz movement
with an autonomy of approximately six years — twice as long as traditional movements.