SIHH 2019 Santos de Cartier and new Santos Dumont delights with Refined Improvements
Designed for Brazilian aviator Alberto Santos Dumont in 1904, the namesake Santos de Cartier is the first watch designed specifically as a wristwatch in the early 20th century when pocket watches were still de rigueur and the trend for welding lugs onto those watches in order to slip them on wrists with straps was just beginning. Indeed, the function of hands-on flight control operations shaped the form of this unique, early “aviation watch”. Eventually, the Santos de Cartier went from bespoke wristwatch to serial production model in 1911 with its precision movements being provided by the watchmaker to watchmakers, Le Coultre.
Over the decades, the Cartier Santos has been a defining watch icon for the Parisian jeweller. Conceived 5 years before the iconic Cartier Tank, the Cartier de Santos has, since its creation, always been defined by the screwed in bezel, square dial with Roman numerals and its soft angular square case. In time, crown guards were added to the initial design according to trends of the day but the DNA of the Cartier Santos remained ever faithful. For SIHH 2019, the new Santos-Dumont timepiece is an understated, pared-down, authentic interpretation fitted to an alligator leather strap. Where the 2018 model touted functional elegance thanks to its easily alterable and interchangeable bracelet/strap options, the latest Santos-Dumont remains true to the refined proportions and elegance of the original 1904 model.