“I’ve always been charmed by simplicity.” Alberto Santos-Dumont
To that note, Cartier unveiled a new understated Santos-Dumont timepiece (in two sizes) at SIHH this year. A homage to the historical model from 1904, the new watch is cased in gold, gold and steel or all steel, features Roman numerals, a blue cabochon on a beaded winding crown, and, visible screws.
Traditionally, the Santos-Dumont has been the dressier cousin to the Santos de Cartier. Notably square shaped, only available with a leather strap, and sans exposed screws on the bezel in its previous iterations.
The new pared-down Santos-Dumont, while maintaining the shape and strap-only pairing, now features the exposed screws for a more casual look. Channeling a contemporary reflection of the style of Alberto Santos-Dumont.
A key talking point of the new Santos-Dumont watch would be the new quartz movement that that is fitted within; a battery change is only needed thereabouts once every six years – double that of traditional movements. Cartier shared that this is achieved by reworking and resizing an existing movement to first reduce energy consumption, before fitting it with a new high-performance battery.
Our take: This new watch now stands as the most accessible Santos yet from the iconic collection. The design, price and long battery-life proposition is an attractive one to those who seek a well-priced, practical yet distinctive timepiece to wear as a daily beater.
Left to right:
- Small (38 mm x 27.5 mm, thickness 7.3 mm) and large (43.5 mm x 31.4 mm thickness 7.3 mm) models, pink gold and steel case, black alligator leather strap, high-autonomy quartz movement.
- Small (38 mm x 27.5 mm, thickness 7.3 mm) and large (43.5 mm x 31.4 mm thickness 7.3 mm), pink gold case, dark grey alligator leather strap, high-autonomy quartz movement.
- Small (38 mm x 27.5 mm, thickness 7.3 mm) and large (43.5 mm x 31.4 mm thickness 7.3 mm) models, steel case, navy blue alligator leather strap, high-autonomy quartz movement.