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Watches and Wonders 2023: Cartier

Cartier Santos-Dumont

The French Maison continues to refine the iconic Santos. 

Cartier has been instrumental in shaping the aesthetics of iconic timepieces that now adorn our wrists for the past century. This legacy continues today, with the Maison refreshing its classic designs and breathing new life into them. The brand remains vibrant and alive in our collective memory, thanks to its legendary creations such as the Santos Dumont and the Tank. Cartier’s ability to revive and reintroduce forgotten masterpieces is a testament to its prolific repertoire and watchmaking mastery.

Just as it has done so in the past, Cartier is set to amaze us with its latest Watches and Wonders offerings. They have many exciting timepieces to look forward to, and we’ll share a few highlights to whet your appetite with a taste of what’s in store. 

The Santos-Dumont 

The Santos line comprises two distinct variations: the Santos de Cartier, a more recent interpretation with updated aesthetics, and the Santos-Dumont, which draws direct inspiration from the original wristwatch designed by Louis Cartier for his friend, Brazilian aviator Alberto Santos-Dumont in 1904. Both collections adhere to the principles of geometry, with their square cases and rounded edges imbuing them with a sporty yet sophisticated appearance.

Santos-Dumont
The Santos-Dumont in platinum, rose gold, and yellow gold with jasper, jade, and dumortierite Roman numerals, respectively.

The Santos-Dumont embodies understated elegance, and three new models – in 46.6 x 33.9mm platinum, rose gold, and yellow gold cases – elevate the collection with Roman numerals and matching crown cabochon fashioned out of jasper, jade, and dumortierite. The semi-precious hour markers frame a dial centre with a guilloché effect, subtly drawing attention to the apple-shaped hands. Limited to 200 pieces each, they are paired with alligator-skin straps and powered by the manufacture manual-winding Calibre 430 MC.

Santos-Dumont
Handsome and fuss-free, the quartz versions of the Santos-Dumont are available in yellow gold or steel and yellow gold.

There are also two new quartz Santos-Dumont variants for those who prefer more fuss-free options. Their 43.5 x 31.4mm case retains the classic aesthetics of the collection, with refined sunray-finished dials and slim Roman numeral hour markers. Both exceptionally stylish, the bicolour yellow-gold-and-steel version adds a touch of modernity with its dial and alligator-skin strap in slate grey, while the full yellow gold model exudes an aura of nobility with a dark blue dial and matching alligator-skin strap. 

Cartier Santos de Cartier
The Santos de Cartier is a contemporary take on the horological icon.

The Santos de Cartier

Offering a more contemporary take on the classic design, the Santos de Cartier reflects the spirit of today. It features an integrated bracelet with horizontal links that seamlessly flow into the bezel of the top and bottom notches, creating a cohesive and elegant look. The bold Roman numeral hour markers add a dash of modern flair against a square minutes track, complemented by sword-shaped hands. The watch also features a crown guard, augmenting its sporty appearance. Available in two sizes in steel – 35.1mm and 39.8mm –  both fitted with the self-winding Calibre 1847 MC, the Santos de Cartier now also comes with a deep green dial in addition to the navy blue one. 

Cartier Santos de Cartier
The Santos de Cartier comes with a deep green dial in addition to the navy blue one.

An exceptional fusion of classicism, exquisite geometry, and versatile design, we will always be in awe of the Santos’ seamless evolution through the decades. And we can’t wait to see how Cartier will continue breathing new life into this horological icon.

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Editor

A familiar face in Malaysia's horological publishing scene, Leong has been involved in lifestyle journalism since the mid-1990s. Besides watches, he takes a keen interest in cars and men's fashion.