Today, Cartier Santos is the most cost-effective product of the Richemont luxury watch brand. In 2018, Cartier redesigned the long-used "Santos de Cartier" and launched a nearly perfect all-around watch product. By 2021, Santos still did all this. A sports watch and a fashion watch; Modern eyes, retro salute; A bracelet watch that can be converted into watchbands; An inexpensive watch costs twice as much as it.
Imagine that you were in Paris in 1904. Watches are not things. In most cases, they are not pilots. But Alberto Santos Dumont of Brazil is committed to flying, which requires courage, and this courage usually makes people in this era commit themselves to institutions. Louis Cartier is at the peak of his life. He was commissioned to design a fully functional pilot watch for his friend, which is the first one in the world. But unlike the Wright brothers in contemporary America, Santos Dumont is determined to fly without wings.
Cartier's challenge is to make pilot watches for Captain who can drive. In the era when the form of air travel is still changing in the future, huge rigid airships compete with fixed-wing aircraft to obtain the coat of safety and reliability. In 1904, a lot of evidence showed that machines heavier than air were the great killers of human beings; At least when the fragile internal combustion engine broke down at that time, the airship could stay at high altitude. Santos Dumont, like his German counterpart Count Ferdinand von Zeppelin, envisioned a network of airships across continents and oceans. But literally, this spaceship is one of the few that can fly.
Cartier is determined to build a watch that can be used and read without pockets or fingers. Santos Dumont needs both hands to operate the levers and wheels of his huge machine-almost like a flying motorcycle. The solution is to install the watch on the leather strap. In this process, Cartier-men and brands-created the first Cartier watch and the first "pilot" watch of any kind.
Fast-forward to 2018, Cartier Santos car series needs a large-scale transformation. Although the Santos 100 series in 2004 sold well at the beginning of the 21st century, the taste has changed in these 14 years, and Cartier's watch series has exploded after investing in mechanical watchmaking for about 20 years. Cartier's original watches need to make a comeback, and Santos' ingenious design is just like what Pulp Fiction did for john Travolta.
The current Cartier Santos is a pleasure to check, adjust, set up and wear. With a width of about 40 mm and a thickness of only 9.4 mm, this is a compact platform for modern men's sports watches. Even one by one, it is less than 48 mm, and the integration of bracelets forms the impression of seamless belt on the wrist. Even wrists as small as 14 cm are very popular.
Although the original Santos de Cartier was equipped with a strap-in 1909, the world's first deployable clasp-this generation of Cartier pilots designed an integrated bracelet from the beginning.
But there is no need to promise to use belts or links; Santos' tuba gives you both. Each steel watch is equipped with an all-steel bracelet and a leather strap with a deployable buckle. Cartier "quick switch" lug trigger is the offspring of the system introduced on Cartier sports car in 2002, and it takes less than 15 seconds to exchange with the system. Although this arrangement is rare, it is not unprecedented.
However, Cartier's SmartLink is an original product. The detachable link of Santos bracelet can be disassembled or reassembled with the pressure of nails. For things made up of countless tiny moving parts, SmartLink bracelets feel extremely strong. Considering the scale of Cartier, the importance of Santos' re-release, and the product testing challenges that SmartLink will definitely face before listing, I bet that the design, verification and manufacturing costs of this modular link system are higher than any Greubel-Forsey model.
From an aesthetic point of view, Cartier decided to keep the works of the previous 114 years and cancel the elephant proportion of Santos 100. A small case, with a little lug-to-lug curvature, is cleverly placed on the wrist. Santos' iconic raised bezel now sinks with the lug contours of No.6 and No.12, and the flow is reminiscent of waterfalls; The iconic "bolt" pattern is still the echo of 1904, but the industrial-grade hardware of Santos 100 no longer exists. Slim case and bezel structure, using satin and polished steel to create an excellent application experience.
Since Santos restarted in 2018, several dials have been provided, but buyers are faced with three standard choices. The first one is a classic silver printed sea dove with black Roman numerals and a pure blue broadsword hand. The second model was launched in 2019, which matched the gradient metallic blue gradient with luminous hands and polished metal decals Romans. Finally, the 2020 update added a completely luminous pointer and dial option, with black and white printing. There can be a skeleton dial, but the price of that watch is different and it is manual; It's so different from the standard Santos.
Mechanically speaking, Cartier met and exceeded expectations. Considering the wealth that the brand has spent on the manufacture of La Chaux de Fonds since 2000, the internal caliber is natural. Cartier 1847 MC is a substitute for ETA 2892-A2, so its 42-hour power reserve, automatic winding and quick set/stop second functions are not exciting.
But Cartier quietly added a strong diamagnetism, thanks to a paramagnetic ring. The representative of Cartier was quoted as attributing the resistance of 1200 Gauss to the system; Rolex's Milgauss is named after its claimed elasticity of Mille–1000–Gauss. Although the current Rolex Milgauss almost certainly exceeds this level, it is shocking to see that this awesome figure is attributed to sports and leisure Cartier. The water resistance of 100 meters means that the original pilot watch is also suitable for seaplane pilots.
If Cartier's reputation as a jewelry and women's clothing supplier masks the advantages of an outstanding mechanical watch, then it is time. But we should go beyond the obvious facts and reap the rewards; There is a hidden gem in the red wall of the fire truck in Cartier Company maze. In an era when watch collectors search Google for the price of extra organs to buy steel sports watches with integrated bracelets, one of the best watches is available for purchase.