The term”iconic” could be the most overused adjective in watches. And following closely behind it in the hackneyed department is the narrative that begins something like,”Iconic is an overused word, but so called’s siphoned such-and-such is an actual icon which stands to naysayers and deserves the name.” I have definitely written that before (sorry), but I will spare you the tedium today. The Cartier Santos is one hell of a watch and its design ethics, build quality, and thoughtfulness talk for themselves. No more”iconic” required.
When I first saw that Cartier tank solo replica watch would be relaunching the Santos set at SIHH 2018, I’ll admit I wasn’t out-of-my-mind excited. The Santos always seemed like a nice watch for me personally, but not a watch worth a increased pulse. But every day is a school day, and sitting down to look at the new collection that first morning of the series , I realized this go-around, the Santos was something different. It’s something genuinely lust-worthy and that I had to spend some time with one of these watches ASAP. Luckily the type people at Cartier North America decided to oblige my allure, and that I managed to put on a Santos around nyc to get a week before its launch in San Francisco earlier this month.
More Than A Century Of Santos
As most of you are probably aware, the Santos is generally accepted as the first watch designed for the wrist from the start. From the late nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries, individuals were devoting pocket watches to their wrists or fitting older movements into altered cases using straps, but the Santos was, from idea to initial execution, a wristwatch.
Back in 1904, Louis Cartier ballon bleu replica watches made a particular watch for his buddy Alberto Santos-Dumont, a Brazilian aviator who had a timekeeper he would test without taking his hands off the controls of his early aircraft (Santos-Dumont flew lighter-than-air boats extensively prior to entering airplanes, in 1906). Cartier obliged, making Santos-Dumont a tiny gold watch with exposed screws and a square profile. It is not exactly what you think about when you hear”pilot’s watch,” but it’s as real-deal since it gets in the history of flight. (If you want to read more about this, check out Volume 1 of this HODINKEE Magazine, in which my good friend Jason Heaton lays out the whole history of this pilot’s opinion, including the early effect of the Santos.)
A 1980s Santos motivated by the first.
Over the ensuing decades, Cartier produced dozens, if not hundreds, of variants on the subject. The defining features of this watch have always been the square dial with Roman numerals, the square case, and the screws in the bezel. Other traits like the crown guards as well as the bracelet came much later, but it’s difficult to envision the Santos without them.
It wasn’t until 1978 that the Santos obtained its distinctive bracelet.
Speaking of that, the Santos bracelet could be recognizable as the watch itself. Back in 1978, Cartier ballon bleu platinum fake established that which we could consider since the first modern Santos. This watch was a two-tone steel and yellow gold model, using a shiny yellow gold bezel and a brand new bracelet that echoed the twist motif of this bezel, just with yellow gold screws punctuating the metal bracelet links. At the time, this was one of the more affordable watches from Cartier and it is hard to imagine the louche 1980s aesthetic of broad-shouldered pinstripe suits, pastel foulard neckties, and Gucci loafers with no Santos there to complete the appearance.
Two takes on the stronger Santos 100.
Launched in 2004 to commemorate the centennial anniversary of Louis Cartier creating a wristwatch because of his pioneering buddy, it is a watch that very much speaks to the trends of the early 2000s in watchmaking: it’s big, it’s more masculine, and it’s all about making a statement. For many fans of the old Santos, the Santos 100 talked a bit too loudly, even though trying to say the very same items as its predecessors. The Santos 100 remained the Santos in the Cartier collection for more than a decade — until now.
Old Watch, New Life
The newest Santos collection actually feels just like a set of new watches and not just a rehashing of old tropes.
As you can see, that the Santos has a pretty robust history and comparatively fixed layout codes. Reinventing something such as that and balancing the admiration for its past, and also the desire to make it feel refreshing, is demanding stuff indeed. However, Cartier jewelry certificate clone really swung for the fences in a means that might make Hank Aaron blush. They were not scared to throw things out, bring new ideas to the table, and create a Santos that feels appropriate for now.
There’s something about that two-tone bracelet that is too fun to ignore.
Along with the modern watch comes a modern advertising strategy also. It’s easy to forget in our small watch-world bubble that many watches are not purchased by”watch individuals.” Most watches are purchased by human beings that want something nice to put on their wrists; they want to buy into a brand image or a lifestyle; they would like to communicate something by sporting a Cartier Santos rather than a generic whosie-whatsit. Assembling a particular picture around the item, whether it’s by hosting a non-traditional launch event in San Francisco, or registering Jake Gyllenhaal as a new ambassador, is no less significant commercially than creating a good product from the beginning.
Arnaud Carrez (International Marketing and Communications Director, Cartier), Mercedes Abramo (President & CEO, Cartier North America), and Pierre Rainero (Director of Image and Heritage, Cartier) in the Santos launch event in San Francisco.
“Cartier is a maison of all paradoxes, you know, of anxieties,” said Arnaud Carrez, International Marketing and Communications Director of Cartier glasses rimless replica watch in the Santos launch event in San Francisco earlier this month. “There’s always a balance available and Santos is precisely this. It’s taking a classic of this maison and finding contemporary narration around the watch. That’s exactly what we always will need to find. We have amazing icons, but we need to express them at the contemporary, relevant method.”
Deciding to debut the watch in San Francisco in a event that felt more like the TED Conference when compared to the usual watch launching says a lot already. Rather than flutes of champagne and hushed conversations there was a juice bar in a repurposed dock construction and panel discussions about creativity and art comprising the likes of actor Idris Elba, chef Alice Waters, and artist and designer Es Devlin. The evening festivities included a concert out of Hot Chip, Phoenix, and Jamie XX. Like I mentioned — not your usual luxury Swiss watch occasion (believe me, I wish that was the norm).
“We think people are a bit bored with the usual events, all looking exactly the same” Carrez noted. “We knew what we built in desired to be exceptional. We’ve got stuff, we have content, and the ideas of being bold and being fearless resonates very well here in San Francisco. We said,’let us build content beyond the product’ and make something which connects with different communities.” Continuing, Carrez emphasized the role that positioning and marketing plays at a launch like this. “it is a subtle exercise, but one that’s very exciting. Santos is all about a complete world, about a soul. We will need to capitalize on this. We need to build something that is completely different than what you generally find in a watch launching and I think we’ve done it. We wish to push boundaries — we don’t like regular.”
The New Santos
The brand new 2018 Cartier Santos
The new Santos isn’t a view, but instead an assortment of watches. There are 12 versions whatsoever, split between 2 sizes (medium and large). Two of the 12 are unique skeletonized verions in the bigger dimensions, and we’ll mostly be ignoring those as they’re another beast entirely. The vital traits, however, are shared across all of the versions and the collection actually does feel like a family with only enough number for different tastes.
I chose to devote my time with the moderate Santos in stainless steel, believing it the purest expression of the watch all around.
In the moderate size, the Santos has a time-only dial with three hands.
Looking at the Santos, you’ll notice right off the bat that this is not the same watch you’ve seen before. The case still has the overall square shape, but it is a whole lot curvier now around. The medium version quantify 35.1mm x 41.9mm (although the larger comes in at 39.8mm x 47.5mm), but it’s somewhat hard to have a sense of exactly what these measurements mean when we are utilized to talking about watches that are round. I have done a little experimentation, trying to get watch on alongside around watches of different sizes, also, in my totally subjective and non-scientific view, I would say the moderate wears similarly to a 39mm watch while the large wears more like a 42mm watch.
Regardless of the square shape, there is nothing hard or angular about the Santos.
The curves come through most clearly in the new shape of their lugs and the way in which they appear to effortlessly flow into the crown guards. There’s a shapeliness into the new Santos case, and the ideal side particularly resembles undulating waves rendered in steel. The usage of brushed finishes across the top and sides accentuates the softness, while a slim bevel at the edge adds necessary definition. The case is merely 8.83mm thick, so it’s extremely slim and integrates well with the bracelet (more on that in a bit).
The case has delicate curves, with all the polished edge highlighting the shape.
The largest change to the circumstance, however, is the bezel. It is still square, certain, but it is no longer a perfect rounded square shape only screwed on top of this circumstance. At the top and bottom it today extends a bit and slopes down to between the lugs. The idea is that it makes the bracelet or strap feel more integrated, and it’s a raging success. To mepersonally, it completely changes the look of the watch to your greater. My only criticism is that the bezel is brightly polished, which makes it both a dust and scratch magnet in addition to a nightmare to picture for Instagram (hello, this is a 21st-century watch we are talking about here — I stand with this being a legitimate problem).
There is nothing about the dial up that’s going to shock longtime Cartier fans.
The dial, on the other hand, is pure classicism. The silvered finish does not have any fancy guilloché moving on along with the black Roman numerals and railroad moments monitor are complemented with the blued steel hands you are utilized to watching from Cartier. The medium version does not have a date (yes!) , while the huge model has a small window at six o’clock in place of the numeral (less yes!) .
The Cartier caliber 1847 MC
The movement definitely is not something Cartier would like you to be too worried about using the Santos, and I’d tend to agree with them. However, that doesn’t mean they’ve skimped out.
Powering both the medium and large variations of the Santos is your caliber 1847 MC. This is an in house movement that steps 25.6mm round, runs in 23 stones, beats at 4 Hz, and has a 42-hour electricity reserve. It is a modern workhorse automatic with easy decoration, and a Cartier-signed Cable (not that it is possible to see it via the good caseback). The caliber also uses nickel phosphorous components that make it more resistant to magnetism, also it’s coated with a paramagnetic alloy in the instance. Cartier doesn’t supply an specific gauss measurement, but does state that the Santos is”efficiently resistant to the effective magnetic fields a watch might be exposed to in everyday life.” That’s good enough for me. And, no anxiety, you will find date and no date versions of the 1847 MC, which means you are not likely to get a dead crown place on the medium version.
The steel back hides the motion, but includes a Cartier engraving, along with a nice brushed finish.
As an aside, the skeleton variations of the Santos do not use an 1847 MC base, but instead the 9619 MC. It’s an entirely different motion which uses an atypical bridge arrangement to show the typical Cartier Roman numerals.
The screw-adorned Santos necklace is more a part of the view than ever.
To me, the bracelet is all about for your Santos. It is a lot of appearance, but in the easiest way possible. There’s something so unabashed and shamelessly indulgent concerning the Santos bracelet, and while I can not quite put my finger on why, I’m into it.
The bracelet with this Santos is solid stainless steel with matching steel screws. The hyperlinks are angular, but not eloquent, with tiled surfaces and polished edges that echo the lines of this circumstance. The entire thing tapers gently from the case to the concealed grip at the back, even though it never gets too delicate or narrow. I really like that the screws are apparently random in orientation. I am a pretty Type-A individual (I know, big surprise), but this bit of wabi-sabi is much needed (it also prevented me from having the ability to obsess over whether each was exactly set up in any way times).
The links have an angular appearance but are really very gentle on the wrist.
Whenever the Santos showed up on my desk, the bracelet was too large for my wrist. However, no fear, I didn’t have to earn a trip uptown to get it sized. Cartier’s patent-pending SmartLink system supposed I could make the adjustment myself. Basically, you push a button at the base of a link and a pin will partly pop out, letting you slide out the link. The pins don’t come all the way out, so you can not lose them (intelligent one, Cartier), however you can make the modification using a toothpick or some other soft, pointed thing you have lying about. I’d emphasize soft here, as it would be easy to scratch the heck out of the bracelet quickly if you used something gaudy or too difficult.
Sizing the bracelet yourself is easy using the new SmartLink system.
If you would like to swap out the bracelet completely — although I don’t understand why you would ever need to do this — that’s easy too. Another patent-pending system, this one known as QuickSwitch, allows you shove a tab between the lugs, then only slide the bracelet or strap out of place. You are able to do with your fingernail. Together, QuickSwitch and SmartLink remind me a great deal of what Apple did with the steel bracelet for your very first Apple Watch, and it’s good to find watchmakers paying attention. It’s simple to be cautious about such items, but let’s recall that most customers do not understand what a springbar tool even is, and some thing like that make a huge difference in terms of customer enjoyment.
The QuickSwitch system is as easy as it gets.
Adding one more pleasant touch to things, Cartier lets you select your strap colour when you purchase the Santos. Most models come natively on the bracelet (though you can opt out for some of the good gold versions ) and then you select a strap from a variety of leathers to decide on your new watch instead of needing to choose a pre-selected option. My only complaint with the new strap method is that it implies you can not use normal straps on the Santos whatsoever. There is no springbar system, only the proprietary QuickSwitch connector. Luckily Cartier makes quite nice straps in many different colors and styles, otherwise this may be a real problem.
On The Wrist
On the wrist, you simply can’t argue with the Santos.
Strapping on the Santos, I could not help but crack a smile. There is something really charming about its blatantly bold appearance. I stated it earlier, however, that really is a wristwatch which apologizes for nothing. It is something people will notice, but not in a blinged-out-dinner-plate kind of way. The Santos does not look quite like any other watch, and people will want to understand what it is. It’s a layout that looks great from 10 feet away but rewards closer appreciation.
After a day or two, I truly settled into sporting the Santos. It stopped having the feeling of a classic throw-back and simply felt right. How I know a watch is actually good is if, during my review period with it, I look down at my wrist to check the time and don’t even notice I’m wearing something different. The Santos felt perfectly at home on my wrist, and the bracelet and case demonstrated extremely well balanced and comfortable over the course of a full day. I could see myself wearing this view frequently.
Cartier’s straps are perfectly nice — better than many, in fact — and the brand new QuickSwitch system makes changing them in and out as easy as can be. But for me personally, the Santos is a bracelet view. With the newest bezel, it really looks like a totally integrated bracelet unless you really scrutinize it, and I sort of treated the watch just like that although I was reviewing it. To be honest, I place the strap for the sake of due diligence, then put the bracelet directly back in place.
There are a lot of great watches which compete directly with the Santos. How can it stand up?
At $6,250 in stainless steel, with the bracelet and a strap of your choosing, the Santos presents fairly great value in my view. There are loads of watches in the $8,000 to $10,000 price range which don’t exhibit this degree of finish, quality, and attention to detail, not to mention that the watch’s overall handsome look. However, there are a whole lot of good stainless steel watches under $6,500 and you are spoiled for choice if that is what you’re searching for. I could list options for days, but I have tried to distill three out here which I believe compete with all the Santos in three specific ways.
NOMOS Glashütte Tetra Neomatik 39
Alright, so this watch has essentially two things in common with all the Santos: It’s square and it’s an automatic movement inside. Aside from that they are pretty different. The Santos is much curvier and contains a more industrial-chic quality for this, while the NOMOS Glashütte Tetra Neomatik 39 is all clean lines and sharp angles. However, there just are not that many square watches on the market. The little pops of color on the dial (especially the golden”neomatik” in 12 o’clock) and the stepped lugs add some actual depth to this otherwise clean-as-can-be watch. Thus, if you’re searching for something square however, the Santos doesn’t quite do it to you, the Tetra could be a feasible choice.
Rolex Oyster Perpetual 39
This might not be the most obvious comparison here, but stay with me. What I think makes the Santos so powerful is the fact that it’s a mid-sized watch that reveals just the moment, and looks great on either a solid bracelet or a ring of basically any fashion. The basic Oyster Perpetual does exactly the same thing, despite being around instead of square. Everything about this view is purpose-driven and there’s nothing here that you don’t absolutely need. There are a couple of color choices, but I’ve completely fallen for the new white option gently introduced at Baselworld — it’s a white, not a glowing white, and it’s the one to choose for. I am also partial to the 36mm size ($5,400), but I know the 39mm is your very crowd-pleasing.
The Santos does a great job balancing the very best of the old and some great new ideas.
The Cartier best replica watch Santos is that infrequent watch that balances familiarity and creativity. It is a watch that you could be comfortable with from the get-go, while catching yourself staring at it for a bit too long through the day. Although I did not believe I was a Santos man before spending a week with the newest iteration, the opinion won me over and I now firmly believe that it can stand side-by-side together with the finest of Cartier’s modern watches. It’s not a style for everybody, but that’s part of their charm. If you are at all interested, I highly suggest that you give the new Santos a closer look.
The Cartier Santos is available now worldwide. Prices begin at $6,250 for the medium size in stainless steel with the steel bracelet plus a ring of your selection. The massive 18k rose gold version found this is priced at $37,000 whereas the medium two-tone model is priced at $9,100.