The following article was produced in partnership with Cartier.
The Cartier Santos is a rare example of a ‘one watch’: it’s a watch that can do everything well, and while the joy of collecting watches is indeed owning multiple watches, you could get away with just owning a Santos. It’s just so versatile.
Perhaps that’s got something to do with its genesis. Created in 1904 for pioneering aviator Alberto Santos-Dumont, it wasn’t just the world’s first tool watch – it was the first watch designed for the wrist, full stop. Simplicity, practicality and innovation were the three guiding principles behind its construction: Santos-Dumont wanted to be able to read the time whilst flying, without having to let go of the controls to check his pocket watch.
Santos-Dumont was also known as an exceedingly stylish gent – one of the style icons of his age – so his watch also needed to be something he could wear proudly on all sorts of occasions. All this is to say that the Santos, from day dot, was designed with versatility and style in mind – and almost 120 years later, those same principles ring true with the modern Cartier Santos, in all its forms.
In 2023, Cartier has blessed the Santos with a variety of colourful yet classy new colour schemes that accentuate the timeless and handsome aesthetic of the Santos while further embellishing its versatility.
First of all, the big showstopper from Watches & Wonders 2023, the Cartier Santos de Cartier in stainless steel now comes with a gorgeously green dial. Green dials are all the rage right now in watch culture, but not all green dials are made equal. The Santos de Cartier’s is a cut above the rest.
Deep and smoky yet iridescent and jade-like, this green take on the Santos is really something. Its mesmerising effect is achieved by coating the sunburst-brushed dial in a thin layer of hand-applied tinted lacquer, which gives the dial a glorious, almost water-like quality, upon which its rhodium Roman numerals seem to almost float on top.
This new green Santos de Cartier is complemented by a classic blue-dialled option, which features the same lacquered dial treatment. It’s a truly dapper watch, with the sumptuousness of that blue contrasting brilliantly with the Santos de Cartier’s brushed steel bracelet. For those used to only seeing Cartier watches with white dials, this blue option’s alluring dial will pleasantly surprise you.
Both the new green and blue Santos de Cartiers are also available with colour-matched leather straps – which, thanks to Cartier’s “QuickSwitch” interchangeability system, are easily swapped in and out with the watch’s bracelet.
The bracelet also features Cartier’s “SmartLink” system, which makes it a cinch for you to add or subtract links from the bracelet without the use of complicated tools.
The in-house calibre 1847 MC that powers these Santos de Cartier watches also boasts a power reserve of 40 hours and gives these sporty yet dressy timepieces a water-resistance rating of up to 10 bar (approx. 100 metres).
Also new in 2023 are two new colourful takes on the dressier Santos-Dumont. A more traditional, dressier take on the Santos formula, the Santos-Dumont is the epitome of old-school cool – but these fun new colours are anything but old-fashioned.
The yellow-gold Santos-Dumont can now be found with an exceptionally tantalizing dark blue dial, which really asserts its royal nature. (Cartier, of course, has long been a purveyor of fine watches and jewellery to royalty around the world, especially the British royal family.) The rich blue pairs perfectly with the Santos-Dumont’s beaded crown with its synthetic blue cabochon-shaped spinel.
An even more daring option is the new grey dial available on the two-tone stainless steel and yellow gold Santos-Dumont. At once both avant-garde and traditional, it makes its thin Roman numerals and gilt sword-shaped hands really ‘pop’. Like the blue-over-gold model above, the grey-over-two-tone Santos-Dumont comes with a colour-matched alligator strap with a stylish ardillon buckle.
Both the grey and blue dials of these high-end Santos-Dumont models feature a combination of sunburst and guilloched dial treatments, which emphasise the skill of Cartier’s artisans. And, at only 7.3mm thick, these watches are as light and slim as they are beautiful.
Their high-efficiency quartz movements also boast an autonomy of approximately 8 years – twice as long as traditional movements.
Quartz or automatic, steel or gold, leather or bracelet – or, more importantly, blue, green, grey and white… It’s not a hard ask to add a Cartier Santos to your collection, it’s just hard figuring out which one. We’ll leave that up to you.
Discover the Cartier Santos collection here.
Cartier Sydney Flagship
388 George Street
Sydney NSW 2000
Cartier Sydney DFS Galleria
The Rocks, 155 George Street
Level 1, DFS Galleria Sydney
Sydney NSW 2000
90 Collins Street
Melbourne VIC 3000
Ground Floor G066
1341 Dandenong Road
Chadstone VIC 3148
172 Edward Street
Brisbane QLD 4000