While the global pandemic may have put a stop to the annual watch shows, it hasn’t stopped brands from releasing their latest models. Cartier is one of the first to announce its new lineup for 2020 and it includes the Santos Dumont XL – which not only, as the name suggests, arrives in a larger size – but it adds a mechanical movement.
The mechanical movement will be a big talking point for this watch, as up until now, it has sat in the ‘entry-level’ position within the Santos family, owing to the fact it has relied on a quartz movement. The 430 MC movement – which is, in fact, a Cartier branded version of the Piaget 430P – is, therefore, a welcome addition. It’s a manually wound movement, and you’ll likely need to give the cabochon-capped crown a few turns each morning due to a 38-hour power reserve, but in return, you’ll be getting a watch that’s incredibly thin.
Which brings us on nicely to the case. It’s XL by name and XL by nature, measuring 46.6mm lug-to-lug x 33.9mm, putting in IWC Big Pilot’s territory. However, because of the movement, it still remains remarkably slim at just 7.5mm. It should therefore still set as well on the wrist as its smaller siblings, thanks in part to its curved profile, although naturally, it will be preferred by gents with larger wrists.
Despite the larger form, the Santos Dumont XL remains true to the models’ styling, including blue sword-shaped hands sitting on a sunray satin-finished dial with Roman numerals, and exposed screws on the case. It’s available in the same three variations as the smaller models: 18K pink gold with grey alligator leather strap; 18K pink gold and steel with black alligator leather strap; and steel with navy blue alligator leather strap.
The larger size and mechanical movement bring with them slight price increases, although we still feel they can be considered affordable given the prestige of the brand. The pink gold/grey alligator leather will retail for AU$22,500; pink gold & steel/black alligator leather, $11,700; and steel/navy blue alligator leather $8,450.