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Cartier Santos: Latest Releases 2019

Author: Deepika Mahajan
by Deepika Mahajan
Posted: Aug 06, 2019
santos dumont

Cartier is among the pioneers in the field of horology. Also known for its speciality in jewels and precious stones, the Parisian luxury goods house embarked on the journey of wristwatch manufacturing in 1904 when Louis Cartier created the first wristwatch for men. The conception of the watch, Cartier Santos, was a result of criticism from an aviator by the name Alberto Santos Dumont. The grievance was that he couldn’t take note of time during flights with pocket watches which were especially popular in that era. Cartier Santos made its debut in 1906 with Alberto Santos Dumont sporting the watch on his wrist. The information of the flight it was worn in is blurry. However, as per sources, it was the flight he made on 12th November 1906 when he achieved the world record of covering a distance of 220m or 720 ft in just 21.5 seconds. The flight was recognized by the Federation Aeronautique Internationale, the authoritative body for verifying flight data established in 1905. For Cartier, this was just the beginning of the flight that it was about to make in the world of watchmaking. In 1917, Cartier gave birth to another of its most iconic watch collections, the Cartier Tank. With the idea drawn from the French tank, Renault FT-17 in the Great War, the Tank collection was pure magnificence in a rectangular-square case.

Fast forward to 2019 and here we are at the Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie or the SIHH with some worthy additions to the Cartier family of Santos. Cartier, as dedicated watch enthusiasts would be aware, is among the greats when it comes to luxury watchmaking, and the 2019 SIHH launches are nothing less than irrefutable evidence. The global watch expo turned to be a platform for Cartier to build on the grandeur of the original 1904 Santos as well as to extend the stupendous Santos watch collection. This year, Cartier launched the Santos Chronograph, the high-end quartz powered Santos Dumont, the Gradient Blue Santos, and last but in no way the least, the Noctambule or the new Santos Skeleton.

The New Santos Dumont

It will only be logical, to begin with, the true homage to the 1979 Santos de Cartier and its subsequent reinvention in 1989. The Swiss watchmaker launched the 'Santos Dumont', a watch powered by a high-efficiency quartz movement that facilitates a slimmer and more comfortable appearance. The USP of this new age device is that it will open the market up for a younger and wider customer base as operating on a mechanical or automatic calibre would have limited the watch to the elite Horlogerie connoisseurs. It is an extremely smart decision on Cartier's part considering their usual elite target audience. The enhanced quartz movement makes sure that the watch has a refined energy consumption and a run time of about 6 years. The rest of the watch is greatly untouched. The elementary geometry is the same with a rounded square case at 38mm. The four corners of the bezel symbolize the corners of the Eiffel tower and give a glimpse of the style donned by Alberto Santos Dumont himself during his revolutionizing flight in 1906.

Gradient Blue Is The Way To Go

Cartier might be a late entrée in the watchmaking game when it comes to playing with the midnight hues of blue but better late than never, right? Watch houses like Patek sta*rted experimenting with the colour on their dials a while back and needless to say it proved to be a great hit among watch buyers. In 2019, Cartier finally decided to go forward with the Gradient Blue Santos with a 39mm wide case. The timepiece exhibits an in-house manufactured calibre 1847 MC movement that guarantees precision timekeeping. Strap options come in a metallic bracelet and blue leather. The date display at 6 o’clock features a black disc instead of a white one. The hands and roman numerals are silvered to provide a contrast, and like all other models since 1979, the case exhibits crown guards with a sapphire studded crown on the right side. Additionally, the timepiece has an incredible 42-hour power reserve and keeps time at an impressive 4 Hz frequency. The colour basically aims to project the usually conventional Santos in a luxury sports watch genre.

The New Chronograph

2019 SIHH witnessed the launch of the Cartier Santos Chronograph and it did not disappoint. The ‘extra-large’ watch with its 42mm wide case was a delight for watch collectors who have an inclination for larger timepieces. However, Cartier did play it safe at the same time by not taking the term ‘extra-large’ too seriously. The watch utilizes a hammer mechanism that makes sure that the chronograph is reset with a suitable amount of force, regardless of how much force is used to press the start/stop button. The push button is on the left side at 9 o’clock and is integrated with the crown. Lastly, the watch employs the in-house manufactured calibre 1904-CH MC movement, first featured in the Calibre de Cartier Chronograph watches. This perfect concoction of technology and tradition was showcased in six distinct variations along with the cutting edge QuickSwitch and SmartLink features from 2018. In addition to that, the watch also flaunts an impressive 100m water resistance and a 48-hour power reserve.

The Skeleton Noctambule

Like everything in life, there is a time when one needs to adapt to newer ways. That is exactly what Cartier did with the Santos Skeleton Noctambule. The watch is attached to its ancestral design from the early 1900s and the original Santos Skeleton design, but at the same time is a step forward towards the future of Haute Horlogerie. The watch displays a collection of bridges, in place of a full-fledged dial, that is lacquered with Superluminova pigments. Superlunuminova is basically a strontium aluminate based non-radioactive non-toxic pigment that glows in the dark. It may seem like the original Santos Skeleton at first, however, the true difference can be seen at night when the pseudo-dial lights up like Christmas. The watch sports an indigenous calibre 9612 movement supported with manual winding and bridges that are in the shape of elongated Roman numerals. With a 72-hour power reserve, a 38mm wide case, and a 3 bar water resistance, the timepiece definitely has a place in a watch connoisseur’s collection.

Being a part of history is one thing but being the pioneer of an entire movement that will go on to totally revolutionize the way an industry operates is something completely different. Cartier did not just design the first purpose wrist watch for men, it opened up an entire market for watchmakers, a market that today engages the top one per cent of the world. As far as icons go, the Santos watch collection has without a second thought upped the ante with its design and countenance.

About the Author

Deepika is the blogger from 7 years in a lifestyle or fashion field. She always stays up-to-date with whatever is coming in the market with respect to fashion and lifestyle. She is an avid watch connoisseur and collector of Luxury brands.

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Author: Deepika Mahajan

Deepika Mahajan

Member since: Mar 09, 2019
Published articles: 34

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