Quite hard to imagine but the Cartier Santos has been around for many, many years. Ever since it’s first appearance in 1904 it has also hardly changed. Something quite unique in the watch world. So when a new model is presented you can expect many opinions. Let’s have a look at the redefined Cartier Santos models.
With the new Cartier Santos or ‘Santos de Cartier Watch’ as the model is officially called the update has been mostly done in comfort and proportions. Keeping the aesthetics of the Santos intact mostly. The square shape of the watch remained unchanged which also goes for the remarkable screws in the bezel and bracelet. However the biggest visual change is the shape of the bezel which now connects fluently into the bracelet.
Less visible are the changes that have been made for comfort and ease of use. As mentioned earlier the magic words during the SIHH 2018 were ‘interchangeable straps’. Many brands presented this and so did Cartier with their ‘QuickSwitch’ system. Doing this will prevent damage to the case while changing straps for those who wish to do that. Instead of using a pushpin tool to take the bracelet off the simple push of a button does the trick now. Quite convenient for those who like to change the look of their watch.
Not only the connection of the strap to the case was updated with a quick release system. When buying a watch with a metal bracelet these hardly ever come in the right size. Where you normally would have to ask a watchmaker to shorten or lengthen it. The new metal bracelet on the Santos comes with a convenient ‘SmartLink’ system which makes it easy to change the length at just a push of a button. On the back side of selected links there is a little button which releases the bar. This way you can easily change the amount of links without damage. Where the previous model featured a hidden clasp, the new version comes with a logo on the clasp and little pushers to open it.
The new Cartier Santos comes in 2 sizes which both offer the same material combinations. Available in Medium and Large these models have been updated to a more modern sizing. Where the medium version measures 35.1mm the larger model is just under 40mm. Thanks to the screw-down design, the new Santos de Cartier offers water resistance up to 100 meters with a minimal case thickness. Both sizes come with an automatic caliber which features anti-magnetic as well as a shield made from a paramagnetic alloy. This makes the calibre effectively resistant to the powerful magnetic fields a watch may be exposed to in everyday life.
Depending on your taste you can choose between either stainless steel or variations with, or in full gold. In total 5 different executions will be made available later this year. We’ll have a look at the skeletonized version at a later moment. Each watch comes with an additional strap of choice to change the look to your own liking. With a wide selection of calf and alligator straps there should always be something to match your taste.
All combined it’s great to see the new Cartier Santos and it suer looks good. And although a quick release system to change links isn’t something you will use a lot it sure is convenient. The same goes for the ‘QuickSwitch’ system which will be useful on a more regular basis. Something to get used to is the new bezel design. Where it works amazingly well on a leather strap I have to get used to the looks on an metal bracelet. This is mostly due to the different finishes as the bezel is polished where the bracelet has a brushed surface.
More info on www.cartier.ch.
Case material: Stainless steel, stainless steel and yellow gold, yellow gold and pink gold.
Dimension: 35.1 x 41.9 mm (medium) and 39.8 x 47.5mm (large)
Movement: Cartier caliber 1847 MC
Power: 42 Hours with automatic winding
Water resistance: 100meter / 10ATM
Dial: Silvered opaline with roman numerals and date at 6 o’clock on the large model.
Strap: Leather strap or metal bracelet with quick release system.
Cartier Santos pricing starts at just over 6.000 CHF/EU (MRSP incl. VAT, prices may vary depending on location.)