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A Higher Vision

 The new Santos-Dumont watch reflects simplicity and elegance

Simplicity. Practicality. Innovation. These were the three major principles of Alberto Santos-Dumont, the aviation pioneer who ordered the first modern wristwatch from Louis Cartier in 1904. Its wrist-mounted position meant it could be consulted during flight. Its pure design, square dial with intentionally visible screws, and an ergonomic strap that encouraged free movement immediately revealed its forward-thinking nature.

A homage to the historical model

Understated, pared-down and fitted to an alligator leather strap, the new Santos-Dumont watch remains true to the elegance of the original 1904 model. Cased in gold, gold, and steel or all steel, it features Roman numerals, visible screws, a beaded winding crown and blue cabochon, all elements which perpetuate the heritage of this major watchmaking classic.

Its unchanged square shape – reminiscent of the geometry popular in Paris at the time – promotes pure and symmetrical design to mirror the four sharp corners of the Eiffel Tower. By symbolizing the design revolution of the early 1900s, it ran counter-current to contemporary codes, highlighting straight lines and breaking with the round cases of the period’s pocket watches.

Santos de Cartier Chronograph watch

Made to measure records, the new Cartier chronograph takes this heritage into the 21st century. Always attentive to elegance and ergonomics, Cartier gave it a single start/stop push button, visible at 9 o’clock, with the reset function being directly integrated into the crown. This lighter design naturally leads to lighter movements.

The piece is fitted with the 1904-CH MC Cartier Manufacture movement, which distills the chronograph’s ingenious guidance and coordination systems – column wheel, vertical clutch, and linear reset hammer – while demonstrating superb craftsmanship.

Cartier filed the patent for the first folding buckle in 1909. This year, Cartier has developed its design further still by enhancing its comfort, ease of use and security. Despite being fitted with push-piece fastening and unfastening, a lighter blade and a simple wristband change system, the clasp keeps all its signature aesthetics.

Like the Santos de Cartier collection as a whole, the bracelets and straps offer ultimate practicality. Available in steel, alligator leather or rubber, all versions can be interchanged thanks to the patented QuickSwitch system, the invisible mechanism which seamlessly blends into the architecture of the case. Meanwhile, the metal bracelet can be adjusted to the nearest link thanks to its patented tool-free SmartLink size adjustment system.

Santos de Cartier Skeleton Noctambule watch

Nighttime created a sky for Alberto Santos-Dumont to conquer. He envisaged using a floodlight to light his way during his test flights.

Cartier casts light on the night sky with the new Santos de Cartier Skeleton Noctambule. The bridges are coated with Super-LumiNova pigments which, while invisible during the daytime, reproduce and radiate the stored light once night falls.