Cartier Santos De Cartier Large Review
The Cartier Santos is the iconic collection that started it all. Let’s get a close look at a modern-day Cartier Santos wristwatch.
By now, any watch connoisseur would have heard the story of how in 1911, Alberto Santos Dumont, the Pilot friend of Cartier asked him to create a watch design that he can easily check on his wrist while flying his plane. The legendary French watchmaker and jeweler of royalty went straight to it and made his historical claim to the first men’s wristwatch.
While the wristwatch was around for a short while beforehand, it was Cartier, who had the eyes and ears of the fashion design industry with their high-end jewelry that popularized the wristwatch and made it fashionable. The collection took to the streets and made waves in the fashion world.
The century and more that had passed since its introduction allowed the Santos to evolve and become one of Cartier’s most popular collections and is now a collection that has grown by leaps and bounds with many sub-series within it such as the now-discontinued Santos Dumont design. Today we will look at a new Santos model, a large model called the Santos de Cartier Large. Let’s jump right in, shall we?
Judging by the nomenclature of this series, you can expect this watch to feature a larger case. This one measures 39.80mm and has a case thickness of 9.38mm and for a square watch, it has some great wrist presence. This size is about 5mm larger than the Santos du Cartier Medium models. The case is made of brushed stainless steel and has a black ADLC coated bezel secured to the case with 8 screws.
The rounded square case has a brushed finish and features a polished beveled edge that extends and blends into the curve of the crown guards protecting the geometric crown that is crowned with a black lab-created spinel gemstone. The fixed black bezel also has a brushed finish and polished beveled edge to match the rest of the case. The case offers 100m/330ft/10 bar of water resistance which is just enough for some light poolside swimming.
The curve of the lugs at the top and bottom of the case integrates almost seamlessly with the shape of the links at either extreme of the brushed linked bracelet. Each link has a visible screw on either side of the link.
Possibly the most looked-at feature on this watch, the dial, is a satin-brushed dark grey and has a railroad style-seconds and minutes track design located on the perimeter of the dark grey, brushed inner dial. A date window is located at the 6 o’clock position and uses a black background with white numbers for the day of the month.
The outer dial has a smooth finish with luminous materials used on the sword-shaped hands, white printed roman numerals, and small index-style markers at each of the five-minute intervals.
This watch is powered by the in-house 1847 MC self-winding movement. This 23-jewel Manufacture caliber features automatic winding, measures 25.6 mm across, has a frequency of 28,800 (4Hz), and comes with a 42-hour power reserve.
The 1847 MC is also the same movement found in many of Cartier’s popular watches such as the Clé de Cartier (40mm, 41mm, 35mm, and Clé de Cartier 35mm Flying Tourbillon), Ronde de Croisière de Cartier and the Cartier Ballon Bleu 42 Automatic.
In addition to the steel bracelet shown here, the watch also comes with a soft black rubber strap, both with a steel folding (deployant) buckle. The best feature of the bracelet is a “SmartLink” system. This innovative system allowing for tool-free adjustments of the bracelet size by pushing a recessed button, which in turn, releases the pin from its chamber and allows you to quickly remove links to adjust the bracelet size.
Both the rubber strap and the steel bracelet are equipped with a “QuickSwitch” system (see image above). It is similar in a way to the previously mentioned “SmartLink” system in the sense that is a mechanical contraption built into the strap or bracelet that allows you to switch the straps to any QuickSwitch compatible Cartier strap without the use of any tools.
In summary: this is an excellent and historically significant watch that comes from a well-respected watchmaker. It has some up-to-date features and runs on a self-winding movement. It's also available at a price point that makes it more attainable than many other luxury watches from similar brands.
This collection also features a few other models with different colors, materials, and strap variations. These include a two-tone model with yellow gold and stainless steel featuring blue hands, another model with a warm grey leather strap and a rose gold case.
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