NEW RELEASES | CARTIER SANTOS-DUMONT
Published on 14 May 2020
At this year’s Watches & Wonders, Cartier introduced its Santos-Dumont XL, entirely reworked. Its history, the purity of its lines and the beauty of its mechanical movement with manual winding make it a watch for connoisseurs. Originally created in 1911 by Louis Cartier for the Brazilian-born, Paris-based aviation pioneer Alberto Santos-Dumont. The model was intended as a wristwatch for flying and its iconic square shape and exposed screws on the bezel have remained relatively untouched in design.
The latest instalment of the Santos-Dumont comes in an XL size of 46.6mm and a thickness of 7.5mm. The movement, which previously featured a quartz movement, is now replaced with the Piaget 430P, most recognisable for its use in the Piaget Ultra-Thin Altiplano, giving the Cartier Santos-Dumont a compelling finesse and standard.
In contrast to previous models, this one comes with a change of scale. The dial is generous and taut – a true focus on style. The sophistication of the case remains the same – from the sword-shaped hands to the beaded winding crown, from the sunray satin-finished dial to the case back engraved with the initials S=D, the signature of Alberto Santos-Dumont.
Special editions from the collection include the “La Baladeuse”, a Santos-Dumont with a yellow gold case, champagne dial, sapphire winding crown, blued sword-shaped hands and patinated green leather strap. A numbered limited edition of 300 pieces. On the back is engraved the profile of “La Baladeuse” or “n°9”, an experimental-looking motorised airship in which Santos-Dumont crossed the French capital’s sky in 1903.
Also featured is the “N°14 BIS” Santos-Dumont, an elegant combination of yellow gold bezel on a steel case, anthracite grey dial, blue spinel winding crown and gilded steel sword-shaped hands. A limited edition of 500 pieces. On the back, an engraving of “n°14 bis”. In this flying machine, often described as a ‘kite of compartments’, the pilot, standing in the fuselage, was connected to the rudder and ailerons by cables.
Additionally the “La Demoiselle” is an an extra-large-sized watch in 30 numbered and engraved pieces. This platinum creation with ruby cabochon was created in homage to Alberto Santos-Dumont and the panama hat he was never seen without. A made-to-measure Panama-weave strap was designed for the bracelet. The dial also evokes the woven design. And the “Cartier” signature traditionally slipped into one of the branches of the VII is replaced by a “Santos”.
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