Cartier Santos-Dumont XL Hand-Wind

Revisiting the most established men’s wristwatch in 2020 has its troubles. How far would you be able to wander from the first without tainting its embodiment? In any case, how far would it be a good idea for you to respect its pith without making a fuddy-duddy watch? All things considered, Cartier’s most recent Santos-Dumont XL figures out how to accommodate both these limits in what is maybe the most verifiably dependable yet imperatively proportioned and rich cycle to date. Three forms – in steel, in two-tone steel and pink gold and in strong pink gold – of the Santos-Dumont XL were introduced in the computerized version of Watches & Wonders 2020, all fitted with mechanical developments and, here’s the other piece of extraordinary news, at costs that sound pretty reasonable. We were adequately lucky to invest a few hands-on energy with the two-tone and the steel models and were pretty impressed.


When Brazilian pilot Alberto Santos-Dumont commissioned a watch from his companion Louis Cartier in 1904 that he could wear while directing his flying machines – and not need to lift his hand from the controls – little did both of the honorable men speculate that the outcome would become perhaps the most mainstream and suffering Cartier symbols ever. Portrayed by a square case with noticeable screws, a shape that went against style of the day for round pocket watches, the Santos has stood out forever as the main wristwatch reason assembled and intended for a man.

Although wristwatches existed, they were carefully a ladylike embellishment. Not exclusively was Louis Cartier’s watch the antecedent of the gent’s wristwatch, however the way that it was worn by a pilot has additionally acquired it the title of the world’s first pilot watch . It’s likewise worth recalling that Santos-Dumont’s adrenaline junkie flying accomplishments made him an exceptionally mainstream figure in the day and his smart dress sense – combining Panama caps with cloth suits with wing collars and pants with large turn-ups – turned into extremely popular in Paris, the embodiment of a beautiful man of action.

What got going as a bespoke commission for the Brazilian pilot went into sequential creation in 1911 with LeCoultre developments. The Santos took off again during the 1970s when it was returned to in an arm band piece with screws on the bezel and wristband. Removed from creation in 2016, the Santos de Cartier returned in 2018 with an invigorated, sportier and more well proportioned presence.

Santos-Dumont Collection

It merits calling attention to that there are two Santos collections at Cartier: the center Santos de Cartier collection and the more verifiably exact, and as a general rule, restricted Santos-Dumont watches.

Last year, a Santos-Dumont watch that gave proper respect to the 1904 model was unobtrusively presented close by a Santos de Cartier chronograph . Largely neglected by the particular watch media on the grounds that it was fitted with a quartz development, the Santos-Dumont of 2019 included verifiable gestures to the first with a beaded winding crown and the unmistakable blue cabochon alongside a compliment, less voluminous case that the Santos de Cartier.

Previous Santos-Dumont models, for instance, the 90th commemoration model of 1996 estimating 36mm with a super thin Piguet development and Breguet hands, is elusive available today and has become a hot authority’s thing. The models we are seeing today highlight similar feel as the 2019 models however are currently fitted with mechanical developments and come in just one size: XL. Only in front of the Watches & Wonders 2020 dispatch, we presented the four restricted release adaptations of the Santos-Dumont with etchings of the pilot’s amazing flying machines on the caseback.

The case and dial of the Santos-Dumont XL 2020

When put one next to the other with the 1904 model, you can obviously perceive how the fundamental highlights of the notable model have been regarded. The famous square bezel with eight screws, the sharp blue cabochon jutting from the beaded crown, the Roman numerals, the railroad tracks, etc… However, the measurements and completions are more on top of contemporary tastes and our assumptions from a Maison like Cartier.

The slight, square case estimates 46.6mm x 33.9mm and has a stature of 7.5mm. Transferred in numbers, the case may appear to be large for a dress watch however trust me when I say that the word ‘flat’ is deluding. One thing is level, something else is smoothed. Indeed, it is level when seen from the top, however there is a delicate arch alongside a slight plunge at the carries permitting the watch to sit flush against the wrist. In the event that you see it from the side you can value the rich outline of the case. With a thickness of 7.5mm (that is simply 0.2mm thicker than the quartz models right now accessible), the slimness figures out how to lessen the length of the case.

The rich completions breath life into the case. The casebands include a vertical silk brush differentiating to the angled and cleaned edge of the case. Like the 1904 model, the crown is beaded and set with a blue cabochon yet looks vastly sturdier than the first (the models we had for the hands-on have blue engineered spinel cabochons, the sapphire is held for the gold model). The trademark square bezel is somewhat adjusted at the edges and highlights the compulsory eight screws that are set profound into the metal.

The silvered dial, brightened with a sunray silk finish, shows Cartier’s unmistakable Roman numerals and the railroad track that showed up on the principal Santos-Dumont model. In contrast to the first, where the track was put in the focal point of the dial, it is stepped on the border of the dial. Fitted with blue blade molded hands, there isn’t anything else on the dial aside from the word Cartier printed under 12 o’clock. A straightforward dial without any twists, it doesn’t take the spotlight from the case and its dynamic finishes.

Integrated and interchangeable

Another welcome touch is the exchangeable tie framework accompanying the coordinated cowhide tie. On the off chance that you look carefully, you’ll perceive how the cowhide lash arrives at all the path up to meet the case leaving essentially no space between the calfskin and the metal. A basic gadget on the converse side deliveries the spring bars permitting you to change the lash in a cinch.

Calibre 430 MC

The strong caseback is engraved with Alberto Santos-Dumont’s mark and has eight screws, albeit these are not adjusted like those on the bezel. The watch is fitted with a Cartier-marked rendition of Piaget’s super meager, manual-winding type 430P type for the hours and minutes. With a tallness of simply 2.1mm, the development runs at a recurrence of 21,600vph/3Hz and has a moderately short force hold of 38 hours. Utilized via Cartier in its extra-slender models of Santos-Dumont, Ballon Blue and Tortue and by Piaget in a considerable lot of its Altiplano watches, the reliable and tough 430P has been around since 1998.

The Price is Right

Compared to the current quartz Santos-Dumont models on Cartier’s site, the new XL Santos-Dumont comes in at generally EUR 2,000 more than its quartz partners. Not a too unreasonable increase considering the fuse of a thin mechanical manual-winding development with for all intents and purposes zero penances on the thickness front. Another improvement over the quartz is the coordinated calfskin wristband and the adaptability offered by the snappy delivery bars permitting you to change the temperament of the watch in minutes. Clearly, there are numerous individuals who favor the issue free support of a quartz watch and are not set up to spend an extra EUR 1,900 for a mechanical development, yet they are likely not enthusiasts of MONOCHROME.

In expansion to the way that this watch – valued well beneath EUR 6,000 in steel – highlights a super slim Piaget development, the general nature of the case/bezel is quite amazing in this value range. We’ve been charmingly shocked by the general bundle offered via Cartier with these new Santos-Dumont XL.


As we said above, Cartier had the value, the plan and the mechanics right. The brand has figured out how to hold the magnificence and soul of the first model, with its slim and compact extents, its excellent bezel and by and large exquisite (yet bolder than you might suspect) plan, yet in addition to coordinate a slight measurement of advancement that, in general, makes a contemporary piece with incredible presence.

Now, there’s a discussion inside the group, between our author Frank and my overseeing manager Brice. On the one side, Frank concurs with everything said above, then again, actually, as per him, the dial needs creativity and punch – as far as he might be concerned, the brushed example on the dial isn’t adequately articulated and it’s too ‘flat’. He revealed to me he would incline toward a matte, grayish dial or an exemplary Cartier guilloché design on a brilliant white dial, perhaps with blued Breguet hands. What’s more, this is the place where Brice doesn’t agree… To him, the silver brushed dial is the fundamental motivation behind why he appreciates this new interpretation of the Santos-Dumont, with a somewhat more present day and moderate methodology. To every his own…


The three Cartier Santos-Dumont XL models come with crocodile cowhide ties and a pin clasp. The costs start at EUR 5,650 for the plain steel form (ref. CRWSSA0032), EUR 7,800 for the steel-and-gold model (ref. CRW2SA0017) and EUR 15,000 for the strong 18k pink gold model (ref. CRWGSA0032). More subtleties at .

May second, 2020 - costs updated