8,4 / 10
Very first “Extra plate” series from the 1980s
The Santos Dumont presented here for sale, #960540xxx, is one of the very sought-after first series extra flat models in yellow gold from the 1980s, with a beautiful white dial, an ultra flat F. Piguet 21 based caliber, and an original Cartier deployant buckle in solid gold.
About the model
In 1904, Brazilian aviator Alberto Santos-Dumont complained to his friend Louis Cartier about the unreliability and impracticality of using a pocket watch while flying. This is the reason why Cartier decided to design a flat wristwatch with a square bezel. Actually, the first mass-produced men’s wristwatch (and by the way probably the first pilot’s watch…) was born.
But it is only in 1911, that this model known as the Santos became commercially available, and it has always been one of the flagship designs for Cartier.
There have been many variations of Santos models from the 1970s to our days:
- in 1973, 12 models are commercialized within the new Collection Louis Cartier (Ceinture, Square, Ellipse, Santos, Baignoire, Vendôme, Cristallor, Gondole, Fabergé, Coussin, Tank Normale and Tank Louis Cartier);
- in 1978, Cartier redesigned and renamed the Santos de Cartier, giving the watch an integrated bracelet instead of the traditional leather strap. Cartier made the case and bracelet out of stainless steel, and also added 18k gold to the case and bracelet to give the watch a touch of luxury, very popular one the 1980s;
- in 1987, Cartier revisited again the watch and launched the Santos Galbée (most of these models were with quartz movements);
- Santos models were integrated in the CPCP collection in 1998, with luxurious versions in gold or platinum fitted with the F. Piguet 21 caliber;
- the Santos 100 was introduced in 2004 to celebrate the 100 years anniversary of Alberto Santos-Dumont first wrist watch;
- finally, in 2018, Cartier presented a brand new version of its iconic model, with the 2018 Santos.