Happy Landings: Cartier’s 2019 Santos-Dumont Is Finally Available

The exclusive and very complicated timepieces often seem to make the most noise at the Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie Genève (SIHH). But with Cartier it was the other way around at the 2019 edition. After showing high complications such as minute repeaters and tourbillons at this exclusive show for the past decade, this year it was Cartier’s oldest men’s watch in a surprisingly new and simple version that became the talk of the trade show. 

The Santos-Dumont, designed by Louis Cartier in 1904 for his friend, aviator Alberto Santos Dumont, has been in the collection in different versions since its launch in 1911, which makes it the first dedicated pilot’s watch in history. Up to 2005 it was a watch that was offered in versions no larger than 27 x 36 mm, a size that is today on the small side for many men, but whose shape and details are still perfect. 

Observations on the 2019 Cartier Santos-Dumont

Along with the classic size 27.5.4 x 27.5, Cartier presented its new Santos-Dumont model in a larger version that measures 31.4 x 31.4 mm – definitely a size that meets the expectations of what most men like to wear on their wrists today. It is a size that goes perfectly with a casual outfit, but also a suit. 

Quite unusual is the fact that the designers have chosen to bring back some beautiful historical features from the original such as the robust crown and the striking thinner and elongated Roman numerals, which are derived directly from the 1911 model. These numerals, despite being Cartier-characteristic Romanesque, lend the dial a totally different look, differentiating it from all other Cartier models.

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