Sporty Black !

Yesterday when I returned from my daily run through the park and changed to go to the gym, I realized that I actually always wear a watch during sport, no matter what I am doing.  Not a dress watch of course; but a trusty Santos Galbée, the watch that I wear a lot  especially when traveling, or during any other kind of casual activity. But there is a very nice other option, more robust, more rough and definitely more sporty.


The Santos 100 carbon. Five years after the launch of the Santos 100, Cartier released in 2009, the Santos 100 Carbon. Big deal? Yes….. big deal ! Compared to the regular steel or steel/gold Santos 100, the black Santos 100 Carbon makes an incredible different impression. Despite the fact that the dimensions and weight are identical, 38.3x 51.1mm, the watch definitely shows smaller on the wrist, than it’s steel polished brother. I am not so much in favor for the really large watches, since I have an 18cm wrist, but I was pleasantly surprised to see how good the ADLC model looked on my wrist.

Santos100 black

Because of the black color, instead of the shiny steel, of the regular Santos 100, it looks remarkable smaller, more discreet, less glamour. I shot some photographs of the watch in the gym, to illustrate what I am trying to get across. The watch has a very rough sporty look and qualifies as an ideal, no nonsense every day watch.


Superb for sport, traveling and great when you want something beautifull, but not too eye catching. Cartier was the first brand to use ADLC coating for their watch cases and the Santos 100 is the first black model in Cartier’s collection since the bakelite Santos from 1924, (although that model was more brownish), and the first black watch commercially produced on a larger scale, by Cartier. ADLC is more scratch and corrosion resistant than DLC coating, although not completely scratch-proof. ADLC may not be fingerprint-resistant, as stated by Cartier, but I find it really hard to leave any fingerprints on the case. The matt black case and the matt satin finished titanium lunette, do not show any marks,
while handling the watch.


Cartier not only uses ADLC for their watchcases, some parts of the Ballon bleu ID ONE,  were coated with ADLC too, to minimise coefficient of friction. The finish of the Santos 100 ADLC case is done in two different ways. The large Santos 100, featured here, has a mat satin finished case, the edges are highly polished (see 5th and 7th picture) while the mid size and more ladies like Santos 100 model, has a glossy finished, shiny black case, which gives the watch a feminine and dressy look.

Santos100 ADLC

Santos 100 black

Both models are available with a titanium- or with a pink gold lunette. The mens model comes with a folding buckle and textile strap. It’s a strong black water resistant strap, that wears pretty comfortable, but when the Summer is over I love to see the watch on a tan brown calf strap. Cartier, known for their eye for detail, changed the well known blue sapphire, into a black spinel cabochon.


V e r y nice detail, if you ask me.

Interesting enough it took me two years to really warm up for the black Santos 100 carbon and it goes without saying that my interest was fed by the beauty of the new black Santos Dumont Titanium introduced this year, the slim lined titanium Santos with skeleton movement.


The Dumont however is made out of titanium and has a very light weight, while the Santos 100 carbon has a steel case (ADLC covered) with just a titanium lunette. A different and a very elegant dress watch, with that same sexy black color, also way more exclusive, harder to find and with a complete different price tag.

These two watches are different worlds and should actually not be compared.

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