What A Difference A Strap Makes!

New strap for my Santos!
Summer is over here in Europe, so I had the strap of my Santos 100 changed, from the black
‘Toile the Voile’, to a green full alligator strap.
The black strap gave the black watch a very stealth look, which was great.

Santos ADLC

A black alligator would have given it an even more stealth look, but I love the lugs of this model
and I wanted to emphasize them more.
My first option was a natural tan color, what looked very cool, but also pretty sporty,
so I decided for the green and love the way the long lugs of the watch case, stand out now.
Blue would of course have given the same effect, but that didn’t match my shoes. LOL!

Santos100 black

When ordering a custom made strap, there are many different leathers to choose from
and most leathers come in a variety of colors. So that’s the first decision to make!
Although Cartier has a very large collection, do not expect to find exotic leathers like stingray
or elephant. The various types of leather in the Cartier collection, come from farms.

Next decision is the stitching. Usually a detail that many people forget, but stitching can
make a strap really stand out, or emhazise a color from the dial or case.
Stitching in the same color as the leather of the strap, is pretty common, Ton sur Ton,
as it’s called in Europe.

Tank Asymetrique


it gives a smooth, chique and good looking result, but contrast stitching,
cream on tan leather for instance, can give a very nice effect.
It’s a little wilder, or a little more sporty, but still also a great option for non sport watches.
Contrast stitching is a special order option and will take several weeks to make,
but every Cartier Boutique or AD can arrange it.

When the color and the stitching have been selected, choosing the length, is the next step.
With a tang buckle it’s not that important, but with the Cartier deployant buckle it is,
since the part of the strap that is not used, is folded on the inside and that should not be too long.

The right length of the strap has become an even more critical issue,
since Cartier has changed the folding buckle of most of their models, from a ‘one side adjustable’,
to a ‘two sides adjustable’ system.

The Santos 100 and the Roadster were the first models, to have that new system,
but now the whole ‘Fine Watch Making’ line is using the two sides adjustable buckle
and this will probably be standard now, on every future model.
For Cartier it was IMHO a wise and pretty commercial decision, since the Boutiques now only need
to stock one size.
Both sides of the strap are now equal in size and looks, so the production and stocking are
less complex this way.
Cartier’s production and stock of straps is enormous, so their decision is quite understandable.

The downside for the consumer is, that for a person with an 18cm wrist or smaller,
the end of the straps, that are folded away on the inside, are way too long.

Deployant buckle

Of course many people do not mind since it’s invisible and on the inside.
But I find it visually a very sloppy system, when the straps are too long and it does not feel
comfortable either, when taking the watch on and off.

Standard length for the Santos 100 is 115mm and this is the size that is always in stock,
when ordering a new strap, but remember there are two length available!

I now ordered the short version, (available on some colors only) so both ends are shorter
which gives the watch much better fit and makes it easier to handle.

Cartier Deployant

Strap buckle

I still find the two way adjustable system not great and prefer the older system more,
but this is the way it is and when the strap is as short as possible,
it does look and does feel much, much better.
Centering the buckle has become much easier now and that may be an advantage for the user
and for the sales person too.

My straps always last many years, so I do not switch that much, but every time when I have
bought a new one I am amazed how good and different the watch looks again and wonder
why I haven’t done that earlier.

Some men like to match the strap of their watch with their belt and/or shoes,
if that works for you.

Green strap

Of course one can wonder if bold colors like these, can be called ‘well dressed’ .

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