Although Cartier has genuine pedigree, being founded in 1847, the brand has never been technically innovative. Cartier is a high fashion brand whose strength seems to have been in quality and innovative design. For me, never really that exciting.
This is a Santos model from around 1988, very small for a gent’s watch, 30mm across including the crown. It is very distinctive with the octagonal 18ct bezel and the unmistakeable “Cartier” roman numeral dial. The bracelet is stainless steel with 18ct imitation screws set, that is imitation screws made from real 18ct. A nice touch is the sapphire set into the crown.
The movement is stated as Cartier 077 which is a rebadged ETA 2671, the ladies version of the ETA 2700 series.
On the back of this watch is etched AC 17.8gr and OR 0.750 2.3gr. This refers to the weight of the steel (in the case only) and the gold…..I’ve never seen this before.
The Cartier Santos first went on sale in 1911. It was designed by Louis Cartier, the Grandson of the company’s founder, who was asked by his Brazilian friend Alberto Santos-Dumont, an early aviation pioneer, to design a watch that could be used during his flights, since pocket watches were not suitable.
I think that this was the first gent’s wristwatch but how innovative was Louis? Ladies wristwatches where around since the middle of the previous century, so how hard was it to make one a little larger for a man?
Having said all that, I am pleased to have this very desirable (among the general public) watch in my collection and it has had a reasonable amount of wrist time.