The Santos wristwatch dates all the way back to 1904 when pioneering aviator Albert Santos-Dumont told his friend Louis Cartier that he had difficulty checking the time on his pocket watch while flying. Based on this input from Santos, Cartier then went on to create what became the first watch specifically designed for the wrist.

For 2018, Cartier has released a modernized collection of Santos wristwatches, all powered by automatic in-house caliber 1847 MC, with the exception of two skeleton models.

Santos de Cartier

The Santos de Cartier now has sleeker lines and updated ergonomics for the perfect fit on the wrist. The iconic square-shaped case remains unchanged. The eight screws on the bezel are still there as well, however, the design has been updated in a way to create better symmetry with the case and the strap. Considering that the strap is a defining element of the Santos, which allowed the watch to be attached to the wrist, Cartier has chosen to focus heavily on that element with the redesign collection.

Santos de Cartier

According to Cartier, “The watch is designed for a perfect fit on the wrist and has been precisely weighted and measured to optimize comfort and ergonomics.”

In addition to the new measurements, the Santos now features the ability to quickly change straps or bracelets thanks to the (patent pending) Cartier QuickSwitch system hidden under the strap. Another technological advancement is the SmartLink self-fitting technology (patent pending), which applies to just the bracelets, that allows you to remove bracelet links without the need for a tool. A simple push-button system, which is shown in the video, allows this convenience.

Santos de Cartier

Changing straps is an unneeded nuisance that can often result in scratches, and so this feature, which is now available on many brands of watches, should almost be a given in the year 2018. Glad to see Cartier has designed a very easy version of this. I wish more companies, including strap sellers, would pay attention. As for the bracelet link changing system, this is rarer and very welcome as changing links can also be a nightmare, causing scratches and lost pins.

Jake Gyllenhaal

Being that Cartier is Cartier, a brand that is synonymous with celebrities, it’s worth noting that Jake Gyllenhaal is the official face of Santos de Cartier.

Santos de Cartier

Each model in the Santos de Cartier line comes with both a bracelet (steel or gold) and a leather strap (calfskin or alligator), each equipped with the Quickswitch system for easy changing between the two, and you can buy additional straps as well. The men’s versions measure 41.90 mm x 35.10 mm (medium) and 47.50 mm x 39.80 mm (large). Water-resistance is 100 meters. Retail starts at $6,250 in stainless steel.

Learn more at Cartier.

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Jason Pitsch
Posted by:Jason Pitsch

Author, photographer, and editor. Learn more on Linkedin.