|Price||£2,950 (= $3,724)|
|Case diameter||51 x 41 mm|
|Dial numerals||Roman numerals|
|Lug width||23 mm Size guide|
|Buckle width||21 mm|
Louis Cartier created the Santos watch in 1904 for his friend Alberto Santos Dumont an early aviation aficionado who needed a practical alternative to checking the time mid-air without having to fumble around with his pocket watch. With the creation of the now legendary Santos model Cartier popularized the wristwatch as we know it today, sealing his friendship with the aviator Alberto Santos Dumont.
The dial's rounded angles and exposed screws made this an iconic timepiece. Cartier marked the centenary of the watch with the introduction of this steel version stamped on the caseback with the 1904 – 2004 anniversary date for all pieces bought on this year.
Multiple versions of the Santos have been introduced over the years, such as the Santos Dumont, which was based directly on Alberto Santos-Dumont’s original, groundbreaking timepiece, featuring the signature industrial elegance, leather strap and small buckle, and the Santos de Cartier Galbée, a more luxurious, glamorous two-tone gold affair, released much later on.
The fact is that the Santos is not everyone’s cup of tea but it would be incredibly foolish not to accredit Cartier with designing possibly the most ergonomic square watch ever. While the Cartier Santos 100 looks chunky and angular, it curves to fit the wrist.
Add to that its brushed steel finish, polished bevel edges along the case sides, water resistance up to 100m, and an automatic movement, the Cartier Santos 100 is a true sports watch. The dial shows off the trademark Roman numerals in black, contributing to the elegance of the piece. The overall luxury of the design never oversteps the boundaries and retains the everyday look of a working man’s watch. The appeal of the Cartier-Santos 100 cannot be overstated—this is a watch that stands the test of time. Having gone through several iterations in its time, the Cartier-Santos 100 has settled on an effective design of inarguable style and good looks.
Far from being the most gimmicky and exciting of luxury watches, the Cartier-Santos 100 nonetheless stands true as a monument to the ideal of simplicity in modern sports watches. Its lack of excessive complications takes this watch beyond the realm of simple status symbol and into a must-have, timeless classic.