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Cartier Santos Watches

A world-famous watch born out of a loyal friendship; the Santos de Cartier is a timepiece to be treasured. It was created in 1904 following a promise from Louis Cartier to his friend and well-known Brazilian aviator Alberto Santos Dumont. The promise was to create a watch with the ability to tell the time while flying at high altitude – a feat that seemed unfathomable at the time. Louis Cartier pushed the boundaries, however, to achieve Cartier Santos watches, which fast became an icon of perseverance and innovation.

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The watch that took flight

As the story goes, Santos Dumont complained to his friend Cartier about the impractical nature and unreliability of using a pocket watch while in the air. The French jeweller and watchmaker therefore made it his goal to create a timepiece to fit the bill.

Eventually, the Santos de Cartier was ready. The original was a flat wristwatch with a square bezel and highly legible dial design, which Cartier gave to his friend. And thus, the world’s first pilot’s wristwatch was born. In November 1906, Santos Dumont became the first person to be filmed in an aeroplane flight as he took off wearing his new Cartier watch.

Moving into the mainstream

In 1911, Cartier Santos watches became available for mainstream purchase. It was offered in a variety of platinum and yellow gold models with brown or black leather straps and a gold folding buckle.

The popularity of the Santos de Cartier continued until World War II when the military created a need for round wristwatches. This caused a decline in the popularity of timepieces with a square face.

The Santos reborn

At the Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie (SIHH) in 2018, Cartier launched updated men's and women's Santos watches with 13 new models and two different sizes. Actor and Cartier brand ambassador Jake Gyllenhaal was used in many of the advertising promotions for the men’s Cartier Santos watch around this time.

The new Santos features some of Cartier’s new patent-pending technology. This includes the SmartLink system – which allows you to take the bracelet links out yourself – as well as the QuickSwitch system, whereby you can easily swap out the bracelets for different occasions.

In 2019, the range evolved again when the prestigious Santos de Cartier Chronograph and entry-level quartz Santos-Dumont were launched. The dial design of the new Santos-Dumont is very similar to that of the very first Santos de Cartier, with long, thin Roman numerals, as well as the standout crown.

Cartier Santos watch features

Available in small, large and extra-large sizes, the Cartier Santos-Dumont watch is offered in stunning styles for both men and ladies.

You can choose from a selection of luxurious alligator leather straps including grey, black and brown, as well as a range of dial colours. Intricate features include beaded crowns set with cabochon-shaped sapphire crystals, blued-steel, sword-shaped hands and steel ardillon buckles.

The quartz movement watches are powered by a high-autonomy quartz movement, which is guaranteed for six years through the Cartier Care Registration. The hand-wound watches also carry the same length of guarantee.

All the watches are water-resistant up to approximately 30 metres.

Buying Cartier Santos watches from Goldsmiths

As part of our exquisite watch collection, we offer a wide range of men’s and ladies’ Cartier Santos watches for sale in a variety of sizes and colourways.

Free home delivery is available on all watches bought online in the UK, or you can opt for our free click and collect service from over 100 of our stores nationwide.

Take your time to view the collection in detail online and feel free to get in touch with our team to discuss any questions you might have about the watches.

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