Since 1904, Louis Cartier (Louis Cartier) conceived a Santos watch for aviation pioneer Alberto Santos-Dumont, the technology and design have experienced countless Change, but this revolutionary watch is still out of date. The new Santos series launched this year has a striking resemblance to the original model. The true classic is nothing more than that.
New Santos series watch, released at SIHH 2018, with quick-change system
The river was flowing quietly under the bridge in Paris. Humans stepped on the surface of the moon and accustomed to crossing the Atlantic for hours. Tesla sports cars flew to Mars. If you go through today, Pierre Cartier and Louis Cartier, the grandsons of Cartier’s founders, will not believe their eyes, and the visionary Brazilian pilot Albert Santos Dumont is no exception. However, all three of them lack imagination. They have the ideals and ambitions pursued for life. Their fate is closely related to one of the most attractive revolutions in the history of time measurement: the invention of modern watches.
From the Air France Club to the first men’s watch
In 1904, Paris, France. The Eiffel Tower is still new, and in this city planned by Baron Ottoman, you can smell the excitement in the air. At the beginning of the aviation industry, Paris was at the forefront. Leaders of industry, academia, sports, and art traveled frequently to the capital’s influence circle, and a new society was gradually taking shape in front of the Cartier brothers. Soon, Louis Cartier became interested in aviation. He often consulted the Air France Club Commissioner for the latest developments. The latter is responsible for flight timing, judgment records, and attention to the potential of different engines and fuels.
To familiarize himself with the air, Albert Santos Dumont ate in a chair several feet high, circa 1900
It was here that in this club of passionate visionaries, Louis Cartier met Albert Santos Dumont. The Cartier archives show us the maverick side of the aviation pioneer-in a photo, he sits in a long-legged chair and dine with friends to suit the feel of an aircraft. By interacting with Albert Santos Dumont, Louis Cartier understands the situation faced by early pilots and their needs. On the basis of precise understanding, the first Cartier timepiece designed for men to be worn on the wrist was born in 1904. Function dominates the creation of new watches, and it provides a clear answer to a seemingly simple question: how to measure flight time and monitor fuel consumption when you can’t let go of the control of the aircraft and look around for pocket watches Consume? The answer is to wear the watch on your wrist! Designed and manufactured for Santos Dumont, this watch began to be sold to the public in 1911. It not only met the needs of early flight pioneers, but also laid the foundation for contemporary watchmaking.
Cartier Santos Dumont watch, 1912
Fusion of form and function
From a design perspective, the original Santos carried all the features of a Cartier watch. The unique silhouette is reminiscent of the steel bridge across the Seine and the monuments around the capital. The square bezel with decorative screws, the stylized Roman numerals, the orbital minute ring, the crown set with convex sapphire, and the leather strap … form and function, elegance and practicality are perfectly combined here. Other equally recognizable designs came out one after another-turtle, barrel and tank-the Santos series marked the beginning of the fantasy adventure of Cartier’s watch.
Cartier Santos gold watch with automatic movement, circa 1978
In 1978, Santos re-launched in a bold combination of gold and steel-the Santos watch released at SIHH 2018 is very similar. For 40 years, the squares and straight lines borrowed from Parisian architecture remain unchanged. The eight screws were retained, and the Cartier designer extended the bezel slightly to harmonize the lines between the case and the bracelet. The core of the watch is designed for modernity: the 1847 MC self-winding movement has central hours, minutes, seconds, and date display (at 6 o’clock), and uses nickel-phosphorous parts. It also has a barrier made of paramagnetic alloy, which has excellent anti-magnetic performance .
New Santos watch, 2018
With the advent of the Santos watch, the key is to be able to wear it, so it is appropriate to focus on this feature in 2018. The new Santos watch uses the patented QuickSwitch system. Whether steel or gold, calfskin or crocodile leather, bracelet or strap, it can be disassembled at the touch of a button and replaced at will according to the wearer’s mood or needs. In addition, the metal bracelet can be adjusted by the hidden button, and the length of the bracelet can be easily adjusted without using tools. This super-practical invention reminds us that one of the long-lasting secrets of Santos is to keep up with the times as always. Under the bridge in Paris, the river is still flowing quietly. From the original revolutionary watch to today’s interchangeable chain, Santos has gone through decades of baptism in elegance and has always been young.