I have a lot of respect for Cartier as a manufacturer of watches, and some may remember a post I wrote in November 2012 after I bought a Tank Basculante, in which I made those feelings clear. That was a gorgeous watch but proved to be a tad small for me, and ultimately it had to make way for a Reverso that I’ve been enjoying for many months now.
Anyway, I’ve been looking at the Santos for some time as a possible replacement, and yesterday I was offered one in mint condition and at a good price so decided to give it a go. I’m very impressed actually, as the quality and finish are superb. It’s the 100 XL, and whilst a large watch the curved case and relatively short lugs mean that it sits perfectly on my 6.75″ wrist. In fact, the case without the lugs and crown guards only seems to measure about 38mm square, which is slightly smaller than the 41mm quoted on the net (either way, it’s nowhere near as big as I thought it would be). The movement is an ETA base, the dial a traditional Cartier Roman numeral non-date, and the mix of polished and brushed surfaces gives it an appearance that’s both sporty and dressy.
Was the Santos the first ever wristwatch? Possibly – it’s a bloody good story anyway, though!