We thought we knew all there was to know about this watch created in 1904 by Louis Cartier for his friend, Alberto Santos-Dumont, which allowed the aviator to read the time in flight. The first modern men’s wristwatch, it made its mark with a pure design incorporating a square bezel with visible screws. We knew, too, of the watch’s symbolic strength – an accessory designed to go ever higher, always further.
Nothing would have predicted what it had in store for us. Because in the power of its original design infinite possibilities are revealed; because its timeless shape never ceases to inspire Cartier for new interpretations.
Today, Cartier is renewing its tribute to the dandy that was Santos-Dumont, and to the style he embodied, through the Santos-Dumont XL watch. This set of three watches, available in limited engraved series, is offered alongside an exclusive edition of 30 pieces presented in a precious box. Each of them beats to the rhythm of the 430 MC mechanical movement with manual winding.
The Santos-Dumont XL Watch
The Santos-Dumont XL watch reveals a completely reworked design and proportions. Its history, the purity of its lines and the beauty of its mechanical movement with manual winding make it a watch for connoisseurs.
XL Transformation of a Timeless Watch
With a contoured case, taut lines and unadorned elegance, the iconic design of the Santos-Dumont watch is enhanced in an extra-large size. In contrast
to previous models, this one comes with a change of scale. On the wrist the dial is wide, generous and taut – retaining a true focus on style and essential elements. The finesse of the case and the level of sophistication remain the same – from the swordshaped hands to the beaded winding crown, from the sunray satin-finished dial to the case back engraved with the initials S=D, the signature of Alberto Santos-Dumont.
The 430 MC Calibre: The Choice of Connoisseurs
In a play of tension between function and form, inside and out, Cartier watchmakers chose the 430 MC mechanical movement with manual winding, appreciated for its finesse and the nobility of the gesture it requires.
The Engraved Santos-Dumont Limited-Edition Watches
“Go further.” Such could have been Alberto Santos-Dumont’s motto, which pushed him to invent delicate, poetic flying machines for his pleasure and that of Parisian spectators – machines that connected dreams and technology, man and sky. This is the story told by the new Santos-Dumont watches. Each of them now beats to the rhythm of the 430 MC mechanical movement with manual winding and is engraved with the original plans of Santos-Dumont himself. Cartier has chosen to present them on its website from April. A first for the Maison.
The “Le Brésil” Santos-Dumont Watch
Platinum case, silvered dial decorated with 12 polished metallic Roman numerals, sword-shaped hands and a ruby on the winding crown. A numbered limited edition of 100 pieces.
An exclusive status that is confirmed by the combination of the rubied winding crown and platinum case. The sophistication of the polished or brushed finishes on the surfaces and bevel underlines its precious character.
On the reverse is engraved the design of Santos- Dumont’s very first machine, “Le Brésil”, created in 1898 – “the smallest” and “the most beautiful”, according to the aviator. Its unveiling took place on 4 July 1898, after which a series of airships numbered 1 to 22 would emerge between 1898 and 1909, representing his many attempts to defy the laws of weightlessness.
The “La Baladeuse” Santos-Dumont Watch
Yellow gold case, champagne dial, sapphire winding crown, blued sword-shaped hands and patinated green alligator-skin strap. A numbered limited edition of 300 pieces.
On the back is engraved the profile of “La Baladeuse” or “n°9”, an experimental-looking motorised airship in which Santos-Dumont crossed the French capital’s sky in 1903. A small, bulging single-seater, “La Baladeuse” was intended for the personal use of its creator, who wished to demonstrate its usefulness in urban spaces. “The day will come when aerial omnibuses will transport tourists and business travellers,” insisted its creator.
The “n°14 bis” Santos-Dumont Watch
Yellow gold bezel on a steel case, anthracite grey dial, blue spinel winding crown and gilded steel swordshaped hands. A limited edition of 500 pieces.
On the back, an engraving of “n°14 bis”. In this flying machine, often described as a ‘kite of compartments’, the pilot, standing in the fuselage, was connected to the rudder and fins by cables. On 23 October 1906, after a day full of pitfalls, the “n°14 bis” won the Archdeacon Cup. Then, on 12 November, it took the Aéro-Club award. Alberto thus became the first aviator to complete a flight of 220 metres verified by an official organisation.
A Tribute to Masculine Elegance: the Santos-Dumont “La Demoiselle” Watch, with a Lacquered Wooden Box and Precious Accessories
An extra-large-sized watch celebrating masculine elegance in 30 numbered pieces, engraved with the design of “La Demoiselle”, the most elegant of Santos’ flying machines.
This platinum watch with ruby cabochon was created in homage to Alberto Santos-Dumont, the pioneering dandy whose silhouette is inseparable from the panama hat he was never seen without. Cartier pays tribute to this stylish accessory by using a made-to-measure Panama-weave strap. On the dial, the central square also evokes the woven design. As a detail for connoisseurs, the “Cartier” signature traditionally slipped into one of the branches of the VII is replaced by a “Santos”.
Created in 1908, “La Demoiselle” is Alberto Santos-Dumont’s most accomplished flying machine, and one of the first aircraft to be mass produced. With it began a new era: “And we will sail through the air seeing Europe unfold at our feet like a geographical map. There we will remain,