One of the most creative watchmakers in the design arena is Cartier and certainly the new Santos-Dumont XL Hand-Wind Watch collection is a clear example. The brand has been a leader in men’s watches, pilot’s watches and now this design sets new direction for size, and refinement. The latest timepieces have been introduced in three variations, the beautiful 18k pink gold, the two-tone 18k pink gold and steel and the new all-steel variant. Through the years while case styles changed and designs blossomed the vintage originals inspired some of the best, including this latest brilliant watch.
This amazing timepiece was named for Alberto Santos-Dumont, a Brazilian inventor and aviator. Known for his exploits in airships and plans, Alberto a family friend to Cartier was an influence as he discussed the problem of reading a pocket watch while trying to fly. While there were early designs for the aviator, it wasn’t until 1911 that the watch launced publicly and was named for the favored friend. The timepiece was first designed in two sizes and mechanical and hand-wind, and now the latest has the essence of the vintage original but with movement and dimensions changed. The pricing is also much more affordable and of course the steel version just added more value.
Looks Aren’t Everything, but They Help
As you work on new designs you never want to abandon the best parts of the past, and so Cartier took the best parts of the various prior models and made the Santos-Dumont XL Hand-Wind Watches better. The new design has great detail, and has taken what some might consider plain and made it magical. The measurements on this timepiece are 46.6 mm by 33.9 mm and is only 7.5 mm high, and really is just a nice timepiece that meets casual and elegance. The watch sits beautifully on the wrist, slightly curved but actually flat, just presenting the illusion of the curved case. The domed case back makes the timepiece thinner in the middle and the detailing for the case is impressive. The deep recessed screws, the dial that sits perfectly below the bezel and polished surfaces are just the smallest of details that make this timepiece spectacular. If you pay close attention that is just a slight unevenness that separates the brilliant brushed and polished surfaces but it really adds to the beauty of this watch.
Precision, Performance, Pricing
Inside this beauty is the 430 MC movement, the same calibre in the previous, compact and slim, but solid and reliable. The ultra-thin movement might only house 38 hours of power but is the true heart. The dial and face of the Santos-Dumont is simple, but silvered and brushed with a stamped border creating a chapter ring for the hour numerals, and adding depth to the simplicity. The hand-wind strap has metal inserts on both ends which adds some style, and allows for a flush fit with the case. The steel model is a great value, and you can always go with the 18k gold version as well if you want that look. From casual and classic to prominent and proud, Cartier provides something for everyone with this timepiece, so value is yours without sacrifice of precision.