A watch with a dual claim to fame; the Santos was one of the earliest wristwatch designs to come from Cartier whilst this particular watch is one of the last to be made by Cartier Paris before all watch production was moved to Switzerland.
The earliest drawings of the Santos design in Cartier’s Paris archives date from February 1911, it has smooth curved surfaces, enabling it to slip under a shirt cuff without catching. Like all Cartier pieces from this period, it is essentially a piece of jewellery which also tells the time, the construction of the case is a thing of beauty. The polished bezel is held in place by eight domed studs, whilst the case back, which also holds the movement is attached by four gold screws. It is an unbelievably complex way of constructing a case, but then it was designed, time (and money) were never a problem for Cartier’s clients.
The movement is a Cartier calibre 21, which in fact is actually a Frederic Piguet calibre 21, one of the flattest movements available, with 17 jewels, 6 adjustments, Geneva stripes and a monometallic balance wheel with Kif shock protection for the balance staff.
The dial is white with an outer ‘railroad track’ for the minutes, stylised Roman numerals surrounding a thin black square with only the Cartier name within, at the very bottom of the dial is the all important manufacture location, Paris. The hands are blued steel Index style, BTW; during my last visit to the Cartier factory, I saw hands being blued in the old fashioned way using a gas flame in the hands of a very skilled employee.
The two piece case is held together with screws, the case back bears the Cartier signature as well as the serial number and a French 18k hallmark, signifying that the case was made in France.
Dial & movement are both 95% whilst the dial is 90%.
Length 27mm; Lug-to-Lug 38.5mm; Height 7mm., it takes a 16mm strap and a burgundy reptile strap with the signed and numbered Cartier deployant buckle is fitted, the buckle also has French 18k hallmarks.
£4,500.00 ($5,900.00 approx. US)