“It is very distinctive, it is very stylish – it is very Louis Vuitton… wherever you go in the world you will see people carrying the distinctive Louis Vuitton brand… whether it is a little bag or a huge suitcase. It talks of distinction and taste” – Cherie Blair at the London Louis Vuitton New Bond Street Maison Opening.
The modern Cartier Santos was introduced in 1978 as a classy sports watch to compete with the Rolex DateJust. An earlier version first came out in 1904 which featured a flat wristwatch with a distinctive square bezel. The newer Santos was famous for highlighting the watches screws – something that traditional high quality Swiss makers always tried to hide previously. The newer Santos was also Cartier’s first watch to treat steel like a precious metal.
The Santos was named after the Brazilian aviator and Cartier customer Alberto Santo-Dumont.
Prior to the introduction of the Santos Cartier had two model lines. The exclusive solid gold line (Louis Cartier) and the gold plated Must de Cartier line. With the introduction of the steel and steel and gold Santos Cartier had a watch for the large middle ground watch buyer.
The Cartier Santos was so well received it spawned the Panther model a year later. The Panther and Santos ranges were available in steel, steel and gold and solid gold. The Panther was only available in quartz whilst the Santos was available in automatic and quartz.
The Santos had a model revamp in the early 90s when the glass became curved – often referred to as a curved glass Santos. A limited edition version was available in the early 90s with a moon phase feature. A chronograph version was also released.
Cartier has always been at the cutting edge of fashion and so it is with the new Cartier Santos 100 series.