The Santos 1575
The history of the Cartier Santos dates back to 1904, when Louis Cartier created a watch for his friend, the pilot Alberto Santos-Dumont. A Brazilian aeronaut and inventor, Dumont was the heir of a coffee company and contributed significantly to the development of the modern aeroplane. Finding it difficult to check his pocket watch while also trying to fly a plane, Dumont complained about this to Cartier, who then came up with a watch that could be strapped to one’s wrist.
Since then, Cartier has created several iterations of the Santos, including the Santos Galbeé, in 1987, to the updated collection of Santos-Dumont watches, in 2018. This particular reference 1575 was created in the ‘90s, and is distinguished by its intricate guilloché dial.
The design of this Cartier Santos-Dumont 1575 is characterised by both utility and elegance. Encased in sleek platinum, the watch retains its roots as a tool watch with the inset screws on the surface of the case, while the ivory dial and crisp Roman numerals have become a hallmark of Cartier’s style. Taking a closer look will reveal a secret Cartier signature integrated into the seven o’clock marker.
The case itself is composed of brushed platinum, while a polished bezel is layered on top, contrasting the two textures to hint at both function and sophistication. The dial of this Santos-Dumont 1575 also bears an intricate engine-turned pattern across the entire face, which is rarely found across iterations of the reference and provides an attractive visual depth to the surface of the watch. Furthermore, the hands are rendered in midnight blue, complementing the crown, which is set with a blue cabochon sapphire. It also features a closed caseback, which is brushed.
At 36mm in length and 27mm in width, the Santos-Dumont 1575 is a smaller watch that can be worn by both men and women, while its slim size - at 4mm - also allows the piece to sit comfortably on the wearer’s wrist.
This Santos-Dumont 1575 is powered by the manual 021 MC movement, an ultra-thin movement that gives the watch its slim shape. The caliber is based on the Frédéric Piguet 21, is fitted with 18 jewels and has a 42-hour power reserve. At the time of its release, the calibre 21 was the the thinnest watch movement in the world.
This piece comes with its original box, International Guarantee Certificate (signed 1996 and stamped by "le must de Cartier - Hong Kong", Cartier representatives booklet and Instruction manual. The watch comes attached to a bespoke Anthracite grained leather strap and is accompanied by the original black alligator strap and white gold deployant buckle from Cartier.
If sold within the United Kingdom, this Cartier Santos 1575 will be subject to 20% VAT. Viewings are currently suspended for the time being.