In 1904, the Brazilian pilot Alberto Santos-Dumont complained to his friend Louis Cartier that while he was flying with both hands on the controls, it was impossible to read the time on his pocket watch. Soon afterwards, Cartier sent him a prototype of a wristwatch. It was sold from 1911 as the Santos. It was the first watch with bracelet attachment lugs integrated into the case. These integrated lugs made it the first modern wristwatch for men. It had something additional that became a distinctive feature of Cartier watches: a sapphire cabochon on the winding crown. Dating back to the dawn of the 20th century, the Santos is the oldest icon of Cartier watchmaking.

SANTOS-DUMONT WRISTWATCH

CARTIER PARIS, 1912

Yellow gold, one sapphire cabochon, leather strap. 

Round LeCoultre calibre 126 movement, Côtes de Genève decoration, rhodium-plated, 8 adjustments, 18 jewels, Swiss lever escapement, bimetallic balance, Breguet balance spring.

This particularly rare piece is one of the very first Santos created by Cartier.

2.48 x 3.42 cm (case)

SANTOS DROIT WRISTWATCH

CARTIER PARIS FOR 
CARTIER NEW YORK, 1914



Round LeCoultre calibre 126 movement, fausses Côtes de Genève decoration, rhodium-plated, 8 adjustments, 18 jewels, Swiss lever escapement, bimetallic balance, Breguet balance spring.

3.44 x 2.48 x 0.45 cm (case)

SANTOS 
WRISTWATCH

CARTIER PARIS, 1926

Yellow gold, one sapphire cabochon. 

Round LeCoultre movement, Côtes de Genève decoration, silver-plated, 8 adjustments, 18 jewels, Swiss lever escapement, bimetallic balance, flat balance spring.

3.25 x 2.25 cm (case)