Google ‘world’s first wristwatch’ and depending on which page you land on, you’ll read at least 3 different stories from 3 distinct brands claiming that theirs was indeed the first. And while there’s no way to verify which has the more accurate story, no one can argue that the Santos de Cartier is the most enduring of them all since its creation back in 1904. A true icon in its own right, it was created specially for famed Brazilian aviator Alberto Santos Dumont, who told Louis Cartier he needed a better way to tell time while he was in flight.
The rest, as they say, is history, and walk into any Cartier boutique today and you’ll find two lines of the Santos watch that’s still in production. The first, the Santos-Dumont, has a collection of watches that are similar in design to the one the Brazilian aviator wore, while the Santos 100 is the thicker, sportier model that comes with exposed screws.
As for myself, I’ve always been a fan of the Santos 100, and having it tried it more than once, I’m still drawn to its geometric shape accented with exposed screws. One of those rare pieces that won’t look out of place on your wrist whether you’re dressed up or down, the Santo 100 now comes in variety of finishes, from full steel case and bezel, to another in full steel adorned with a 18K yellow gold bezel. Then there is the latest iteration, the Santos 100 in all-black ADLC that’s shown above.
And if you want to know the one I’ve set my heart one, it’s this, the Santos 100 steel that makes my heart beat ever so quickly whenever I lay eyes on it. A beautiful beast of a timepiece, I’ll just have to cough out the SGD9600 needed to bring this baby home and wear for a long, long time. After all, if has been around for 113 years, this true icon will have no problem being relevant (and sought after) for a hundred more.