Cartier Santos-Dumont Extra Large “No. 19”

If you are looking at Cartier for an out-and-out sports watch, the Santos range should check all the boxes. Even with its overt use of design elements such as rivets on both bezel and bracelet as well as beefier proportions, the Santos (clearly) is a derivative of the Santos-Dumont.  Last updated in 2019, the Santos-Dumont continues to be the more elegant and historically accurate choice.  In this Pictorial, TBC will be looking at a special 2021 Novelty release.

Photography by Ronald Chew

by Terence Tee

  • August 18, 2023

In 2019, Cartier released a refreshed Santos-Dumont with a beaded winding crown, a blue cabochon and… a quartz movement.  Just a year later, La Maison brought out an XL (which, admittedly, is not large by modern parameters) version with a hand-wound movement. For Novelties 2021, a pair of limited edition Cartier Santos-Dumont XL watches were unveiled – including this watch right here.

“No. 19” is an erstwhile XL standard Santos-Dumont encased in 34mm of 18k rose gold and stainless steel surrounding a rose gold dial on a grey alligator strap. While Cartier has always the combination of steel and yellow gold, the use of rose gold for “No. 19” is très bien.  The most obvious novelty of this limited edition Santos-Dumont is, well, the dial.  It has a guilloché pattern in the centre, adding depth and character.  For all the watch nerds out there, the guilloché pattern has 60 grooves, matching the minute track.  The usual Roman numerals have been replaced by applied, rhodium-plated Arabic numerals, and the blued hands match the colour of the crown’s cabochon.  The dial comes alive in brighter conditions, allowing the numerals and guilloché pattern to do a dance of light and shadow.

In truth, “No. 19” is not an XL-sized watch at all; it is more about compact dimensions and elegance. It measures 46.6mm in length, but the width of the case is only 33.9mm – which is, admittedly, quite small compared to modern standards.  The case, thanks to the Piaget-based hand-wound movement, is also pretty thin, at 7.5mm.  It is, for all intents and purposes, the equivalent of a 38mm round dress watch, completely wearable under all cuffs.

Turning the watch over, the closed caseback reveals an engraving of Alberto Santos-Dumont’s flying machine – No. 19 – carrying on the aviation theme that was first used in the 2020 Santos-Dumont novelties. Beating inside the case is the calibre 430 MC, which is based on the Piaget 430P, a 2.15mm hand-wound movement also used in the Drive Extra-Flat. Relatively simple, it is distinguished by its compact dimensions. Beating at 3Hz, it delivers a relatively short power reserve of 38 hours.

This two-tone Cartier Santos-Dumont XL is paired with a dark grey alligator strap closed by a pin buckle. And just like every Cartier on sale now, it is equipped with a proprietary quick-release system that allows for strap changes sans tools.

Specifications

BrandCartier
ModelSantos-Dumont XL
ReferenceW2SA0025
Case MaterialSteel and rose gold
Case Dimensions46.6 mm x 33.9 mm
Case Height7.5mm
Water ResistanceAre you that brave? 3 bars is all you got.
Lug Width19mm
MovementCartier Calibre MC430 (hand-wound)
ProductionDiscontinued; limited edition
WearsTrue to size

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