Cartier’s Santos, a pilot accessory legend for well over a century, has been subject to a dramatic design overhaul this year. Cartier calls the new series watch the Santos-Dumont Skeleton, and while it may stray from its utilitarian roots, it shows off a new visual sensibility that hints at formalism.
The watch’s skeleton perspective illuminates the Santos-Dumas Skeleton’s other nod to innovation: the in-house-developed caliber 9629. The product of two years of work, the movement is a complex one, with 212 parts contributing to timekeeping. The design includes a micro-rotor at the eight o’clock position.
In keeping with the watch’s history, the watch’s iconography is based around a bi-wing set off against longitudinal and latitudinal global lines. Measuring 31mm by 8mm, the case is a large one — in relation to Cartier’s in-house proportioning — while blue hands align with the blue lacquer.
The Santos-Dumont Skeleton is available in three metals, with yellow gold at the top of the hierarchy. 150 examples of that version will be made; it is finished with a blue alligator strap. Steel and rose gold versions are also available, and are offered through open-ended production.