Watch Review: Cartier Santos 100 W2020009

To some defree, the French watch brand Cartier is thought to be more as a fine jewelry producer than as a watchmaker. However, the brand has a long history as a creator of fine timepieces coupled with a unique style which makes it hard to ignore…

The original Cartier Santos was designed and created by Louis Cartier himself in 1904 for his friend and pioneer, Brazilian aviator Alberto Santos-Dumont. The Santos has been a major piece in the Cartier collection for a long time and in 2004 Cartier released their Santos 100 line which included larger Santos models.

aBTR-Cartier-Santos

The replica Santos line has many variations, however, they are all styled like the original. This includes a square case that is slightly curved on both sides which makes it fit effortlessly on the wrist. The dial has the signature Cartier Roman numerals, including the incorrect IIII at four o’clock – this allows the markers on the right to better symmetrically match the ones on the left.

Replica Cartier Ballon Bleu De Cartier Swiss Eta Movement Full Diamonds Panda Edition Watch
Replica Cartier Ballon Bleu De Cartier Swiss Eta Movement Full Diamonds Panda Edition Watch

The replica Santos 100 reference W2020009 (size large) case is in rose-gold and amorphous diamond-like carbon and offers the vintage design with rose-gold inserted markers on a black dial. The rose-gold sword-shaped hours and minutes hands join a hair-thin, rose-gold seconds hand for an elegant look. The hours and minutes hands include a small layer of SuperLumiNova coating which makes the watch readable in dark once light charged.

The simple yet stylish square dial design is matched with a protected heptagonal crown in rose-gold with a faceted black sapphire gem cabochon. Turning the crown clockwise winds the watch and when pulled allows the hours and minutes hands to change with a hacking seconds feature, thereby allowing the time to be precisely set. These are all basic features of the base Swiss ETA movement.

Replica Cartier Ballon Bleu De Cartier Tourbillon Manual Winding Pvd Case
Replica Cartier Ballon Bleu De Cartier Tourbillon Manual Winding Pvd Case With White Dial Nylon Strap Watch

One of my favorite parts of this watch is the strap. The Cartier “toile de voile” strap is made of a thick black nylon with a leather doubling interior. While the complete watch stands at just under 140 grams, Cartier’s choice of a nylon strap results in a very comfortable and easy to wear timepiece.

The strap can easily be adjusted by pulling the extra nylon strap and folding it on the inside of the formed bracelet. After adjusting it a couple of times, I wore it once for a long trip, and I hardly remember it was on my wrist the whole day.

 

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A Most Classic Edition – Cartier Ballon Bleu

Among Cartier’s many new releases for 2011 was this ultra-thin version of the popular Ballon Bleu. I am not totally sure why the Ballon Bleu is so popular.

Replica Cartier Ballon Bleu De Cartier Two Tone
Replica Cartier Ballon Bleu De Cartier Two Tone With White Dial Watch

The great popularity makes the replica Cartier Ballon Bleu a great chance to develop, for the workmanship in copying it is quite easy.
Thin watches are hot in recent years. Brands can charge the same amount for a watch with less precious metal – and they can claim you are paying for the complexity of miniaturization. That argument might make sense, but thin watches have been around for generations.

To be fair, the actual thickness of a thin watch doesn’t really matter unless you want to claim you have the thinnest one in the world, as is the case with some Piaget watches. What does matter is how they look and feel on the wrist. Cartier isn’t in the game to beat any records, but it does want to offer a thin profile version of the popular seller – and it does look pretty classy. Thin just seems to be the popular thing to do these days, and brands are experimenting where they might not without this trend being around. The thin case of the  Ballon Bleu Extra-Flat for even replica is broad and flat.

With only two hands and Cartier Roman numerals, the guilloche machine engraved dial looks slick and still easy to read. Whether or not you like the style of it is a matter of taste, we have to admit it is pretty attractive.

 

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