No watch at SIHH 2018 has the same relevance to watch buyers and watch collectors as the 2018 Cartier Santos Large. Based on the 1904 Santos de Cartier -- the first pilot's watch -- the new Santos Large offers updated case, bezel, automatic movement, and a brilliant new bracelet.
Cartier SmarkLink and QuickSwitch have been the most discussed elements of the 2018 Cartier Santos. SmartLink is a brilliant bracelet sizing tool that embeds trigger-activated quick releases within individual links of the bracelet in order to ensure that one can obtain a perfect fit with ease. Even better, the securing bars that emerge from the links do so without separating from the bracelet links. This avoids the loss of small parts while using Cartier SmartLink.
Cartier QuickSwitch is a lug release that enables easy removal of Cartier bracelets and straps. This system is similar to the mechanism used on the much loved Cartier Roadster, but the ease of release has been upgraded for those with minimal nails. A full deployant clasp offers security on the wrist. As with the case, two tone stainless steel and yellow gold "bolt" embellishments grace this bracelet.
The 2018 Cartier Santos features the same basic square profile as seen the first example owned buy Brazilian dirigible pilot Alberto Santos Dumont. But changes can be seen in the form of the new bezel profile (draped over the case ends) and the curved profile of the case back; the former is elegant, and the latter is a superb fit for any wrist side.
A Cartier dial in silver includes all expected refinements. It presents with classical Roman numerals, Cartier "secret signature" at seven o'clock, date window at six, blued broadsword hour and minute hands, and a piano key/railroad track at center. The crown includes a blue spinel in the form of a sapphire.
Inside the case, Cartier includes its manufacture MC 1847 automatic movement. The 23 jewel self winding caliber features a 28,800 vibration per hour rate, stop seconds (hacking), quick set date, and Etachron regulation system. For sports watch buyers, the new Cartier Santos Large boasts 100 meter water resistance and a soft iron inner cage that resists magnetism like a Rolex Milgauss.
The Cartier Santos is encased in 39.2mm of stainless steel and yellow gold surrounding a silver dial on a stainless steel and yellow gold bracelet. Functions include hours, minutes, seconds, and date. The watch also measures 9.5mm in thickness and 47.7mm from lug-to-lug.
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