Tim Mosso returns with a list of the best watches from underrated model lines. While everyone wants a Rolex Submariner or an Omega Speedmaster "Ed White," Tim finds value in luxury watches from Cartier, Omega, Grand Seiko, and Moritz Grossmann. In particular, the Cartier Santos "Large" offers a huge range or styles and capability to watch buyers who favor value and lasting quality.
Cartier's Santos de Cartier launched in 1904 as the world's first purpose-built pilot's watch. Brazilian aviator Alberto Santos Dumont needed a watch that he could wear and view while using both hands to pilot his muscle-intensive airships. A pocket watch was of no use to a man with two hands already committed, so Louis Cartier designed a "montre-bracelet" for his friend. Worn on the wrist, this "wristwatch" could be viewed even with both hands engaged. In the process, the Cartier Santos de Cartier became not just the first pilot's watch but also one of the first sports watches and first wristwatches at the same time.
In 2018, Cartier re-launched the Santos as a model line built around versatility. Neither as delicate as many older Santos lines nor as large and brutish as the Santos 100 of the 2000s, the Santos "Large" measures 39.8mm in stainless steel as featured on tonight's show. At only 9.4mm, this sports watch is surprisingly thin, and a lug-to-log measurement of 47.5mm means even women can choose the Santos Large. Each Santos LG includes 100-meter water resistance, so the slim case construction is even more impressive.
The latest Cartier Santos Large, reference WSSA0030, includes two brilliant features: QuickSwitch and SmartLink. The former is a push-button system for removing a strap or bracelet, and Cartier backs this by including an accessory second leather strap with the watch. Smart Link also operates by pushbutton means, but it allows tool-free removal and re-fitting of bracelet links. Using only a thumbnail, it is possible to fit the Cartier Santos' bracelet and size the bracelet for immediate use.
Tonight's Cartier Santos WSSA0030 is a variant that debuted at SIHH 2019. Its blue metallic sunburst dial includes luminescent hands that were not offered for the initial 2018 model year. Applied and polished metallic Roman numerals ensure the signature Cartier look while the rich blue dial base respects the style preferences of the 2010s.
Cartier provides manufacture caliber 1847 MC. Although not technically ambitious, it provides an in-house caliber to take the place of a generic ETA 2892 or Sellita SW300. Caliber 1847 MC is an automatic movement that includes a 42-hour power reserve, hacking seconds, and a quickset date. The movement also includes an unexpected amount of hardening against magnetic fields.
All of this plus watch collector wrist shots will be featured in this episode of "Watches Tonight!"
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