Cartier Santos Galbée XL 2823Sold
Cartier Santos Galbée XL 2823
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At AVW we talk a lot about the historical value of watches. Our business wouldn’t be what it is without the Cartier Santos, the watch that set the template for all wristwatches. Men used to wear rather large pocket watches until Louis Cartier introduced the Santos in 1904 as the first purposely designed men’s wrist watch. The Santos was not only pioneering for completely reimagining the way we interact with our timepieces, but also introduced a revolutionary aesthetic. The pocket watches that preceded it and many wrist watches that followed it were round with fluid details. The Santos, in contrast, had a strong and utilitarian aesthetic, with a square case and visible screws on the bezel. These design elements would be reintroduced almost 70 years later by Gerald Genta in the Royal Oak. The Santos has remained a staple in Cartier’s collection ever since its introduction more than a century ago. The model was overhauled in 1987 and relaunched as the Santos Galbée. Its boxy looks were toned down a bit, with the case receiving slightly more curved lugs and, for the first time, the iconic integrated Santos bracelet. This Santos Galbée XL dates back to 2005. Despite its XL moniker, the watch drapes beautifully around the wrist due to the integrated bracelet. The watch runs on a handy automatic calibre. The dial sports the classic Cartier-style black Roman numerals and includes a date window between the 4 and 5 position. Last but not least, you’ll find the exquisite blue sapphire-tipped crown between the watch’s crown guards.
Cartier Louis-François Cartier took over his master’s jewellery workshop in 1847. Over the years, his sons and grandsons inherited the family business and expanded the brand by opening shops in New York and London. King Edward VII of the United Kingdom granted Cartier a prestigious royal warrant in 1904, calling the brand “the jeweller of kings and the king of jewellers.” Such was the renown of Cartier, that royal warrants soon rolled in from all over the world (among which, Belgium, Egypt, Greece, Siam, Spain, Portugal, and Russia). While Cartier is known primarily for its jewellery, it also has a storied history in watchmaking. Cartier’s first foray in watchmaking came in 1888, offering exclusively ladies models. In 1904, Louis Cartier gave his friend and Brazilian aviation pioneer Santos Dumont a watch to wear during his flights. Until then, wrist watches were worn exclusively by women and men opted for the traditional pocket watch. The ‘Santos-Dumont’ was not only the first wristwatch geared towards men but also the first pilot’s watch. Cartier Santos In 1904 Louis Cartier came up with a ground-breaking solution for his pilot friend Alberto Santos Dumont. Santos-Dumont complained that it was inconvenient to consult his pocket watch while flying. Louis Cartier came up with the innovative idea of attaching a watch to a bracelet. The new watch would not only become the first pilot’s watch, but the first men’s wristwatch! Until then, Cartier had focused on jewelry and women’s watches. Santos-Dumont’s celebrity status helped popularize Cartier’s innovative design among the male masses.
- SKU 5833
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