Cartier Santos Octagon 'Agate Sapphire Diamond'

Agate is a variety of Chalcedony and is a crystal of courage.

Museum Piece
Cartier  Louis-François Cartier took over his master’s jewellery workshop in 1847.

Introduction

Agate is a variety of Chalcedony and is a crystal of courage. It sure takes some balls to sport this Cartier Santos Octagon. The dial is cut from Agate, a stone with a beautiful clean and blue texture. The dial lacks any unnecessary adornment, save for a simple “Cartier” signature and a small “Paris” indication, both in yellow-gold, giving the stone plenty of space to shine. The dial is complemented by 18k white-gold sword-shaped hands. The matching 18k white-gold octagonal bezel is factory-set with diamonds alternated by blue sapphires. The beautiful sapphire detailing is continued on the bracelet, which features stunning princess-cut sapphires on each side. So the Agate matches the bezel and the bracelet! It makes this distinctive watch wearing like a beautiful piece of jewellery. A cool detail is the interlocking “C” Cartier-logo on the clasp of the bracelet.  The classic Cartier Santos was initially designed in 1904 by Louis Cartier for his friend, the Brazilian aviation pioneer, Alberto Santos-Dumont. 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. In the 1990s, Cartier reimagined the Santos by replacing its square case with an octagonal one and a matching octagonal bezel, possibly as a nod to the Royal Oak.  The example we can offer you was possibly commissioned by a very special client from Cartier somewhere in the '90s. The bezel and case have maintained all sharp edges and shapes and the bracelet is tight and has no stretch. There are some minor signs of wear as indicated in the pictures. However, the most important factor is that the dial is absolutely flawless.

Description

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.