A small cite from the Alberto Santos-Dumont article on WordIQ.com:

Santos-Dumont and the wristwatch
The wrist watch had already been invented by Patek Philippe, decades earlier, but Santos-Dumont played a important role popularizing its use by men in the early 1900s. Before him they were generally worn only by women, as men favored pocket watches. As a result, especially in Brazil, Santos-Dumont is considered by some to be the “Father of the Wristwatch”.


The story goes that in 1904, while celebrating his winning of the Deutsch Prize at Maxim’s Restaurant, Alberto complained to his friend Louis Cartier about the difficulty of checking his pocket watch to time his performance during flight. Alberto then asked Cartier to come up with an alternative that would allow him to keep both hands on the controls. Cartier went to work on the problem and the result was a watch with a leather band and a small buckle, to be worn on the wrist.


Santos-Dumont never took off again without his personal Cartier wristwatch, and he used it to check his personal record for a 220 m (722 ft) flight, achieved in twenty-one seconds, on November 12, 1907. The Santos-Dumont watch was officially displayed on October 20, 1979 at the Paris Air Museum next to the 1908 Demoiselle, the last aircraft that he built.”

Since it is 100 years after the first Cartier watch with the name ‘Santos’, Cartier has made a special edition to celebrate this. You can read about its release (earlier this year) here.

This serious watch (42.1mm by 51.1) with automatic movement Cartier caliber 49 (ETA 2892-A2) seems to be serious competition for other large gaudy watches. To me, this watch is only interesting because its ‘story’ as can be read above. Anyway, I seem to be just in time to write something about this Santos 100th anniversary watch, before the anniversary is over… 🙂

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Robert-Jan Broer
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Robert-Jan Broer

Founder & Editor at Fratello Watches
Robert-Jan Broer, born in 1977, watch collector and author on watches for over a decade. Founder of Fratello Watches in 2004.
Robert-Jan Broer
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