With no fanfare or fireworks, quietly, in the middle of the rush of the SIHH 2016, in the luxurious salons of the Cartier booth, nearly forgotten because pushed into the background by the introduction of the Drive, Cartier introduced this year a new version of an icon, the Santos 100. Well, if the design remains the same as the previous editions, some new colors are available. No big deal… However, it was until we’ve been told this watch came for the first time with a manufacture movement. Here is the 2016 Cartier Santos 100 ADLC, the icon back in full black and in-house.
The Cartier Santos 100 isn’t a new watch. After all, it is the first wristwatch created especially for men by Cartier, in 1904, on request of Albert Santos-Dumont, a Brazilian aviator and friend of Cartier. Huge jump in the time… The Santos 100 exists, in this actual shape and style, for quite a long now. Now you might think that what you are looking at, this black version of the Santos 100, reminds you of an existing watch. Well, you’d be right, in a way. In 2009, Cartier introduced a black-coated version of the Santos 100, the Carbon, a watch that stayed in the catalog for 3 years, before being discontinued. However, Cartier don’t just reintroduce this watch as such. Several evolutions are to be noted.
In its previous black / carbon edition, the Santos 100 featured a steel case, coated with ADLC. Well, it was close to this new 2016 one, but featured a nude bezel, non-coated in black, in brushed titanium. The new Cartier Santos 100 ADLC is fully black, entirely coated with ALDC, including the bezel (now in steel) and its 8 screws. Same goes for the crown, in black, but still with the blue sapphire cabochon. ADLC is a coating specific to Cartier, close to DLC. ADLC is an extremely resistant coating, which on the contrary of PVD, will be scratch- and shock-proof. This carbon-based coating is almost as hard as diamond but also rather elastic, meaning that it will stick to the case, even in case of dent of scratch. Reassuring.
When examined closely, we can see that even if coated, the case retains all its nice finishings, including brushed surfaces on the top and the flanks, as well as nice polished bevels surrounding the central case. The screws are polished. It is attached to a black fabric strap. This case measures 41.3mm large per 51mm long, making it relatively big on paper but, surprisingly, very comfortable and quite well proportioned on the wrist – this is also due to the quite curved lugs, which perfectly embrace the wrist.
As for the dial, the evolutions are small. The Cartier Santos 100 retains its Roman numerals, arrange in a square style, with the traditional Cartier font and the Cartier logo in the leg of the 7 numeral. The sword hands are still here too. What changes? The second hand is now painted in red, for a sportier look. Minor, you’ll admit. The novelty isn’t here.
In fact, the biggest piece of news is hidden behind the plain caseback. The Santos 100 has been powered for decades by an ETA movement – reliable, quite precise, but not very luxurious. As of now, the entire Cartier Santos 100 collection, including this black ADLC version, will come with Cartier entry-level but in-house movement, the Calibre 1847 MC – a quite simple but automatic movement, with single barrel, which can be found in the Clé de Cartier (and visible on this one). In the Santos, it gets rid of the date. It ticks at 4Hz and boasts 42 hours of power reserve.
The rest of the Cartier Santos 100 2016 collection will also benefit from this new movement – a collection that also includes a fun steel version and a steel (6,750 Euros) and yellow gold version (9,300 Euros). The version showed here, the 2016 Cartier Santos 100 ADLC, is now available and priced at 7,350 Euros.
Specifications of the 2016 Cartier Santos 100 ADLC
- Case: 41.3mm x 51mm – stainless steel with black ADLC coating – sapphire crystal on the front – 100m water resistant
- Movement: Calibre 1847 MC, in-house – automatic winding – 42h power reserve – 28,800 vibrations/h – hours, minutes and seconds
- Strap: black fabric strap on black ADLC folding clasp