The Cartier Santos is the most iconic watch you didn't know existed

This watch is as fascinating as it is stunning

Cartier Santos

We love a stylish pilot's watch here at T3, and, although it may not look anything like a modern pilot's watch, the Cartier Santos, is, in fact, the original pilot's watch.

It was created in 1904 as the result of a promise Louis Cartier made to Alberto Santos-Dumont, famous Brazilian aviator, to create the first ever wristwatch suitable for flying.

This, consequently, was also the birth of one of the first ever wristwatches, and since 1904, the Santos has become an icon, with its geometric shape and innovative style.

The most recent Santos De Cartier watches boast many of the original’s iconic features, such as the square face, roman numerals, rounded angles of the dial, exposed screws, and crown guards.

It's now available in a wide selection of styles, from affordable steel models with a quartz movement, to slightly more bling-y solid gold models which cost over £28,000.

We love the large, bi-metal, automatic model, which is currently available for £8,900 at Goldsmiths.

This handsome model features a 40mm stainless steel case, with 18ct yellow gold bezel and a seven-sided crown set with a faceted spinel.

The silvered opaline dial is equipped with blued-steel, sword-shaped hands, a date window and a sapphire crystal lens. 

This stylish timepiece comes with a choice of two straps, one a stainless steel bracelet with 18ct yellow gold screws, and the other a soft, brown calfskin strap with an adjustable steel buckle. 

Both are equipped with a “QuickSwitch” system which allows you to swap them quickly.

Looking for something a little more affordable? How about the steel Santos-Dumont watch for £3,350?

It has a quartz movement, beautiful beaded crown set with a blue synthetic cabochon-shaped spinel, and silvered satin-brushed dial with sunray effect,

It's finished with a navy blue alligator-skin strap and steel ardillon buckle.

Spencer Hart
Style and Travel Editor

As the Style and Travel Editor at T3, Spencer covers everything from clothes to cars and watches to hotels. Everything that's cool, stylish, and interesting, basically. He's been a part of T3 for over seven years, and in that time covered every industry event known to man, from CES and MWC to the Geneva Motorshow and Baselworld. When he's driving up and down the country in search of the greatest driving roads, he can be found messing around on an electric scooter, playing with luxury watches, or testing the latest fragrances.