Cartier Introduces the Santos-Dumont with a Lacquered Case

A strikingly different take on a classic.

While Cartier has unveiled fancier and more complex watches at W&W 2022, one of its standout new launches is amongst the more affordable, at least in steel. The Santos-Dumont Large Model in lacquer is unusual and interesting; very different from any recent Cartier yet clearly a product of the Parisian jeweller.

Available in steel, gold, or platinum, the new Santos-Dumont has its case and bezel finished with coloured lacquer, while the dial has a concentric cube pattern. Though the lacquered case is inspired by a vintage Santos with a similar decoration, it is unique amongst Cartier’s current line up.

Initial thoughts

The new Santos-Dumont is inspired by a 1920s watch with a lacquer bezel, giving it an unsurprising vintage vibe, yet it is entirely original. With its square bezel and Roman numerals, it is clearly a Cartier Santos, but it stands apart from its more mundane counterparts.

I like everything about it, though I would have preferred it in the Extra-Large size, rather than the Large as it is now.

Of the three versions, the steel model has the strongest vintage vibes with its black lacquer. The platinum model is striking and almost over the top in its colour, while the rose gold version lacks contrast.

In steel with black lacquer

While the platinum and gold versions are limited edition – as would be expected for such an unusual watch – the steel version is regular production, which is both unexpected and welcome news.

And the watch is fairly priced in all its variants, starting at about US$10,000 in steel. That makes it accessible, both in terms of availability and cost.

Lacquered decoration

Based on the Santos-Dumont launched in 2020, the new model is identical in size and shape. The lacquer decoration is an aesthetic addition that changes nothing fundamental.

In fact, the case starts out as a standard Santos-Dumont case before being engraved with shallow recesses to accommodate a thin layer of lacquer. After the recesses are filled with lacquer and dried, the case is then polished, leaving the lacquer smooth and flush with the case surface.

Rose gold with beige lacquer

Inside is the 430 MC, the same movement found in the standard Santos-Dumont. It’s actually a Piaget cal. 430P, an ultra-thin, hand-wind movement with a short 38-hour power reserve that’s a result of its small diameter and slimness.

Platinum and burgundy

Key Facts and Price

Cartier Santos-Dumont Large Model Lacquered Case
Ref. CRWSSA0046 (steel, black lacquer)
Ref. CRWGSA0054 (rose gold, beige lacquer)
Ref. CRWGSA0053 (platinum, burgundy lacquer)

Diameter: 43.5 mm by 31.4 mm
Height: 7.3 mm
Material: Steel, 18k rose gold, or platinum
Water resistance: 30 m
Crystal: Sapphire

Movement: 430 MC
Functions: Hours and minutes
Winding: Hand-wound
Frequency: 21,600 beats per hour (3 Hz)
Power reserve: 38 hours

Strap: Alligator with pin buckle

Limited edition: 150 pieces in platinum, 250 pieces in rose gold; steel model is regular production
At Cartier boutiques and retailers

For more, visit


Back to top.

You may also enjoy these.