Philippine Daily Inquirer

Ad­ven­ture and in­no­va­tion: The new San­tos de Cartier watch


The myth of the San­tos de Cartier watch has been main­tained since its cre­ation in 1904, and goes be­yond the story of Al­berto San­tosDu­mont.

The square shape re­mains un­changed. It echoes the re­fine­ment and sym­me­try of Parisian ge­om­e­try of the era. Also un­changed are the eight screws on the bezel, a trib­ute to the me­chan­i­cal steel struc­tures as­so­ci­ated with a golden age of ur­ban ar­chi­tec­ture. Here, Cartier dared to dis­play a func­tional el­e­ment that had been hith­erto con­cealed.

The strap is the defin­ing el­e­ment in the his­tory of the San­tos de Cartier, the first mod­ern wrist­watch. The orig­i­nal strap was in leather; now avail­able in steel, gold, calf­skin or al­li­ga­tor skin, all ver­sions are in­ter­change­able, thanks to the Cartier Quick­Switch sys­tem (pa­tent pend­ing) hid­den un­der the strap.

An­other cut­ting-edge fea­ture is the SmartLink self­fit­ting tech­nol­ogy (pa­tent pend­ing), which ad­justs the length of the me­tal bracelet to the near­est link with­out the use of a tool.

Thanks to the screw-down as­sem­bly de­sign, the new San­tos de Cartier of­fers wa­ter re­sis­tance up to 10 bar (~100 m) with min­i­mal case thick­ness.

Al­berto San­tos-Du­mont was an icon of mod­ern aero­nau­tic en­gi­neer­ing who fa­mously pi­loted the first hot air bal­loon flights in 1897 and in­vented the pre­de­ces­sor of the air­plane, La De­moi­selle, in 1907. He was San­tos de Cartier Skele­ton Watch in steel more than just an avi­a­tor; his style, per­son­al­ity and sense of in­no­va­tion made him a thor­oughly mod­ern man.

He was close to Gus­tave Eif­fel, Jules Verne, and other mem­bers of the in­dus­trial, artis­tic and sci­en­tific elite. Af­ter he met Louis Cartier in 1900, the en­su­ing friend­ship was a cat­a­lyst for progress. In 1901, the avi­a­tor com­plained of his dif­fi­culty check­ing the time on his pocket watch while fly­ing. Three years later, Louis Cartier in­vented the first pur­pose-de­signed mod­ern wrist­watch for San­tos-Du­mont.

Cartier also un­veils its new San­tos de Cartier campaign, a 60-sec­ond film di­rected by Seb Ed­wards and star­ring Jake Gyl­len­haal, that lets the imag­i­na­tion take flight.

The film is in­spired by the per­sona of Al­berto San­tos-Du­mont. His story of ir­re­press­ible am­bi­tion is told in 60 sec­onds that cap­ture the thrill of ad­ven­ture.

Seb Ed­wards, a Bri­tish di­rec­tor who trained in New York, is known for his award-win­ning campaigns.

“I wanted to cre­ate a Fellinisty­le fan­tasy world to tell the thrilling story through the eyes of Cartier. I tried to cap­ture the spirit of Al­berto San­tos Du­mont and his ob­ses­sion with flight, speed and dan­ger,” Ed­wards said.

The artis­tic col­lab­o­ra­tion with Amer­i­can ac­tor and pro­ducer Jake Gyl­len­haal proved thought­ful and re­ward­ing. (Watch it on watch?v=s7y4c­tPznzY&fea­ture=

Strat­egy di­rec­tor

The artis­tic, im­age and strat­egy di­rec­tor be­hind the San­tos campaign is Cartier’s Pierre Rainero, who joined Cartier in Paris in 1984 as in­ter­na­tional ad­ver­tis­ing man­ager. To­day, at Cartier In­ter­na­tional, the French­man heads re­search and strat­egy, the com­mu­ni­ca­tion de­part­ment, artis­tic di­rec­tion of Cartier prod­ucts, and all im­agere­lated mat­ters.

He su­per­vises the con­stantly en­riched Cartier Col­lec­tion, rep­re­sent­ing to­day more than 1,300 his­tor­i­cal pieces. Here, ex­cerpts from an in­ter­view ex­clu­sive to In­quirer: Cartier’s Pierre Rainero

What is the value or rel­e­vance of Cartier cre­ations, specif­i­cally the San­tos de Cartier, to to­day’s gen­er­a­tion?

There are two es­sen­tial val­ues con­veyed by the new San­tos de Cartier watch. First is its no­tion of el­e­gance, which is com­mon to all Cartier mas­cu­line time­pieces. This is ex­tremely im­por­tant be­cause Cartier was orig­i­nally a jew­elry house. To bridge jew­elry mak­ing and mas­cu­line objects strikes the no­tion of el­e­gance.

Next is the con­cept of bold­ness in this cre­ation. The San­tos de Cartier was cre­ated in 1904 first for a pi­o­neer in the avi­a­tion field, the first time­piece cre­ated for an avi­a­tor. The com­bi­na­tion of this pi­o­neer­ing field and el­e­gance is very much as­so­ci­ated with Cartier.

In a pre­vi­ous in­ter­view, you men­tioned how a woman could be el­e­gant yet not fash­ion­able—could you elab­o­rate more on this?

There’s a no­tion that el­e­gance is al­ways fash­ion­able. I think el­e­gance is linked to a faith­ful ex­pres­sion of your own per­son­al­ity. You feel the el­e­gance of a per­son in the way a per­son be­haves and the way they wear what­ever the at­tire is, the way it’s nat­u­ral—“nat­u­ral” mean­ing that it’s not some­thing forced, and you don’t feel there’s a des­per­ate at­tempt to look like other peo­ple. It doesn’t mean that it’s ho­mog­e­nized or a look or ap­pear­ance just like ev­ery­body else. It can be, on the con­trary, some­thing very, very dif­fer­ent, as long as you feel that it ex­presses the real per­son­al­ity, and you get that strong feel­ing of some­thing ef­fort­less. I think that’s what true el­e­gance is, to­gether with a cer­tain sense of, of course, beauty.

Tell us about the San­tos de Cartier watch—its de­sign, what sets it apart, and the phi­los­o­phy be­hind it.

Be­fore the San­tos watch, watches worn on the wrist were mostly fem­i­nine and con­sisted of a pocket watch at­tached to a dec­o­rat­ing lace, cord or chain to wrap on the wrist. Sim­i­larly, we are aware of records of sol­diers wear­ing watches on their wrist prior to the San­tos, and these were also pocket watches. With San­tos, Louis Cartier specif­i­cally de­signed the watch to in­te­grate a bracelet, with the horns fol­low­ing the shape of the case, hence “the first watch de­signed to be worn on the wrist.”

What are the con­sid­er­a­tions Cartier had in mind in re­design­ing of the New San­tos de Cartier watch?

The de­sign of the New San­tos watch em­bod­ies the his­tor­i­cal codes of San­tos, the square shape and vis­i­ble screws, rein­ter­preted and com­ple­mented by a new bezel seam­lessly in­te­grat­ing case and bracelet, and com­plete re­de­fined pro­por­tions, where ev­ery mil­lime­ter and ev­ery gram was care­fully engineered to of­fer the best com­fort on the wrist. The cre­ation of the San­tos watch in 1904 stems from the en­counter of Louis Cartier with his friend, pi­o­neer and avi­a­tor Al­berto San­tos-Du­mont. What is fas­ci­nat­ing with this story is the cre­ative ge­n­e­sis of the watch. Why make it square? Why show its screws? An­swer­ing these ques­tions comes down to re­al­iz­ing the ef­fer­ves­cence of Paris in the 1900s. Paris had just been pro­foundly re­designed, un­der the im­pul­sion of Baron Hauss­mann. These straight lines, vis­i­ble from the sky, in­spired the an­gu­lar square shape of San­tos. In the midst of an in­dus­trial revo­lu­tion, Paris hosted World Fairs in 1889 and 1900 that left their mark on his­tory as man­i­fes­ta­tions of tech­no­log­i­cal progress.

What in­no­va­tion makes it most rel­e­vant to this age?

The patented Quick­Switch in­ter­change­abil­ity sys­tem en­ables you to change the strap of your San­tos with­out any tools, in an in­stant, to fit any oc­ca­sion and any taste. An­other new func­tion, the also patented Smartlink sys­tem, en­ables you to ad­just the size of the me­tal­lic strap, link by link, once again with­out any tools and in a mat­ter of sec­onds. The en­tire de­vel­op­ment and man­u­fac­ture process of the new San­tos guar­an­tees op­ti­mum com­fort and last­ing qual­ity and reli­a­bil­ity.

Can you de­scribe the San­tos Man—his life­style, his needs?

A man who has a San­tos de Cartier on his wrist is a man of tremen­dous char­ac­ter. Al­berto San­tos-Du­mont was an avi­a­tor and a pi­o­neer who de­signed 22 fly­ing ma­chines; in a way he in­vented the fu­ture. His will and de­ter­mi­na­tion en­abled him to break records, push­ing so­ci­ety for­ward. He was also a man of style, rec­og­nized for his par­tic­u­lar al­lure, stem­ming from a quest of el­e­gance and prac­ti­cal­ity. Fi­nally, his char­ac­ter and ex­ploits at­tracted a lot of at­ten­tion and fas­ci­na­tion.

Aman who has a San­tos de Cartier on his wrist is a manof tremen­dous char­ac­ter Pierre Rainero Artis­tic, im­age and strat­egy di­rec­tor, Cartier In­ter­na­tional

 ??  ??
 ??  ?? Avi­a­tor Al­berto San­tosDu­mont, for whom Louis Cartier de­signed the first San­tos watch San­tos de Cartier in gold and steel San­tos de Cartier Skele­ton Watch; right, an air­craft de­signed by San­tos-Du­mont
Avi­a­tor Al­berto San­tosDu­mont, for whom Louis Cartier de­signed the first San­tos watch San­tos de Cartier in gold and steel San­tos de Cartier Skele­ton Watch; right, an air­craft de­signed by San­tos-Du­mont
 ??  ?? San­tos de Cartier watch in steel
San­tos de Cartier watch in steel
 ??  ?? The straight lines of a re­designed Paris in the 1900s in­spired the an­gu­lar square shape of San­tos.
The straight lines of a re­designed Paris in the 1900s in­spired the an­gu­lar square shape of San­tos.
 ??  ?? San­tos de Cartier in steel with leather strap
San­tos de Cartier in steel with leather strap

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