Every year, thousands of creations are launched in Switzerland at the Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie and Baselworld watch fairs. This year is no exception. Many of these new offerings, while handsome and worthy of investment, are tried-and-tes
The new watches that caught our eye
In his role as Cartier’s image, style and heritage director, Pierre Rainero has got a lot to live up to. “My role is to ensure that there is a consistent style across all of Cartier’s products. This is a huge responsibility which I don’t take lightly. Every decision I make, from approving— or disapproving—a new design to adding novelties to existing collections, is made in the name of keeping with the Cartier style.”
Among this year’s new novelties, Rainero is pleased with one timepiece in particular. “This year’s Santos-dumont is certainly something to be proud of,” he says. “It’s an exercise of restraint, elegance and creativity while being faithful to the original design.”
And design is what the new Santos-dumont is all about.
With steel, two-tone and full 18K rose gold options to choose from, the square case and thin profile of the watch (it’s just 7mm thick) mean it looks elegant regardless of material used. The simple dial displays just hours and minutes in the classic Roman numeral format, with visible screws around the bezel. The Santos Dumont is powered by a quartz calibre but it is one that the Cartier manufacture in La Chaux-de-fonds,
Switzerland, has tinkered with to reduce its energy consumption. Also, when combined with a new high-performance battery, the movement can run for approximately six years— twice as long as a standard quartz calibre.
The Santos-dumont is not the only novelty that Rainero is pleased with. He also takes great pride in the Libre and Privé Tonneau collections.
“How we conceived the movement based on the shape of the case is a testament to the kind of work we do in watchmaking, where everything is done in the name of aesthetics,” he says of the Privé Tonneau’s distinctive barrel-shaped case. The Privé Tonneau Skeleton Dual-time watch stands out the most. While the original model is equipped with two independent movements to power two different time zone displays, the 2019 version, which still displays two different time zones, is driven by just a single movement. The elongated case means the wheels of the gear train had to be arranged in a straight line from 12 to 6 o’clock.
“At Cartier, elegance is always the end goal,” Rainero says. “Our main mission is not only to create beautiful objects; we also need to ask ourselves: is the piece sufficiently elegant, or will it make the person who wears it look and feel elegant? At the end of the day, that is what is paramount.”
Santos-dumont by Cartier
Cartier Privé Tonneau Skeleton Dual-time