If there is one thing Cartier excels at, it is elegance. Even when they relaunched their “sporty” Santos collection back in 2018, the watch was still a tad too elegant to be considered a rough and tumble sports watch for everyday wear. This year, the Santos de Cartier returns with a new look and although the classic roman numerals still don’t scream ‘sports watch’, the black, diamond-like carbon coating gives it a decidedly more dynamic demeanour.
The new Santos de Cartier comes in two variants, one with the entire large-sized case (39.8mm in width) coated with the black ADLC while the other has only the bezel coated with this material. Basically, Cartier’s ADLC is an Amorphous Diamond-Like Carbon coating. And as the name suggests, represents an ultra-hard, scratch-proof surface much like that of a diamond, and of course, it is black because of the carbon. Thus, with this hard coating on the surface, your watch would likely be able to take more punishment before you start to see visible scratches.
With this in mind, the fact that Cartier managed to put a vertical brushed finish on a material made to withstand scratches speaks volumes about what they are willing to do to achieve their aesthetic vision. And the result is an amazing watch that I feel sits right on the line between sporty and elegant. Yes, it has classical roman numerals on the dial, but these numerals are also filled with luminescent material. Yes, it has a precious stone on the crown, but Cartier has also chosen to use a black, faceted synthetic spinel to go with the look.
Another great indicator that these watches swing both ways – boardroom or boardwalk – is that they are both paired with rubber strap options. In the case of the Santos with the black ADLC bezel the alternative is a stainless steel bracelet, while for the full black ADLC Santos, the alternative is a black alligator leather strap.
Inside both Santos de Cartier options, you’ll find the Cartier Caliber 1847 MC that has automatic winding and 42 hours of power reserve.
The Santos de Cartier has an MSRP of MYR 28,900 for the stainless steel model with the ADLC bezel, and MYR 29,800 for the version fully coated with the black ADLC.