I reviewed the Cartier Santos 100 here on aBlogtoWatch a couple years ago and still feel very fondly about that model – but more on that later. Today my focus is on the new “Santos de Cartier” Large Model that Cartier released in early 2018. Cartier wanted to make sure the new Santos watches would hit stores soon after the debut (a practice not very common in the watch industry) and early reports are that sales of the new Santos models are strong. The specific model I reviewed is the Cartier Santos reference W2SA0006, which has a two-tone steel and 18k yellow gold case as well as the larger 39.8mm case (Cartier also produces a smaller 35.1mm wide version of the new Santos).
There is a lot to say about the Cartier Santos for 2018 and I discussed a lot of the overall collection details and highlights on this article here. In that article you’ll read more about the available models (and their prices) as well as what Cartier is trying to accomplish with the new Santos collection. This review will build on my discussion of the Santos in previous articles such as the above linked-to Santos 100 review.
Let me sum up the major highlights of the new for 2018 Cartier Santos watches. First, the cases and bracelets are significantly thinner and for some people, probably more comfortable to wear (as compared to the previous generation large-case models, like the Santos 100 Large). There is also the new bezel design which isn’t a huge element, but it does offer a rather distinctive look for the new models. The case contains an in-house automatic movement, and of course the biggest news is the quick release (“QuickSwitch” as Cartier calls it) bracelet/strap system, as well as the tool-less link changing system that lets you adjust the bracelet quickly, easily, and without tools (assuming you currently have fingernails).
My overall impressions of the Cartier Santos Large Model are very good. Some also say that the smaller model can also be worn as a men’s watch, but I’m pretty sure that in the West, the vast majority of 35.1mm wide Santos models will be sold to women. Aside from the size, the primary difference between the larger and smaller Santos model is the placement of a date window display (which exists on the larger model but not on the smaller model).