How Cartier (and Santos Dumont) made me a broken man…


De Fifth Wrist.

Esta entrada se publicó originalmente en Fifth Wrist el .


I never thought I’d be here when it first started, when I first embarked on my watch journey years ago. Where some thought “timeless” I thought “antiquated”, simple indices over roman numerals, complications over simplicity, and a watchbox to wake to rather than a watch that remained on my waking wrist. Yet, here I am at the end of my journey, or more specifically, at the end of my ‘yearning’, with a Cartier Santos Dumont on my wrist, fastened by olive drabbed leather, the watch that broke me. I tried to sell this watch, with honest effort too when first received, but I made a big mistake, I wore it while awaiting sale and that changed everything. I told myself I was experiencing the most of it, to give it a ‘mocking’ chance, pre-sale, that I might expand my knowledge across the spectrum of watch collecting.

So, I wore it one day, then another, then another, then I dreaded, and I dreaded, and dreaded more, and then I felt like I’d be losing something special, that I’d be losing a moment I’d live to regret. Because when I’m wearing my Santos, I feel like I’m reliving a moment. I feel like I understand Cartier’s adherence to this design language for over a century, and why it still continues to be relevant. I feel like I understand why the Tank, Cintree, Crash, and the rest exist, that they are different watches and experiences in themselves. I feel like I understand Warhol’s statement “I don’t wear a Tank to tell the time. In fact, I never wind it. I wear a Tank because it’s the watch to wear”. I feel like it doesn’t matter if the movement is quartz or mechanical. I feel like the rest of my watch collection is too large, or too round, or too similar to one another. I feel like I just want to keep experiencing this moment, this experience, this timelessness. I can’t collect like I used to anymore, not unless it feels like this.

The Review


  • It’ll feel like you’re wearing an experience, a legacy, more so than a watch.
  • A mute class or suave that transends any attire or occasian (strap choice dependent). This is my daily and I wear this watch across the spectrum of op shop bum through to corporate slave.
  • Cartier watches aren’t in vogue, so if you’re wearing one you’ve made the decision to do so. It speaks volumes.


  • Even the term ‘petite’ would be too generous for describing the crown, the minimal tactile feel will have you often asking yourself ‘am I winding this or am I breaking it’?
  • Straps over 2mm thick on this watch can be jarring and difficult to install. The lug design (and hole placement) means thicker straps overpower the watch or are impossible to install.
  • Modern Cartier prices are not for the faint-hearted or non-commited, vintage has great value or introduction into the brand.

Review Breakdown

  • Quality 0%
  • Style 0%
  • Value 0%
  • Wearability 0%

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