Cartier Santos Dumont Platinum- Ref. 1575 - Full set



Since 1847 the Parisian ‘King of Jewellers, Jewellers of Kings’ has produced many instant classics after turning its eye to watches. But no one timepiece signed off by Cartier can compete with the historical account of the Santos Dumont, the first wristwatch created in 1904 by Louis Cartier.

In an era marked by invention and adventure, Alberto Santos-Dumont pioneered in aviation. He was the first to fly in a powered airplane with his 14-biplane in Europe and today we thank the world’s first pilot wristwatch – the Cartier Santos Dumont – to him. Santos-Dumont was born in 1873 in Cabunga, Brazil into a wealthy family of coffee producers. Riding locomotive and steam tractors from the family plantation whilst being young, he already had his head in the clouds, dreaming of flying.

The family moved to Europe on the search for medical treatment when Santos-Dumont’s father became paralyzed after a horse-riding accident. Alberto’s imagination and flying obsession was further sparked in Paris, after seeing hot air balloons hover over the city. His first designed balloon, the Brésil, was flown in 1898. It didn’t take long for he was designing and flying steerable balloons (coined ‘dirigible’). It was said he would float at rooftop level around Paris and would land next to cafés in the city fancying lunch.

Alberto Santos-Dumont wanted to have his hands free for controls while flying – pocket watches were no longer ticking the rhythm of his ambitions. That is why Louis Cartier created the Santos Dumont model in 1904 for his aviator friend, allowing ‘this man of action to tell the time more easily whilst in flight’.

‘What is that strapped onto his wrist?’, was the common response looking at newspaper photos of Alberto in his flying machine, that only became available for the public in 1911 (in collaboration with Edmond Jaeger). Aside from being the first pilot’s watch, the deployant buckle that Cartier developed for the Santos Dumont in 1909 was another first on the market.

The significance of this piece is well known, it was Cartier’s first wristwatch and the first pilot wristwatches ever made. The watch that became known as the Cartier Santos-Dumont, still sold by Cartier today. 

The Watch

Introduced by Cartier in the 90's, This Santos Dumont Ref. 1575 has a satin finished platinum case with a slim design – thanks to the hand-wound Frédéric Piguet calibre. Also, the tiny screws located around the platinum plate bezel create one of the signature style choices linked to the Santos DNA. This stunning Platinum Cartier features a slightly larger case than its vintage equivalent. Measuring 36mm x 27mm, it makes for the quintessential dress watch.

On the back of the case the "Cartier Paris"  engraving followed by "Mecanique" and along with the reference,  and the serial number. The 1575-1 were mostly produced in yellow gold, not many were made in platinum. 

The original "Swiss" only silver Guilloché dial has an extraordinary soft tone, featuring black printed Roman numerals and an outer railway minute track. The hands are made of steel and are blued. 

The Movement

The Cartier Santos Dumont with reference 1575-1 – is powered by the manual-wound 021MC caliber, based on the Frédéric Piguet 21 and designed as the thinnest watch movement on the market with a diameter of 20,4mm and 1,75mm thickness (it has hold up to this reputable claim for 21 years). The 90-year-old movement is still produced today.

The 021MC has a power reserve of 42 hours and contains 18 jewels. The movement originally oscillated at 18,000 A/h but has been escalated to 21,600 A/h.

How It Wears

There is a real feeling of special when wearing this Santos Dumont. The cool platinum case sits flat and smooth on the wrist, its minimal height and slimline construction allowing it to fit with complete ease under any style of sleeve. Unobtrusive yet fabulously distinct in its appearance, it is an absolute delight to wear.

Set & Condition

This Cartier Santos Dumont is in incredible good condition. It's offered as a rare and incredible full set dating from 1998, sold in Milano. The original signature red Cartier box, complementing papers, and its original white gold folding buckle are all included. The watch comes fitted with a Mr Watchley Saffiano Mid Grey strap.

If you desire to take a closer look at this precious timepiece, don't hesitate to contact us and make an appointment. 

No stock kept on site

* Every watch is delivered in a Mr WATCHLEY Membrane Protection Box for a safe transportation in addition to its original set *

Reference 1575-1
Movement Manual
Caliber Cartier 021MC Caliber
Dial Silver Guilloché dial
Size (Case) 36mm x 27mm
Material (Case) Platinum
Bracelet Mr Watchley Saffiano Mid Grey
Glass Sapphire
Condition Mint
Year 1998
Papers Yes
Box Yes
Warranty 2 years


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