Cartier Santos 100 Watch Review

Over the years there have been a few versions of watch. That even includes a chronograph model. This particular version (ref. J029030440) is the newest one as of this review's writing. It is also my favorite. I should also mention that a metal bracelet option is now available as well. The case is 45mm wide in steel (though there have been 18k gold versions of the 100 as well). On this version, opted for a black ceramic bezel. It matches the glossy black lacquer dial and adds a degree of durability (via scratch resistance).

The dial is very deliberate in its design. It mixes the simplicity of the with the more architectural look of the 100 case. There is a sort of screwed-down brushed metal bar that extends from claw to claw, while a raised and angled border lines the two overlapping dials. This version of the 100 watch opts for a blue trim on the hands and indicators, while the original 100 watch used orange. There is also a version with red trim. As I mentioned before, the dial is really about art. Tool watch purists will complain that too much space on the dial is being wasted, but I don't know why those people are looking at Cartier to begin with. This is an emotion rich high-end brand that waves a lace-ended sleeve at such silly notions.

Even as an art watch, Cartier put a lot of attention into comfort and use. For example there is a rubber section on the screw-down crown which helps to unscrew and operate it. The deployant clasp locks tightly and has a security bar to ensure your sizing doesn't undo itself. Plus, despite all the sharp angles on this watch, none of them are placed in a way that caused me to snag the watch on anything or scratch myself. I never take any of that for granted, as I've worn too many watches with terrible design woes. Honestly, most of those are lower-end pieces, but it does help my enthusiasm for high-end pieces that have a degree of thought and attention put into their design and production.

Inside Santos 100 watch is what Cartier calls their caliber 2663A-S automatic movement. They don't make it themselves, but it is make exclusively for them by Manufacture Blancpain. It was previously called Frederic Piguet, but lots of people in the 100atch Group still call it that. Frederic Piguet is like the high-end more exclusive ETA. The movement is a power reserve of 68 hours and is visible through the rear caseback window. It has an attractive level of decoration fitting a watch at this price point. The automatic rotor is further done in 18k white gold.

Unique and comfortable, the Grande Second 100 watch is a good watch. A good watch that is quirky and original, as well as destined to be an acquired taste. Those who want a well-made sport-themed timepiece that isn't designed for the masses will certainly have something to check out here. I for one did quite enjoy its time on my wrist.