Hands-on Cartier Santos 100 Replica Watch

Cartier recently reintroduced the Santos 100 Carbon replica watch with minor aesthetic tweaks.

One of the most famous square watches ever, the Cartier Santos replica watch started life as an early wristwatch conceived for Brazilian aviator Albert Santos-Dumont in 1904. Over the last century the Santos has evolved into myriad forms, including the Santos coated in scratch-resistant amorphous diamond-like carbon, now equipped with an in-house movement for the first time. The Santos 100 Carbon replica watch was only just unveiled at SIHH 2016, alongside the similarly styled Ballon Bleu Carbon.

Cartier first introduced the Santos ADLC in 2009, before discontinuing it three years later, so the Cartier Santos 100 Carbon replica watch is a throwback of sorts. ADLC is a carbon-based coating that is extremely hard, almost as hard as diamond, and also slightly elastic. The latter property means that even if the steel case is scratched or dented, the coating will tend to adhere rather than flake off.

That's extremely useful for a watch case, especially one as large as the Cartier Santos 100 swiss replica watch, an oversized variant of the original Santos. The dimensions of the Santos 100 Carbon replica watch are identical to that of the ordinary stainless steel model, measuring 41.3 mm in diameter and just over 51 mm long. It sits large and chunky on the wrist, though the all-black look of the carbon model reduces the apparent size of the watch.

Before the case is coated with ADLC, it is finished just like a typical steel case. Consequently the Cartier Santos 100 replica watch case has all the details that make the steel equivalent attractive, specifically the polished bevel that runs all along the top edge of the case. This gives the predominantly matte surface a bit of shine, and also highlights the shape of the case.

The key aesthetic different between the new Cartier Santos 100 replica watchand its predecessor are the bezel and seconds hand. Now the bezel is ADLC coated steel, matching the case, while on the first generation it was a contrasting material, either titanium or rose gold. And the seconds hand is now a striking red, a somewhat predictable colour for a sporty-ish watch.