1 of 100 Middle East Edition Cartier Santos Dumont
Cartier have a long and storied history of quietly creating limited unique variants for particularly loyal VIP groups, markets, or even singular collectors. These watches are not usually clocked by the mainstream watch media and only surface years after release here, in forums, blogs, or in person meetups. Such was the case with this, a 100 example limited run of the Santos Dumont made for Cartier’s best clients in the Middle East. Except there was a problem; Muslim tradition restricts men from wearing gold. Nothing wrong with a little platinum then, I suppose?
Perhaps more notably, though, Cartier went with a bright green for the strap and dial print. Together with traditional Hindu-Arabic numerals and a silver sunburst plate, it is a dial unlike any Santos I’ve seen before or since. The green choice is interesting to me, as green is the last color that comes to mind when I picture the Middle East, more oranges and yellows from the desert. But perhaps that motif was reserved, as Cartier had previous done a warm salmon dial for the Dubai Watch Club. Whatever the inspiration was, this is one of the larger platinum Santos Dumont cases ever created at 33.9×46.6mm. Yet still hugs the wrist thanks to a calibre 430 MC, a manual ultra-thin Piaget ébauche that allows it to be just 7.5mm tall.
This is not quite as thin as the previous CPCP platinum case, but then that Santos Dumont was a more svelte watch overall. It seems to me the bevels on this case are also a bit wider, giving it a more masculine lug. The polished bezel remains, a little thicker here, designed originally to be reminiscent of the screw construction on the Eiffel Tower. I’m very used to seeing a platinum Dumont with a rosette guilloché dial and Roman numerals, the way this LE shakes up that expectation is really quite attractive to my eye. Perhaps I’ll have to move soon to get in on the next Middle East Cartier.
This example is said to be totally unworn. The caseback has its stickers, it comes with a full set, and I see no evidence to the contrary. The watch comes from a well-regarded London retailer.
Find this Middle East Santos Dumont here from Watches of Knightsbridge listed as POA.