By  on May 18, 2009

Cartier may have started in jewelry, but the celebrated Paris maison has been a serious watch player for over a century.

The first veritable page in its legacy in watches was written when aviator Alberto Santos-Dumont asked his friend, Louis Cartier, in 1904 to make a wristwatch on a leather strap he could read when piloting his aircraft. The square, elegant Santos watch, which has always been called as such, was launched in 1911 and opened a door through which Cartier stepped boldly. Before that key moment, the company produced mostly pocket watches and clocks, including the splendid “mystery clocks” with invisible hands it continues to manufacture today. The Santos was reintroduced in 1978, fitted with a gold and steel bracelet, materials never associated with it before. More recently, it was reintroduced to great success.

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