For much of its storied history, Cartier has produced some of the world’s most elegant and unique dress watches. From the squared Santos Dumont to the rectangular Tank, the Maison has always had a penchant for unusual case shapes forged in precious metals.
That all changed in the late 1970s when Cartier released the Santos Carrée, a more accessible watch in two-tone (and later all-steel) paired with a sporty integrated bracelet. The Carrée ("square" in French), known for its boxy case and modest 29mm x 41mm dimensions, became one of the most iconic watches of the 1980s and helped to popularize the brand with a younger audience.
In 1987, Cartier updated the silhouette of the Santos with softer edges and called it the Galbée ("curved" in French). The latest iteration swapped the white lacquer dial of the Carrée for a silver dial with an intricate guilloché pattern. In addition, Cartier replaced the flip-lock clasp with a more streamlined butterfly clasp. All of these changes result in a slimmer watch that delightfully melts away on the wrist when worn.
While the two-tone version was the original poster child for the Santos, the all-steel models have become increasingly popular in recent years. It’s no surprise given how sleek and sporty they look. While the Galbée is no longer in production, Cartier continues to produce a modern version of the Santos in medium and large sizes.
Cartier stainless steel bracelet with steel screws
Max Wrist Size:
7.125 in (21 links)
Hand model has a wrist size of 6.2 in
UNWORN: Case is pristine with no signs of use. Original stickers may still be present. Dial, hands, and lume have no imperfections and may show natural, even aging.
MINT: Case has only a few superficial hairlines. Lugs are thick, full, and sharp with superb finishing. Dial, hands, and lume may have micro imperfections visible only with a loupe.
EXCELLENT: Case has very light scratches or nicks. Lugs are thick, full, and well-defined. Dial and hands may have imperfections visible upon close inspection. Lume is fully intact and may show slight discoloration.
VERY GOOD: Case may have a few moderate scratches or nicks. Lugs are thick and full but may have softened edges. Dial and hands may have light stains or marks. Lume may have cracks or discoloration.
GOOD: Case has many scratches and nicks. Lugs may show signs of moderate polishing with worn edges. Dial and hands may have noticeable stains or marks. Lume may be damaged or show significant discoloration.
Case: The stainless steel case is in fantastic condition with only light signs of wear. The lugs are thick and full, with excellent definition between brushed and polished surfaces. The bezel shows faint hairlines and a couple micro nicks on close inspection, the most notable of which is at the outer edge at 12:30. The overall appearance is very clean though. The case side opposite the crown shows a few faint dings, but nothing deep or major. The caseback has a few hairlines and light scratches normal for the age of this watch. The model and serial number engravings remain sharp and detailed.
Dial, Hands, & Crystal: The silver dial and polished hands are in pristine condition with no notable imperfections. The sapphire crystal is squeaky clean and scratch-free.
Bracelet/Strap: The bracelet has been very well preserved and exhibits practically no stretch. There are a few light scratches and tiny scuffs present, the most notable of which is on the fourth link from 12 o’clock. The clasp area is free of any major desk-diving marks.
Functions: All functions including the crown winding, time setting, and quickset date are working as expected.
Service History: The watch recently underwent a full service by Cartier that was completed on 10/25/2023.