Cartier - The Geneva Watch Auction: XVIII Geneva Friday, November 3, 2023 | Phillips
  • Manufacturer: Cartier
    Year: 2008
    Reference No: 2797
    Case No: 20881CE
    Model Name: Santos "Special Order"
    Material: Platinum
    Calibre: Manual, cal. 430 MC, jeweled
    Clasp/Buckle: 18K white gold Cartier deployant clasp
    Dimensions: 35width and 47mm length
    Signed: Case, dial, movement and clasp signed
    Accessories: Accompanied by Cartier certificate dated September 20, 2008, product literature, presentation box and outer packaging.

  • Catalogue Essay

    The Santos watch was first created in 1904 by Louis Cartier in honor of, and for his friend and aviation legend, Alberto Santos-Dumont. The aviator had previously lamented to the jeweler on the difficulties of checking his pocket watch while flying. To address the problem, Louis Cartier designed a wristwatch for the aviator. The Santos watch was subsequently born, and legend says that Santos-Dumont never wore another watch while flying ever again.

    Since 1904, Cartier has produced many variations of the Santos watch, making the model an instant classic within the watch community. The present example, cased in platinum, is an oversized and luxurious interpretation of the now-iconic watch.

    It is believed that the present watch was made upon special order at the Paris Cartier Boutique, with only two examples made in this configuration. The certificate is also stamped with the Paris Boutique stamp and the initials of a Cartier employee who most probably facilitated the special order process. It most notably is cased in platinum, with a black dial and white numerals, giving the timepiece a striking art-deco inspired appearance.

    While the Santos was cased in a variety of metals such as yellow gold or pink gold, platinum is without a doubt the most coveted and precious of all metals. This fact, combined with its "special order" status propels the prestige of the present timepiece. Preserved in excellent condition, the watch is accompanied by its original accessories.

  • Artist Biography



    With the Constitution of 1848 came a new standard for luxury in France. Founded one year prior by Louis-Francois Cartier, the house of Cartier was one of the first to use platinum in jewelry making. This incredibly expensive material became the stepping-stone for Cartier to experiment in form, mechanisms and attitude. It helped men move from pocket watches to wristwatches, effectively making the watch much more functional and prominent in a man's overall wardrobe.

    Cartier did not only touch on functionality. Inspired by a commissioned painting by George Barbier featuring a black panther at the feet of an elegantly bejeweled woman, Cartier began incorporating wild animals in his designs—most notably, Cartier Panthère rings, bangle bracelets and watches. Yet it wasn't until the late 1960s that the house of Cartier debuted their iconic yellow and rose gold LOVE collection, which includes the famous bracelet that only a special screwdriver can open. 

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Ref. 2797
A very attractive special order platinum wristwatch with Roman numerals, certificate and presentation box

35width and 47mm length
Case, dial, movement and clasp signed

CHF25,000 - 50,000 

Sold for CHF69,850

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Alexandre Ghotbi
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+41 79 637 17 24

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+41 79 460 55 88


The Geneva Watch Auction: XVIII

Geneva Auction 3 - 4 November 2023