Hands-on With (Most Of) Cartier’s New Santos Watch Collection For 2024

Cartier's Santos is already one of their most talked-about models, this new lineup takes the hype even further.


The Santos de Cartier is an icon of the watch world, it’s the choice for people who like the idea of a DateJust but don’t fancy something as, well, obvious. While both watches are physically excellent pieces, the Santos has a completely different style to it. The exposed screws and bolts have long defined this piece, and Cartier has expanded the range once again for 2024. We got to go hands-on with some of them at Watches & Wonders Geneva, here are our thoughts.

The most hyped: the Santos de Cartier Dual Time ref WSSA0076

This one is the model everyone was talking about at the fair and for good reason: this is one of the only watches in the entire Santos lineup with a complication. I suspect the reason for this is the design, it’s easy to make the Santos look good using colours and materials and such, but there isn’t a whole lot of room on the dial or case for anything besides a date window to be easily slotted in. A quick search of Chrono24 showed over 3600 Santos watches listed, but only around 200 of them were listed as having a complication other than the date, and even then, some of those were date-only models listed incorrectly.

The Santos Dual Time, then, is the newest model to feature something other than the date. The dual-time display consists of a subdial at 6 O’clock which can be set independently from the main dial, there’s also a day/night indicator hidden there too. I feel like the date could’ve been excluded here to make the dial a little more balanced, but it’s not a deal breaker. This all comes from an outsourced movement which Cartier has modified. There seems to be some difference in what other blogs are saying about this; some say Cartier hasn’t told them who made the ebauche that Cartier built. Meanwhile, the folks at Hodinkee claim it’s a Sellita base. Either way, the movement beats at 4Hz and has a 48-hour power reserve, it’s not visible through the caseback.

All of this is in the classic large-style Santos case which is made from stainless steel and measuring 40.2mm x 10.1mm, it also features Cartier’s QuickSwitch system to change the bracelet out on the go and a tool-free micro-adjustment system for the bracelet. The price is $9150 before tax.

The en vogue model: the Santos de Cartier green dial ref WSSA0061

Two versions of this model exist, a medium-sized one and a large-sized one, we were able to get our hands on the medium-sized version. Green is the colour of the moment right now, having taken over from blue, which enjoyed far too long as the colour of choice in my opinion. Yes, blue watches do look good, but we’ve got so many of them now it’s impossible to keep track of them all. Anyway, this green dial version has an attractive finish to it; the green explodes outwards from the centre and becomes subtle at the dial’s edge. There’s also some sunray finishing going on to make it even more luxurious as if the brushed and polished steel of the case aren’t enough. The case’s dimensions are 35.1mm x 8.83mm with 100m of water resistance. The watch wears larger than this, it seems more like a 36mm or 37mm piece on my wrists. In any case, to me, it didn’t feel noticeably small.

Inside this watch sits the calibre 1847MC, which is an in-house-made movement in this instance, although it’s still hidden behind a solid caseback. It has a 4Hz beat rate with a 42-hour power reserve and a date indication. This watch is part of Cartier’s core collection and will cost $7050 before tax. For the larger version, the case measures 39.8mm x 9.38mm again, with 100m of water resistance and that attractive green dial. The price of that version is $7750.

The classic model with a twist: the Santos de Cartier two-tone ref W2SA0030

While the all-steel models represent the best overall value from Cartier’s range and the all-gold models have the most bling factor, the two-tone models arguably look the best. This new model in its large case format continues the ‘looking good’ trend while adding grey as a dial colour option. We have seen a few watches with grey dials recently. I don’t think they’ll overtake green as the colour of choice, but their neutrality means they can be matched with outfits more easily. 

Just like the green dial version in stainless steel, this one has a case that measures 39.8mm x 9.38mm and has 100m of water resistance. It also features the calibre 1847MC inside it, just like the green models. Really with this it’s the dial colour and that awesome two-tone steel and 18k yellow gold case that make all the difference. Those details, especially the exposed screw heads of the bracelet, make this model pop. The price of one of these is $11,700 before tax.

The heavyweight: the Santos de Cartier in 18k yellow gold ref WGSA0095

This watch is a beast, there’s no denying it. Its large case, sized at 39.8mm x 9.38mm, wears larger than its numbers would make you think, just like all the other models. Not only that, the yellow gold used in the case makes it very obvious to you and anyone else around you. This watch has no subtlety or tact to it, but when you begin to admire the unique lustre that gold has it’s hard to deny the attraction to this model. Not to mention, because it’s got the same specifications as the other large-sized models above including that 100m of water resistance, it is sort of practical.

A couple of details differ from the other releases on this watch. The gold dial is the most obvious one. It’s in keeping with the dark muted colours that Cartier’s chosen for 2024. Given the brightness of the case, it’s interesting to see them play it cool with the dial’s design, as if it wants you to look close but not too close. Also, the blue spinel on the crown of the other models has been replaced on this one with a blue sapphire. Supposedly, blue sapphire has a brighter blue colour than a spinel gem, and sapphire is also more expensive as well. Speaking of, the price of one of these is $36,600.

The most expensive: the skeletonised Santos de Cartier ref WHSA0042

Cartier’s website lists this specific watch as the most expensive version of the Santos you can buy right now (if you have deep pockets, of course). It might look the same as the last model, but with a different movement; however, Cartier has changed quite a lot here. The case, for example, looks the same size but is actually smaller by a fraction, measuring 39.7mm x 9.08mm, it still keeps its yellow gold material and its 100m of water resistance, though.

To skeletonise a movement the proper way isn’t as simple as removing the dial plate. The whole movement needs to be re-designed as it’s lost its supporting structure of which the dial is usually a part. The watchmaker also then needs to consider that the owner will be able to see the movement from both sides, meaning that extra finishing will be required and that finishing must be perfect. In true Cartier fashion, they’ve managed this with the hand-wound calibre 9612MC, it looks fantastic and melds with the watch to look like one fluid piece. This movement has a 4Hz beat rate and a total power reserve of 72 hours. 

This watch is priced at $70,000 before taxes which, again, is mostly thanks to the work required on the skeletonised movement.

These are just some of the many new watches being released by Cartier in 2024. All of them suit the Cartier Santos identity well and mix a unique design with (varying levels of) practicality. Also, all of the watches not only come with that QuickSwitch system but also with a leather strap so you have something to QuickSwitch too. Except, that is, for the Dual Time, it might well have that too, but the Cartier website’s product catalogue doesn’t seem to acknowledge that this model exists; I’d contact your local boutique for that detail.