Santos de Cartier Chronograph

Cartier Santos XL Chronograph Steel ADLC Mens Watch WSSA0017

The Cartier Santos is one of the most iconic and well-known creations of the brand. Introduced in 1904, it is the first pilot’s watch in history and the first wristwatch made exclusively for men.

Characterized by a square profile, a geometric dial, and exposed screws, the Santos allowed users to keep track of time without resorting to pockets or fingers.

In 2018, the Santos received a modern upgrade – with a curved case and integrated lugs that give it a more ergonomic feel. Its massive success also spun a chronograph version, whose fresh design deserves a closer look. Here’s what you need to know about the Santos de Cartier Chronograph:


Cartier Santos de Cartier Chronograph Ref. W2SA0008 / Ref. WSSA0017 
Cartier Santos de Cartier Chronograph Ref. W2SA0008 / Ref. WSSA0017 


Santos de Cartier Design

Launched in 2019, the Santos de Cartier Chronograph is actually built in the mold of the 2018 revamped Santos – the square-shaped case, the polished finish, and the screwed-down bezel remain. Instead of having numerous size options, this model is only available in the XL size, measuring about 43.3 mm from side to side with 12.5mm thickness.


Cartier Santos de Cartier Chronograph Ref. WSSA0017
Cartier Santos de Cartier Chronograph Ref. WSSA0017


Despite its imposing profile, this timepiece does not feel bulky and is comfortable on the wrist. It is offered in a myriad of case metals including a highly versatile steel and gold, a sporty steel with an ADLC bezel, and a solid rose gold that is downright dressy and luxurious.



Santos de Cartier: A Balanced Chronograph

Unlike usual chronographs with protruding pushers, the Santos de Cartier Chronograph has a single pusher only, placed at the left side of the case band. This makes for a streamlined look that is hard to resist. The pusher beside 9 o’clock controls the start and stop of the chronograph, while the crown at 3 o’clock acts as the reset button.

Aesthetics aside, what makes this watch desirable is its easy-to-read dial. Boasting a silver satin finish, it displays bold Roman numerals around the perimeter, dauphine hands with black surrounds, and a geometric minute track.


Cartier Santos de Cartier Chronograph Ref. W2SA0008
Cartier Santos de Cartier Chronograph Ref. W2SA0008


On the 3 and 9 o’clock, we have the 30-minute and 12-hour registers, arranged symmetrically. The dial also features a running seconds sub-dial at 6 o’clock, sharing the same position with the date window. There’s a lot of information provided, but the neat execution doesn’t crowd the dial.




With the entirely new model came one of Cartier’s most capable in-house movements – the Caliber 1904 CH MC. Created by Carole Forestier in 2012, this self-winding mechanism has been powering many of the brand’s modern chronographs.


Caliber 1904 CH MC
Caliber 1904 CH MC (photo: Cartier)


Boasting 35 jewels, it also features a column-wheel, which ensures the precise coordination of the start, stop, and restart function of the chronograph complication. A solid caseback protects it from external threats, while its 48-hour power reserve makes it as robust as a Cartier movement can get.



Quickswitch System and Smartlink Bracelet

The Santos de Cartier Chronograph comes with a choice of two bands: a metal bracelet and an alligator leather strap, both of which enhance the look of the watch.

These are assisted by two of the most attractive aspects of the Santos redesign. First is the “QuickSwitch” system, which allows for simple changing of straps and bracelets without a tool. Simply press the small rectangular button underneath and you’ll be able to release the band from the case.


QuickSwitch and SmartLink bracelet
QuickSwitch and SmartLink bracelet (photos: Cartier)


There is also the “SmartLink” system for the two-tone version, which allows users to adjust the bracelet size by popping a link in or out without a tool. A rubber bracelet is made available in all three models, which is perfect if you prefer a sporty look.



The Santos de Cartier Chronograph retains all the distinguishing elements of the 2018 Santos while being a thoroughly innovative luxury watch. Explore our wide selection of Santos de Cartier Chronograph models at


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