Cartier Santos WGSA0012: A Pilot Watch with a Legendary History

When mentioning #Cartier #Santos (Santos de Cartier), many of you will probably remember the story of the first pilot watch or the first watch to be mass-produced and widely sold from 1911. Any ‘iconic’ watch of any brand is associated with records, historical milestones, but today I will only review my experience with WGSA0012 and share my personal impressions and thoughts about Cartier watches, especially this Santos.

The WGSA0012 I have on hand is a medium size (35.1mm x 41.9mm) watch that feels like wearing a round watch of 37mm~38mm size, quite neat, with a thinness of only 8.83mm. The Santos appears on my 18.5cm wrist in a graceful and dressy way. To be honest, at first I didn’t think this was a watch made for pilots (a kind of military watch) because it was too “artistic”.

Cartier for me is always one of the brands that pays attention to every detail, for example you can find the word “Cartier” at position VII. I’m not a fan of watches using Roman numerals but I have to admit that the solid Roman numerals and square case shape are great together. The blued hands will show you the blue color at certain light angles, creating interesting experiences when admiring the watch on your wrist.

The WGSA0012 has a case and buckle made of 18K rose gold (AU750) so on the crown of this Santos there will be a blue sapphire stone. Although I’m not into feng shui play, I always like gemstones that are blue in color. Although small, the sapphire creates a highlight, increasing the aesthetics and value of the watch.

One thing I find quite interesting on this Cartier WGSA0012 is the use of an adapter that allows quick release (quick release), for me using tools to change straps is quite troublesome and easy to scratch lugs and watch case. I prefer to choose straps that use quick release… But… I suddenly realized that removing straps with this Cartier can be done in a snap but finding another strap to replace is a big problem. Due to its own mechanism, this Santos cannot use common straps that you can buy anywhere on the market. I also asked my younger brother who is developing brand with me then price of core part (adapter) for Cartier is quite expensive plus making straps is quite sophisticated leading to high cost.

Although buying or making more straps is quite difficult and expensive, Cartier uses a buckle that has most destructive effect on leather strap that I have ever seen. You will have to bend tail part of strap and stuff it into buckle, operation is quite difficult and every time you adjust size it will rub a lot, easy to damage paint edge of strap. Every time like that I feel quite… heartbroken.

The movement used on WGSA0012 is Cartier’s 1847 MC, with 23 jewels, 28800bph frequency, 42 hours power reserve. I couldn’t find much information about this movement but according to company’s announcement, this is an inhouse movement produced by Cartier, with its own adjustment mechanism that allows Cartier’s engineers to adjust it to ensure accuracy according to strict standards of Swiss watches. In addition, escapement company also announced using anti-magnetic materials combined with an aluminum alloy plate acting as a shield that will protect watch in high magnetic environment such as on airplanes or in airports.



Cartier Santos WGSA0012 is a watch worth its price of nearly 300 million VND by design, craftsmanship materials and quality in-house movement. With experience on hand quite “artistic” and graceful, this solid gold Santos will be on my wishlist and I will buy and own it as soon as possible, although quite annoyed with buckle “god destroyer of leather strap”.

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