The history of the wristwatch officially began in 1868. It was in that year that Patek Philippe, the founding watchmaker of the Maison synonymous with luxury and elegance, created the first wristwatch on record. The watch, mounted on a gold bracelet, was purchased by Countess Koscowicz of Hungary, a lover of the arts and the technical avant-garde.
It was at the beginning of the 20th century, in 1904 to be precise, that the history of the wristwatch reached a new turning point: its introduction to the male public. The credit can be given to two men: the Brazilian aviator Alberto Santos-Dumont, one of the most important pioneers in the field of aeronautics, and Louis Cartier, watchmaker and founder of the eponymous Maison.
This time the request was one of practicality: Santos-Dumont asked his friend Cartier to make a watch that was easier to consult than the classic pocket watch when he was in the cockpit of his plane. Cartier had the simple idea of mounting the watch on a leather strap to keep it strapped to the wrist. Santos-Dumont found the innovation so comfortable that he began wearing it all the time, on and off planes.
That small gesture launched a fashion for wearing a wristwatch that was not only adopted by mankind, but that very design is a symbol of personality that Cartier has continued to produce since 1911: the classic Cartier Santos.