28 Nov 2011

Cartier Santos Galbee W20099C4 XL Men’s Watch

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Picture of Cartier Santos Galbee W20099C4

The italic tilt of the roman numerals subtly guide your eye around the watch face in a clockwise direction. These small but effective aesthetics are trademarks of Cartier craftsmanship.

Written By: Kaelyn Harding

Cartier watches have earned a reputation for luxury in the way of watches and and accessories. For fans of the Cartier lines, the newest innovations from this brand-name are highly anticipated. Unfortunately, like every line, some new models are simply not as successful as others. In the case of the Cartier Santos Galbee W20099C4 XL Men’s Watch, you may want to keep your wallets closed.

Don’t get me wrong – like all Cartier products, quality is an assurance. The W20099C4 is designed with 18 karat gold for the frame and the screws that accent the watch band. The rest of the watch and the links of the band itself are brushed steel. The clock face and its iconic blue sword-shaped hands are encased in a sapphire-crystal cover which is both scratch-resistant and waterproof up to a hundred feet. The screws that hold the piece together have been cleverly inverted to balance the gold and silver accents, making tiny, warm dots along the band where the gold has been inlaid.

One of the perks of this watch is that while it targets men in its title, the watch is slim enough to match the tastes of many women as well. For that reason, I think this model could functionally be unisex as opposed to simply men’s wear. It has an adjustable band as well as a free wrist fitting upon purchase, so customization is a guarantee. The Santos Galbee line comes with a three year warranty as well as a lifetime battery-replacement guarantee. At least if you are going to pay through the nose for something, it will last you a long time.

The $8,000 price tag for the W20099C4 is generated primarily by the design quality of this Santos Galbee model. While the 18 karat gold contributes, in general, you are paying for the ingenuity and originality of the base and the rows of gold screws that accent the wrist watch’s band. The piece is not wreathed in diamonds nor is it really anything that we haven’t seen before – sapphire-crystal coverings are standard face plates in luxury watches these days and they are found in watches as cheap as $800 in other brands like Gucci and Tag Heuer.  What does this mean for consumers? It means that while we can appreciate the subtle charm of this timepiece, it may not be worth its starting price. Online markets seem to support this assessment because prices for the W20099C4 can be found as low as $5,995.

The pros and cons in consideration, the W20099C4 is a high-quality watch, but is nothing truly spectacular. I advise against seeking it out at the manufacturer’s price as so many stores will now sell it for thousands of dollars less.

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