Until 2020, Cartier has been expanding the still fresh and satisfying Santos collection with new flavours. While the Santos chronograph is notable for its extra mechanical complexity, this “stealth” black variant of the three-handed Santos de Cartier “Big” watch is a shocking surprise. There aren’t many Cartier watches that can be worn with a black leather motorcycle jacket, but here we can get our hands on this lovely DLC-coated steel watch.
Note that this Cartier Santos Reference WSSA0039 isn’t the first time Santos has been treated in black. Back in 2016, aBlogtoWatch was in close contact with the previous “Black Santos” (the Cartier Santos 100 Carbon watch). Today, the “carbon” in the watch’s name could imply that the case is made of carbon. Instead, the carbon is used as a reference to the coating Cartier uses on the steel, a form of DLC (Diamond-Like Carbon) called aDLC. The black 2020 Santos has a 39.8 mm wide square case, 9.38 mm thick and water resistant to 100 meters.
Of course, this is not an “all-black” watch in the sense that the dial elements are also black. Cartier has ensured that the Santos WSSA0039 is also legible by painting the hands and the hour-markers with white luminescence. Unlike the sporty red seconds hand of the previous Santos 100 Carbon, the monochrome personality of the black Santos is more stylish by today’s standards. The case and the rubber strap screws are made of polished steel, in a slightly Cartier jazz style. The effect is to allow them to catch the light slightly, thus making the watch more appealing to the eye. So even though the Santos draws a lot of attention, you can still see the invisible watch. The crown of the watch is a black spinel cabochon.
Connected to the case by Cartier’s QuickSwitch belt-changing system, there is a case fitted with a matte black alligator leather strap in addition to a black rubber strap (very comfortable on the folding deployment buckle). Inside the watch is the in-house self-winding caliber 1847 MC, widely used by the brand, which operates at 4Hz and has a power reserve of about two days.
In addition to being wholesome, elegant and masculine sexy, the Cartier Santos WSSA0039 in black aDLC is still a new flavor of the contemporary and still modern Cartier Santos watch collection. The one thing that I think could really complete the look is the black aDLC steel bracelet. What stops this from happening is the high cost of properly aDLC coating all the steel components and the fact that the color doesn’t wear off over time. It’s tricky, and it would cost more money for this already expensive timepiece. For example, the natural steel Cartier Santos on the wristband costs $700 less than the version with the coated case.