Jaeger-LeCoultre has installed a cylindrical rain shower, TAG Heuer brought in a vintage Porsche 911, Hublot has a giant LED planet glowing in different colours while Oris set up a teddy bear. Some of the installations built by horology brands to grace their booths at Watches & Wonders 2023 are almost as impressive as their watches sitting in gleaming display cases.

You might expect the French gem specialists Cartier to welcome guests with a huge diamond sculpture perhaps, or maybe a platinum panther in homage to their famous feline mascot. But instead, Cartier has relied on their astonishing products to do the talking – and really nice, thick carpet underfoot.

Cartier has not one but two areas at the Geneva watch fair, filled with timepieces and high jewellery. Walking into either of them is a trip to a place of rarefied luxury where extraordinary jewellery and watches carry price tags in the neighbourhood of AED 2 million. Here, knowledgeable experts in black silk gloves present Cartier’s latest novelties, including the talked-about green dialled Santos de Cartier.

Black, blue and white dials have graced this elegant watch in the past since its 2018 relaunch and now green makes its debut, seemingly a couple of years after the boom of emerald dials across the industry. But when you have that shimmering metallic green dial and dynamic sword hands on a watch as sophisticated and sporty as the Santos de Cartier, a little tardiness can be forgiven.

Available from June 2023 in medium and large sizes (35mm and 40mm), the stainless steel Santos de Cartier has a distinctive case that is kind of round yet kind of square and bolted by its trademark eight screws.

First introduced in 1904 but launched by Cartier as a sports watch in the 1970s, the Santos case is said to mimic a bird’s eye view of the Eiffel Tower – Google it, and you’ll see what Louis Cartier meant.

Presenting the pieces in Geneva in 2023, a Cartier watch expert explains, “The green dial is an example of the bold design that embodies the pioneering spirit of the brand,” before adding with a grin, “it also just looks super nice.”

Originally published on Esquire ME