How is the Cartier Santos a "Sports"watch?

I'm struggling with this one guys. I know there's the history with the pilot Alberto Santos Dumont, who by the way was known as a "dandy", but how do you call a watch with Roman numerals, a mirror polish bezel from a fashion brand a "sports"watch? 

Why not just lean into the dressy side and go for the Santos Dumont which I find a more refined looking design?

Dandy: a man unduly devoted to style, neatness, and fashion in dress and appearance.

"his floppy handkerchiefs and antique cufflinks gave him the look of a dandy"

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Dandy here! Hmm my guess is he just slapped a regular production watch with Roman numerals on a bracelet, made it a tiny bit bigger and said “use this on your flight” 

history, heritage, santos…$8k please 😎

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I get the history part, but because a watch used to be a sports watch doesn't mean its one today.....

I used to be an athlete, that doesn't mean I am one now, lol and if I wear a watch doing sports, that doesn't make it a sports watch. 

if an "influencer" calls it sports watch, I remember what my mom (everyone's mom) used to say: "if someone tells you jump off a bridge...." 

okay, rant over

on the positive side, would I wear one, absolutely I would, it's drop dead gorgeous.

It's still not a sports watch 

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What's the definition of a sport watch and who came up with it?  Is the JLC Reverso a sport watch?  Is the Royal Oak?

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BTW, I love that Cartier Santos, what model is it?

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Max, how dare you?!

You cannot question this watch classification. Do you know what that means?! If we question why the Cartier Santos is a ”sports” watch we have to evaluate almost all watches… like @aztecknight wrote, what about the Royal Oak or the Nautilus?

Is the Rolex Explorer I also no sports watch because it has a polished bezel? Why makes a brushed bezel a sports watch more sporty? AND, what makes a Submariner a sports watch?! Nobody is wearing it for sports XD

But now serious; you are right nowadays its different. I would say sports watches are Apple Watches or weird Android monsters. I think the term sports watch is in generell wrong  (and always was). This watches, Reverso, Santos, Explorer, Seamaster, Navitimer, Ingenieur etc. were once professional watches. They were mostly built for professionals, pilots are no olympic athletes ;). Now they all lost their purpose. But many of the old world models where once built as them. So we classify them still today. The Royal Oak and Nautilus are a something different, they were made for British tea time.^^

so let’s call the Cartier Santos a watch that was once built for a professional reason, plus it was the first ;)
 

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I need a Santos.

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Sports watch seems like a outdated term as is. What I found to be the case is that a sports watch is more often a watch that is versatile and easy to wear casually rather than a watch intended for sports.

It's like athletic clothing really. Yeah you could play football with a Cartier on your wrist. But you can also wear the football top around town, and you won't look out of place.

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I get sporty vibes because from the bracelet version. Screws in the bezel, screws in the steel bracelet, and for some reason even the case shape give me some unique sporty vibes. But what makes it a good everyday are the things like the stone on the crown, Roman numerals, polishing, etc. I’d go more everyday watch than sports watch. 

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Also part of the dainty dandy club here 🤣 

Agreed that the definition of sports is pretty amorphous. I just can't imagine a pilot glancing down and seeing a sea of Roman numerals 🤷‍♂️

The Santos is a dress dial in a sports case at best for me.

The one pictured on the right is the Santos Dumont, it doesn't even try to be sporty, isn't that more authentic to Cartier as a brand?

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Dandy here, of course. I do not why someone even try call Cartier Santos or Santos Dumont sports watch ... For me it is clearly a dress watch and WHAT A DRESS WATCH !!! Agree with Max about Roman numerals - someone in a racing car, someone in a gym, someone playing tennis, someone swimming ????🙄

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Perhaps back in the day, it was in reference to the “genteel sports“ for those who could afford wristwatches in the early 1900s.  I don’t know, polo, fox hunting, croquet or whatever else rich people did for fun at the time. 😎

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I bought the Santos Medium about two weeks ago and don't care how anyone classifies it - it's a great watch and looks good no matter what you wear!

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I like that the Santos somehow pulls off dressy and sporty at the same time.  Most of the watches in my collection are pure sport watches, but this can easily pull double duty.

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I think when you look at the Santos and the Santos Dumont side by side you can see the difference but you just can't quite put your finger on it. The dimensions are probably the biggest contributing factor but enlarging a dress watch does not a "Sports" watch designation make. The Roman numerals at the Santos size turn sporty and start walking the line like stick indices on a Datejust or the markers on an Aqua Terra. The bezel has that Royal Oak sportiness, arguably this model pre-dating that one. Stylistically, the Santos has more rugged definition, whereas the Santos Dumont reels that back with finesse. 

Personally, Santos Dumont all the way. 

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Don't really care...Santos is on my list. 

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Love mine! I wear it for mostly dress occasions but I think it can be worn casually as well.