Last year aviator watch from Cartier was the lovely Type 20 Extra Special in bronze. The piece marked a return to using an in-house movement as well as a clever and trendy method of focusing on a vintage appeal to match the overall design of the watch. Large yet comfortable on the wrist, the Cartier collection continues here with the 45mm-wide case that is 14.25mm thick. While last year model was presented in a bronze case that will develop an aged patina over time, the 2016 Cartier Spirit comes pre-worn in an aged stainless steel case. The resulting look has a gunmetal finish to it, and despite being an arguably gimmicky means of looking old, is highly refined and attractive as a result. Cartier Santos replica watches make excellent use of dial textures and colors to match the aged-theme, as well as an appropriate green oily nubuck leather strap (with a rubber lining) that matches the overall theme of the Cartier Cafe Racer Spirit watch remarkably well.
Cartier was able to easily incorporate the two register chronograph into the design of the dial given the healthy availability of space on the face. This, of course, is not the first 45mm-wide version of the Cartier Type 20 to have a chronograph. Followers of the brand will recall the Pilot Montre Aeronef Type 20 Annual Calendar watch. The Cartier Heritage Pilot Cafe Racer Spirit is a bit less expensive than the more complicated previous chronograph model, and also adds a new look to the collection. With 100 meters of water resistance and a chunky wearing demeanor, this is real sports replica Cartier Santos watches to go with the masculine look. Legibility with the large hands is excellent, and for those who like the designer vintage look, this could be an ideal timepiece. Some watch fans dislike the fashion-angle from the otherwise serious watchmaker and it goes to show that you really can not please everyone at the same time.
On the rear of the Cartier Heritage Pilot Cafe Racer Spirit watch is a deep etching of a cafe racer on his motorcycle. This is similar to previous Pilot watch models that had images of vintage biplanes, etc. on the rear of the case. In fact, this caseback element is the only cafe racer part of the watch in terms of anything related to the visual composition of the watch. Again, my personal preference is to merely ignore the attempted connection between these pilot-style Cartier Santos fake watches and enthusiast vintage motorcycle racing, as it feels a bit arbitrary but it does not really take away from my appreciation of the watch in general. I am actually curious to know what people who do consider themselves to be modern cafe racers think about the Cartier Heritage Pilot Cafe Racer Spirit watch, and if they feel that Cartier has effectively reached their target demographic with this model.