This is the newer Cartier Roadster S. Part of the brand’s desire to keep their product name relevant in anticipation of some years where typically high spending in their boutiques will likely wane a bit. Plus, it is good for any luxury brand to have as full a product line as they can – from the entry level to the super high-end. Cartier is not only pushing higher and higher with their elaborate and thoughtful in-house made movement based watches, but are interested in being more accessible to people on the lower end of the luxury scale.
Saying “lower-end” is a bit of a misnomer. The Cartier Roadster S still starts at $4,200, high roller figures to many. At the same time, a Cartier watch is worth saving up for compared to many other timepieces. Cartier makes a pretty polished watch. They have been doing so for a while, and mistakes they make in design are few and far between. Serious watch lovers are going to be most interested in pieces like their new Calibre collection that includes a brand new in-house-made automatic movement, but Roadster fans will like this new watch. The Roadster S is certainly a Roadster, but a scaled-down version. Further, people who find the original Roadster watch to be a bit strange in design will like the Roadster S. It retains the same shape, but with a different personality. I tend to think of it is a good “starter Cartier.” It is not going to be easy to go from a higher-end Cartier to the Roadster S, but the opposite situation in easily feasible. Nevertheless, the watch is a simple, yet highly satisfying timepiece for the vast majority of watch wearers.
The Roadster S loses the complex sapphire crystal with a magnifier lens that is visually part of the crown assembly. It also does away with the screws on the face of the watch as well as the slightly more complex case construction. While most Cartier watches have blue crown cabochon crystals, the Roadster line doesn’t. In essence, the Roadster is Cartier’s version of the tonneau-shaped (sort of barrel-shaped) watch. They have done it well, and while I don’t typically like this watch shape, I like the Roadster. Coming in various sizes, Roadster watches have “small, medium, large, and extra large sizes.” Cartier considers the Roadster S to be large. I am going to place it in the medium category though. While the case is technically about 46mm wide, that is due to the rather large crown and bulge in the middle of the case. As you can see the Roadster S is not a large watch. Though it is very comfortable. Not too thick, the curved case sits on the wrist without any fuss. It hugs your arm as well, and does not slide around (at least not on the rubber strap version). Looking at the side of the case you can see that the whole thing is curved, even the sapphire crystal (just a bit). The steel case enjoys a high quality polish on par with Cartier’s reputation. Many people who find the original Roadster watch a bit odd in style will likely find the Roadster S easier on the eye. Though I must admit the regular Roadster is a style that grows on you.
Cartier offers the Roadster S in two styles – an all-steel version on a metal bracelet, and this steel model with an aDLC bezel on a rubber strap. This version is the most sporty piece by far – likely one of the most sporty watches Cartier has ever released. Light, and agile on the wrist, it is a good watch for activity. The rubber strap can be adjusted to be tight, making for a secure fit. Just a few years ago Cartier started to play with aDLC – a slightly different application of DLC (diamond-like carbon) coating. It goes over steel (or other metals) and makes it black (or ostensibly other colors as well). aDLC is good because (if done right) it gives a uniform look, and is very scratch resistant. To my knowledge, Cartier doesn’t “do black” often, and aDLC is one of their first ventures into having black timepieces. Their first was an aDLC coated version of a Santos watch. Only the rubber strapped version of the Roadster S comes with the aDLC coated bezel. It has a nicely brushed finish to contrast with the polished case. It makes for a good look that runs into the black rubber strap. The strap is patterned a bit (only at the end parts) to look like the links on the metal bracelets. The steel bracelet version of the watch has a slightly smaller version of the bracelet used on the standard Roadster. A curious style bracelet with long, thin metal links.
Cartier’s use of quick release on the case for the straps. You can easily remove the straps (or bracelet) without any tools from the case. That is a good touch, and the system on this watch works well. Actually, the strap release mechanism was developed and patented by IWC, which is the system used here I believe. IWC is a sister Richemont Group watch brand along with Cartier, and IWC licensed this technology to Cartier. I included a nice close-up image of the strap release mechanism.
The price for the Cartier Roadster S is $4,200 as seen on a rubber strap, and $4,600 on a steel strap.
The first Cartier Roadster watch was launched in the early 2000s. It was one of the youngest models in Cartier watches, but it is also among the most well-known timepiece they’ve released. Spoiler alert for those who are not aware yet, the Cartier Roadster was discontinued by Cartier back in 2012. However, there are still Roadsters in the market, mostly pre-owned.
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Lug size: 20mm, compatible for: Cartier Roadster Chronograph, Cartier Roadster GMT XL, 2618
Lug size: 19mm, Compatible with: Cartier Roadster S, Las vegas, 2510, 3405 etc
1mm will make big difference for the quick-switch adapter since it holds on to the watch with its spring on it.
REAL LIFE images Cartier Roadster watch with custom leather watch bands
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|Compatible with original Cartier clasp.
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