Cartier Roadster S watch review

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 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 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 a 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 Roadster S watch stainless steel band quick release band

Cartier offers the Roadster S in two styles – an all steel version on a metal bracelet, and this steel model with and 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. Also, a custom leather strap is a good choice to choose. 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.


Inside the watch is Cartier’s automatic Calibre 049 – which I believe is a base ETA 2892 movement. A solid movement that works fine, but isn’t anything fancy. It is a good movement to have in a sport watch given its relative level of durability. While this is no action-adventure watch, with its lighter weight, 100 meters of water resistance, and secure fit on the wrist, you could easily be “active” with the watch and not have it impede you too much. Though I tend to not recommend people do wild things in nice watches.

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 closeup image of the strap release mechanism.

Price for the Cartier Roadster S men’s women’s watch is $4,200 as seen on a rubber strap, and $4,600 on a steel strap.

If you do not like the rubber band on the Cartier Roadster S, You can OEM order Cartier Roadster S leather band or Nylon watch band from Drwatchstrap.

OEM Cartier Roadster S black nylon band

Cartier Roadster S watch OEM Alligator Leather watch band quick release band

OEM Cartier Roadster S black leather band

Cartier Roadster S watch OEM Handmade watch band quick release band
Cartier Roadster S watch OEM Handmade watch band quick release band
OEM replacement watch band for Cartier Roadster S
OEM replacement watch band for Cartier Roadster S
Replacement Cartier Roadster alligator leather strap quickswitch
Cartier Roadster Custom leather straps with grooves
ustom Handmade Colorful Alligator Leather Watch Strap Cartier Roadster 19mm 20mm
Material available: Nylon, calfskin or American Alligator leather
Color: Black, brown, blue, green, pink, orange, white, grey, red and more
Fully wrapped edge to prevent the leather from peeling off.
Compatible with original Cartier clasp.

The quick release system is attached to the leather strap. You can snape into your Cartier Roadster S watch easily. All the replacement watch bands are custom handmade to guarantee fit your original watch. Tell us your wrist size, what color you want. Drwatchstrap will custom-make it for you. Contact us now

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