Cartier Roadster watches Short History and Buyers Guide
When one mentions the French brand Cartier, one of the oldest and most popular watchmakers and jewelers in the world, the Cartier Roadster watches, though discontinued over a decade, continue to enjoy popularity among watch collectors and aficionados, and is equally creative and revolutionary.
About the Cartier Roadster
The Cartier Roadster has an iconic look of a tonneau-shaped case (tonneau means “barrel” in French), a shape that was used by Cartier around 1906. It was inspired by sports cars from the 1960s. It became a popular sport and dress watch.
First of all, there are plenty of size choices within the Cartier Roadster line. Sizes range from small women’s models to XL sizes with cases measuring around 43mm–and plenty in between. As expected, the Cartier Roadster is available in different materials including steel, yellow gold, and two-tone steel and gold. There are also opulent gold and diamond versions of the Roadster watch.
In addition to the time and date versions of the Roadster, Cartier also made Roadster Chronograph editions and Roadster GMT models.
While it was the Roadster’s unique aesthetic that drew the most attention on its initial release, customers soon found its function to be just as noteworthy as its design. Most models in the range boasted an epic 42-hour power reserve, along with an equally significant 100 meters of water resistance. Thanks to the addition of a stop-seconds mechanism, the wearer could easily synchronize the watch to a time signal with to-the-second precision.
Towards the end of the 2000s, Cartier offered a simplified version of the Roadster, dubbed the Roadster S, as an entry-level priced offering. The Roadster S did away with the date magnification lens and the visible screws on the lugs., but kept the distinct tonneau shape and quick-release lug system. A particularly sporty version of the Roadster S comes with a black rubber strap and matching black PVD-coated bezel on its stainless steel case. There are also full steel versions of the Roadster S with a matching steel bracelet.
Frequently Asked Questions
Now that we know more about the Cartier Roadster’s best models, let us talk about some of the most frequently asked questions about this series.
When were the Cartier Roadster watches discontinued?
The Cartier Roadster was released by Cartier in 2001. The French watchmaker discontinued production of the watch around 2012. Since then, the Cartier Roadster only became available in the pre-owned watch market.
How can you tell if a Cartier Roadster watches is real?
In order to make sure that a Cartier Roadster (or any Cartier model watch) is an original, take note of the following signs:
1. The back of the watch. Take a look at the back of the watch. A Cartier case back should have an inscription. There should also be an engraved serial number. The case back should have two letters and six numbers that are etched on the steel.
2. Weight. The watch should have some weight to it. A real Cartier watch also has extremely durable glass that does not smear. When it comes in contact with water, the liquid should just easily roll off.
3. Dial. Check the Roadster or any Cartier watch with a Roman numeral dial to have a spelled-out “Cartier” placed on either 7 o’clock or 10 o’clock. Also, check the 6 o’clock position for the words “Swiss Made”.
4. Ask the expert. The best way to check if a watch is a real Cartier is by asking an expert to check the watch. By consulting someone who is experienced and knowledgeable about luxury watches, you can make sure that what you’re wearing is legitimate.
Does the Cartier Roadster watch retain value?
Cartier watches have good resale value, but many experts say that they may not hold their value as well as other luxury watch brands like Rolex and Patek Philippe.
However, owners of Cartier watches, including the Roadster, vouched for the brand, saying that it remains excellent after years of use. And they also pointed out that when one buys a watch, it’s not just the movement or materials they’re buying, but its history. A Cartier may not have the top resale value, but its timeless design is reason enough to be a part of one’s luxury watch collection.
The resale value may not be the same as its luxury watch counterparts, but second-hand models are still pretty pricey.
How do you set a Cartier Roadster watch?
The process of setting a Cartier Roadster piece is quite similar to that of other watches. In fact, it is fairly straightforward. You simply have to pull the crown of your Cartier Roadster out. Turning it either clockwise or counterclockwise will then cause the hands of the watch to move. Then, just rotate the crown until you reach the correct time/date.
Is the Cartier Roadster worth adding to your collection?
Honestly, this really depends on what your preference is, especially since every collector has different factors to take into consideration. The Cartier Roadster is a well-crafted and highly-respected racing watch. One of the most appealing things about the Cartier Roadster is that it boasts elegance and sophistication you cannot find in most other motorsports-inspired watches, which tend to be more rugged. If you want something that offers a slightly different twist on the automotive watch, then the Cartier Roadster is a must-have.
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