Cartier Roadster Watches
A beloved icon inspired by high-octane sports cars, the Cartier Roadster stood out in the watch market in the early 21st century. Its universal design makes it perfect for men and women, in any setting. Far from a sports watch, or a luxury watch, the Cartier Roadster straddled the perfect line between the two for over 10 years until the manufacturer retired the model, to great fan dismay.
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The History of Cartier Roadster Watches
The Cartier Roadster launched back in 2001. The beginning of a new millennium, new interests were taking over, the dawn of a new era.
Cartier by this stage had been manufacturing watches for almost 100 years, and had been making jewellery for even longer, they needed to find their way into this new, changing market.
To do so they launched their new, exciting model for a new generation, the Cartier Roadster. As the name may suggest, the Roadster was heavily inspired by sports cars and automotion. While motor racing is not uncommon an inspiration for watchmaking, Cartier with the Roadster chose to seek a more elegant, understated take on the racing world.
To show this, the Cartier Roadster includes a number of motorsport inspired features. For example, the oversized date magnification lens is intended to be reminiscent of the curved glass windshields adopted by a number of iconic vintage sports cars from the 1950’s.
Along with the magnification lens, the winding crown and lug holes also are representative of some of the mid-centuries great sports cars. Also, possibly the most iconic feature of a Cartier Roadster watch is the dial — which took great inspiration from vintage sports cars, namely the 1950’s Porsche 356 and its speedometer.
At the core of the Cartier design tradition has always been a non-traditional boxier, shaped watch cases. The Roadster continues this trend; following in the footsteps of the Santos, Tank, and more, the Roadster boasts its own distinct ‘tonneau’ or barrel shaped case.
For the Roadster, Cartier continued with their unique watch design. Just like many of its predecessors, the Roadster boasted a defined, boxier case. The standard option for the men’s watch is 43 x 38mm, while the women’s comes in at 36 x 30.
To fit in with a new era of wristwatches, Cartier gave customers a whole host of options for the Roadster. With stainless steel, white, yellow, and rose gold options available to make up the piece.
The Roadster runs on an ETA, automatic, self-winding mechanical movement and is considered water resistant up to 100 meters, making the Cartier Roadster perfectly suited to whatever you might throw at it.
Towards the end of the 2000s Cartier released a simplified version of the Roadster, the Roadster S. This entry-level watch removed features like the date magnification lens and visible screws on the lug but maintained the distinctive shape and a few of the other uniquely Cartier features. The Roadster S was available with a black rubber strap with a matching bezel on its case, or in steel.
Despite the Cartier Roadster enjoying success and popularity in its day, and being one of the newest models in the Cartier portfolio, it was ultimately discontinued by the French brand in 2012, after only a decade of production.
These days, if you want to own one of these exquisite watches, the second hand market will likely be your best option left. Due to the love and cult-following of the model, a pre-owned Cartier Roadster watch will likely look as good today as it did the day it launched.
The beauty of a Cartier watch is that it can help you stand out in any room, any setting. There are so many variations available to you that no matter who you are, a Cartier on your wrist is guaranteed to turn heads.
While each Cartier Roadster on the market represents the same understated, reserved class, the great range of options available for the Roadster upon release mean that there are plentiful options out there.
Cartier made the Roadster available in a variety of sizes, with a selection of metals, sials, and bracelet configurations. The watch is available in a variety of sizes with cases measuring from 20mm to 49m wide for the XL sizes. Along with the standard selection of materials; rose gold, steel etc. Cartier has also released special versions of the Roadster.
These limited edition Roadsters were made with walnut burlwood dials and matching walnut centre links. Released in 2008, Cartier only ever made a limited amount of the Roadster Walnut, with 250 made in pink gold and only around 150 in white gold.
Own a Piece of History
Since the Cartier Roadster is a discontinued model and is no longer in production, getting your hands on one is the only way to guarantee yourself membership into what is becoming an exclusive club of owners of this sophisticated, yet sporty watch.
The Cartier Roadster has the right profile to perfectly fit the collection of any vintage fan. Its design harkens back to a bygone era and evokes thoughts of mid-century innovation.
The Cartier Roadster left a lasting impact on the luxury watchmaking industry in the short time it was in production, and stands out, even today as one of the most distinct sports watches money can buy. For any first time watch buyers wanting a piece of history, aspiring connoisseurs, or veteran collectors, this iconic line would be perfect for you.
And due to the brand recognition Cartier has, the model being out of production, and its popularity and cult status, a pre owned Cartier Roadster watch can stand to be a good investment for the future.