When we talk about motorsports and watches, the first things that come to mind would probably be famous names like the TAG Heuer Monaco or the Rolex Cosmograph Daytona. These are renowned collections based on racing and automobiles that are remarkably popular among the motorsports community. However, one automotive-inspired series that only true watch connoisseurs know about actually comes from Cartier, in the form of the Cartier Roadster.
In this article, we will take a look at the Cartier Roadster range and see if it is truly as impressive as people say.
History of the Cartier Roadster
Launched in the early 2000s, the Cartier Roadster is one of popular Cartier collections ever released. Just from its name, you can probably already guess that it is inspired by motorsports and automobiles. Racing watches are not a new concept in the horological world. However, Cartier was still able to create a line that was completely and uniquely its own by perfectly incorporating its mastery of elegance and sophistication with sportiness.
One of the key reasons why this series so captivated watch fans is due to the hints of vintage elements in its design. In fact, the Cartier Roadster is based on the dashboard layout of a 1950s Porsche, giving the watch a very nostalgic, retro aesthetic.
Best Cartier Roadster Models
Despite its short run, the Cartier Roadster boasts a rather extensive catalogue with a wide selection of models. These watches can be divided into three categories: the Cartier Roadster Men, Cartier Lady’s Roadster, and the Cartier Roadster Chronograph. In this section, we will take a look at some of the best Cartier Roadster models you can find in each of these categories.
Cartier Roadster Men
The Cartier Roadster watches for men serve as the core of this collection. These were the original Cartier Roadster models. They consist of classic pieces that incorporate subtle, automotive-inspired elements, which makes them great accessories to wear both on and off the racetrack.
One thing about the Cartier Roadster Men watches is that they are not as overtly masculine as other racing watches on the market. This is precisely why the Cartier Roadster Men is well-known for its versatility.1. Cartier Roadster Men Ref. W62002V3
The Cartier Roadster Men Ref. W62002V3 is arguably one of the coolest watches in the entire Cartier Roadster catalog. It has a suave modern aesthetic that brings out the sophistication in any outfit it is paired with.
This Cartier Roadster watch is housed in a 38mm stainless steel case and a matching three-link stainless steel bracelet. The case of this watch has a barrel-shaped design, which allows it to stand out from all the other motorsport-inspired pieces on the market.
The dial of this watch has a jet-black finish, which contrasts sharply against its all-silver exterior. It has a racetrack layout and consists of luminescent sword hands, Arabic numeral markers, and a magnified date window at 3 o’clock. The Arabic numerals of this watch come in alternating red and white hues. The hour markers are painted in white. The double-digit minute markers, on the other hand, are a vibrant, striking red, giving the watch a cooler and more rugged look.
The Ref. W62002V3 is driven by a Cartier Calibre 3110. Based on the popular ETA 2892-A2 movement, the Cartier Calibre 3110 is an automatic movement that has a power reserve of 42 hours.
You can purchase this watch for around $6,200 USD.2. Cartier Roadster Men Ref. W62048V3
Another handsome Cartier Roadster Men’s watch worth adding to your collection is the Ref. W62048V3. This watch is the perfect fusion of sportiness and elegance. You can easily wear this at both your fancy dinner parties and in your everyday routines.
This Cartier watch is presented in a 38mm barrel-shaped case and a three-link bracelet, both made of stainless steel. Its dial shows off a radiant and rich blue sunray finish that simply draws your eye to it. It contains large Roman numeral markers in an elegant, slanting typeface, thick sword hands, and a magnified date display at 3 o’clock. Protecting the watch is a sapphire crystal with scratch-resistant properties and a 100-meter depth rating.
Like the previous Cartier Roadster model mentioned, this watch runs on a Cartier Calibre 3110. Held together by 21 jewels, this self-winding movement offers quick-set date capabilities and a 42-hour power supply.
Be prepared to shell out at least $7,125 USD to get your hands on the Ref. W62048V3.
Cartier Lady’s Roadster
The Cartier Lady’s Roadster watches are offered in the same barrel-shaped cases as the Cartier Roadster Men. The primary difference, however, is that the Cartier Lady’s Roadster timepieces come in smaller sizes and have daintier, more feminine designs compared to the Cartier Roadsters for men. For instance, many Cartier Lady’s Roadster watches are embellished with jewels and gems, making them extra appealing to the ladies.1. Cartier Lady’s Roadster Ref. W62016V3
One of the greatest pieces in the Cartier Lady’s Roadster lineup is the Ref. W62016V3. It offers a simple and straightforward design, making it an excellent classic piece for everyday wear. Despite its unassuming exterior, this model still exudes an air of quiet luxury that few other brands can replicate.
The Ref. W62016V3 comes in a slim 31mm stainless steel case and a matching stainless steel three-link bracelet. Complementing its polished silver exterior is a lovely silver-white dial. This dial bears the classic Cartier Roadster racetrack design. It is also adorned with slanting Arabic numeral markers in black, luminous black sword hands, and a magnified, trapezoidal date aperture at 3 o’clock. Guarding this watch face is a layer of scratch-resistant sapphire crystal.
At the core of this Cartier Roadster watch is the Swiss Cartier Caliber 688. This is a powerful quartz movement that offers excellent precision and an outstanding battery life of more than five years. In addition, this watch is also water-resistant up to depths of 100 meters.
The Cartier Lady’s Roadster Ref. W62016V3 is one of the most affordable pieces in this article. It retails at just $5,400 USD.2. Cartier Lady’s Roadster Ref. W62026Y4
Another Cartier Roadster worth discussing is the Ref. W62026Y4. With its exquisite two-tone colorway, this watch boasts a refined sophistication and luxury that is unlike any other.
This Cartier Roadster watch is even smaller than the previous model, encased in a 29mm barrel-shaped case. This is paired with a two-tone bracelet that shows off stainless steel outer links and lavish yellow gold inner links. Affixed to the top of the watch case is a yellow gold fixed bezel, which goes wonderfully with the watch’s bracelet.
The dial of this watch showcases a silver-white finish with faint black lines that replicate the look of a classic racetrack. It is furnished with thick Roman numeral markers, luminous sword hands, and a magnified date complication at 3 o’clock. The nail-shaped cyclops lens of this watch is cleverly attached to its screw-down crown, creating a rather unique, protruding look.
Inside this watch, you can find the same well-crafted Caliber 688 quartz movement. It offers great precision, making this watch both beautiful and reliable.
The Cartier Lady’s Roadster Ref. Ref. W62026Y4 has an estimated price tag of $6,750 USD.
Cartier Roadster Chronograph
Now, we move on to the bolder pieces in the Cartier Roadster catalogue. The Cartier Roadster Chronograph takes this collection to a whole new level of functionality and aesthetic. Since the Cartier Roadster is a motorsport-inspired series, adding a chronograph model definitely fits the concept. In fact, the Cartier Roadster Chronograph is probably more deeply rooted in the automotive scene than the other two Cartier Roadster lines.1. Cartier Roadster Chronograph Ref. W6206020
The Cartier Roadster Chronograph Ref. W6206020 is a striking and unusual piece for those who love eccentric chronographs. It shows off a very sporty elegance that you do not frequently see in other chronographs.
The Ref. W6206020 utilises a chunky 50mm case that is made out of stainless steel, along with a black rubber strap. Despite its large diameter, the tonneau shape of this watch case means that it does not take up too much space on your wrist. As such, it can fit quite well on wrists of all sizes. Fitted on top of the case is a black-coated fixed bezel, which blends in perfectly with the watch’s strap.
As a chronograph piece, the silver opaline dial of this watch is a lot busier than the other models previously mentioned. It is decorated with slanting Roman numeral markers, luminous sword hands, a trapezoidal date display at 3 o’clock, and three sub-dials in black. Unlike traditional chronograph sub-dials which have a clean and round shape, the sub-dials on this watch are oval-shaped, which allows them to fit neatly into the dial. Powering all of these features is a reliable Swiss automatic movement.
If you are a fan of racing-inspired watches, this $7,525 USD model should definitely be on your radar.2. Cartier Roadster Chronograph Ref. W6206019
In this entry, we have the Cartier Roadster Chronograph Ref. W6206019. Compared to the previous model, this version has a softer and more versatile appeal.
This model sports a 49mm barrel-shaped case. This is coupled with a sleek three-link bracelet made of the same material, which gives the watch a more professional, office-ready look. The silver opaline dial comprises large Roman numeral markers, sword hands, a sizeable date window at 3 o’clock, and three oval sub-dials in white for the 60-second, 60-minute, and 12-hour chronograph counters. Like the Ref. W6206020, this watch also runs on a high-quality Swiss automatic movement.
The Cartier Roadster Chronograph Ref. W6206019 costs about $7,975 USD.
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.
Is the Cartier Roadster discontinued?
Unfortunately, the Cartier Roadster is no longer in production today. It ran for a relatively short time, from the early 2000s up until 2012. Its discontinuation in 2012 caused much disappointment among fans and patrons of the collection.
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.
Modern Alternatives to the Cartier Roadster
The Cartier Roadster can be pretty hard to get today, especially since it has been discontinued. As such, here are some alternative models that you can consider adding to your collection instead.
1. Cartier Drive de Cartier Ref. WSNM0004
First, we have the Cartier Drive de Cartier Ref. WSNM0004. This watch is perceived by some as the modern reincarnation of the Cartier Roadster.
This Drive de Cartier watch uses a 40mm cushion-shaped case made of stainless steel and a leather strap in black. Although it is slightly larger than most of the Cartier Roadster models mentioned above, this watch’s cushion case means that it has a more compact build. This allows it to fit well on both small and large wrists. On the right side of the case, you can find a screw-down crown that is fitted with a blue cabochon spinel. This crown helps guarantee the watch’s 30-meter depth rating.
The dial of this watch showcases a simple yet refined silver finish. It is filled with thick Roman numeral markers, a minute track with square markers and stick indices, a date aperture at 3 o’clock, and a small seconds sub-dial. Adding to the stylish contemporary look of this watch are its blued steel hands, which bring a pop of color to this watch face.
On the underside of this Cartier watch, you can find a transparent caseback. Through it, you can admire the automatic movement that ticks inside the watch. This is a Cartier Calibre 1904-PS MC, which is held together by 27 jewels and has a 48-hour power supply.
The Cartier Drive de Cartier Ref. WSNM0004 is worth approximately $6,800 USD.
2. Longines Evidenza Ref. L26424736
The next Cartier Roadster alternative we have is the Longines Evidenza Ref. L26424736. This is a classic piece that has a build and design that is quite similar to the Cartier Roadster. The icing on the cake is that it even has a more affordable price tag, catering to those with more limited budgets.
This Longines Evidenza watch is presented in a slim 33mm tonneau-shaped case and a multi-link bracelet, both made using stainless steel. Complementing the watch’s all-silver exterior is its silver-white dial, which boasts an alluring guilloche finish. This dial is ornamented with slanting Arabic numeral hour markers, blued steel hands, and a date complication and small seconds sub-dial, both at 6 o’clock.
Underneath this elegant watch face, you can find a Longines Caliber L615. This is an automatic movement which can last for up to 42 hours when fully wound. This watch also has a depth rating of 30 meters, which is less than what is offered by the Cartier Roadster models.
If you want an affordable alternative to the Cartier Roadster, this Longines watch is just what you are looking for. It sells at just $2,400 USD.
The Cartier Roadster is an excellent collection that consists of well-crafted automotive-inspired watches. It is incomparable to other models because it brings unparalleled sophistication and exquisiteness to motorsport watchmaking. Ultimately, this is a series worth checking out if you enjoy retro timepieces linked to the racing scene.
Photo Credits: Amazon
If you wanna increase your watch knowledge, check out our article on the Grand Seiko SBGM221!
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