Having risen to numerous challenges and taking on the unknowns, Rado has developed a knack for adapting to different situations for survival. From developing their first water-resistant watch in 1957 (the Golden Horse) to pioneering the use of scratch-proof high-tech ceramic, that same DNA has become the cornerstones of the newly launched Rado Captain Cook Chronograph and Captain Cook High-Tech Ceramic Diver.
The updates afforded to Rado’s cult favourite Captain Cook lineup, while subtle, are a series of improvements that go the extra mile in any conditions.
Form meets function as the chronograph complication is introduced to the Captain Cook line-up for the first time ever. Widely regarded as one of the most popular complications, the timekeeping capability of the chronograph brings greater functionality to adventurers. Keeping track of the amount of time spent underwater during dives, outdoor runs or even using the chronograph hand as a makeshift compass — the range of application is only limited by imagination.
The appearance of the Rado Captain Cook Chronograph does not deviate from the handsome, neo-vintage package that won it the hearts of many. Characteristic touches such as the boxed sapphire crystal, sloped bezel, hour index shapes and rotating dial anchor hark back to the original CaptainCook design. The inclusion of the chronograph hand and counters do not feel out of place as the newly positioned date aperture at six o’clock lends a contemporary symmetry to the dial layout.
Three iterations of the Rado Captain Cook Chronograph are released with the standout bronze variant ringing true to Rado’s “Master of Materials” namesake. The marine alloy case is paired with a polished blue high-tech ceramic bezel insert and titanium case back, a trio of materials that can withstand the test of time. Over time, the surface of the bronze case develops a slight reddish-brown patina for an aged look that is unique to its wearer.
Two other versions are made in stainless steel and differ in colours, namely black and blue. Water resistance to 300m is assured by a screw-down case back, screw-in crown and chronograph pushers for dives, swims or even the shower.Inside, a new and slimmer R801 automatic movement powers the watch and allows for a slimmer case construction for better wear comfort. A technically-advanced Nivachron hairspring, jointly developed by Rado’s parent company Swatch Group and Audemars Piguet in 2018, is used in the movement.
The non-magnetic compensating alloy is made from a titanium base and is optimised for resistance against magnetic fields with its complex material composition.Other advantages of Nivachron include excellent effectiveness against temperature variations and shock resistance that in tandem combine for greater chronometric performance for the Rado Captain Cook Chronograph.
Two additional pairs of straps are fitted with the convenient EasyClip system for quick, effortless changes to suit the wearer’s mood or occasion.
The addition of the “Diver” word might be perplexing for some — is it not redundant to include “Diver” since the Rado Captain Cook is a dive watch by nature after all? Well, the “Diver” tag is exclusively reserved for dive watches that are ISO compliant, tested and meeting the conditions of ISO 6425standards. This latest development in the legacy of the Captain Cook family of watches represents a first for Rado’s flagship range of dive watches as the watch existed as the Rado Captain Cook High-Tech Ceramic before this introduction.
Rado’s Captain Cook High-Tech Ceramic Diver is the culmination of decades of research and development by Rado. Made in accordance with ISO6425 standards, the neo-vintage dive watch is designed and perfected to take on the harsh elements of the great outdoors. Under the extensive criteria of ISO 6425 standards, dive watches are required to be water-resistant to 125% of the watch’s rated pressure, resist shocks, thermaldeviations and magnetic fields, and have a dive timing device such as a unidirectional rotating dive bezel.
Additionally, the watches should be resistant to saltwater and have their watch hands designed so that they can be distinguishable from one another, be easily read under low light conditions and have a way of telling that the watch is running even in the dark.
Forming the foundation of the Rado Captain Cook High-Tech Ceramic Diver is the Swiss watchmaker’s eminent monobloc high-tech ceramic case. Lauded for its virtually indestructible properties and loved for its wearing comfort on the wrist, the high-tech ceramic cases live up to Rado’s “Master of Materials”reputation. That is further exemplified by incorporating colours (as seen in the olive model) or unique finishes (as seen in the plasma models) that are, more often than not, challenging processes when working with ceramics.
Colour pigments tend to burn or turn dull during the manufacturing (otherwise known as sintering) process while plasma treatment involves subjecting freshly sintered ceramic components in 20,000°C environments to impart a stellar metallic look with the advantages of ceramic. Such complex processes are not exclusively reserved for the ceramic case as the matching bracelets go through the same manufacturing stages.
Given the diving nature of the Rado Captain Cook High-Tech Ceramic Diver, water resistance is rated to 300m and further tested to 375m to account forthe ISO 6425 125% water resistance criteria. Rado’s emblematic double seahorse makes an appearance on the titanium case back in an exquisite relief finishing that is a nod to Rado’s history and a gentle reminder of its water-resistance approval. The inclusion of a rotating bezel, while considered de rigeuer for dive watches, is finished with a ceramic insert that doubles up as additional protection for the watch crystal, though the sapphire crystal hardly requires any tender loving care.
Ample luminous materials are applied to the watch indexes and hands for extra legibility even when taking a dive or a night stroll through the park. Fans of the Rado Captain Cook will be thrilled to find vintage touches of early references such as the rotating anchor logo and date numerals highlighted in red. Within the high-tech ceramic case lies the automatic Rado calibre R763 that utilises the Nivachron hairspring and offers 80hours of power reserve.