Rado has been making waves with it’s recent Captain Cook model. A much-needed refresher to the brand, it failed in my eyes to fully capture the essence, or DNA, of the brand. After all, what comes to your mind when you think of Rado?
For me, it is the clever use of ceramics, and no watch could represent this better than this Diastar model from the 90s. Long ahead of the trend, Rado has literally been doing ceramics before it was cool. While nowadays every watch brand is using ceramics for their case or bezel, Rado has recognized the features of the material a long time ago. The reason is simple, ceramic doesn’t scratch, so while this specific model is over 20 years old, a quick wipe with a micro-fibre cloth and it will look like fresh from the boutique.
The futuristic element has been carried beyond the materials into the design language. If you ever wanted to see how far you can take an integrated bracelet, look no further. Ceramic elements reminiscent of snake scales wrap from the watch seamlessly all the way to the clasp. The actual watch face has sapphire glass on a black background. The clasp is a three times bigger element made out of ceramic with engravings to give the illusion of separate elements, underneath of which a titanium butterfly clasp rests.
This Rado is more than the sum of its parts though. While impressive on paper, in flesh is where it only begins to make sense. Due to ceramic being used on the outside of the bracelet, plastic for the inside, and titanium for the clasp, the watch is incredibly light on the wrist. It feels so much lighter also for its inherent thinness. This feeling is enforced by the fact that the case protrudes only a few millimetres from the bracelet, doing so inwards rather than outwards.
At this point, it goes without saying that this timepiece is more fashion than watch, which of course comes with its own drawbacks. Most notably, if you want a watch which actually tells you the time look elsewhere. To perfect the minimalist design Rado did away with both the hour and minute markers, leaving only two thick silver hands. Even the logo has been blacked out, visible only in direct sunlight. Then again you wouldn’t mistake it for any other watch, for it is unquestionably a true Rado.