The Rado Hyperchrome Bronze
Watch & Bullion30 September 2018 | 2 min read
When you think of two-tone, you probably think of steel, gold and designs that we already know since the eighties. I have been expecting a return of mixing materials in making a watch for a while. I have yet to expect that Rado, of all brands, would present us with the most contemporary version of this old concept. Using arguably the most popular materials right now, the new Rado Hyperchrome Bronze could give the words two-tone a whole new meaning.
With their new CHF 4,900 expensive automatic chronograph, it is clear that they are going after the big boys, as this is the price point where you could find yourself an excellent Omega Speedmaster. Unlike a Speedy, however, you do not get an in-house movement but an ETA 2894-2 movement with a 42-hour power reserve. Despite the customised black rotor from a value perspective that is a bit lacklustre for a watch that costs five grand, Rado has never been about movements.
What Rado has been doing better than everyone else, though, is using Ceramics to create unique cases long before it was trendy to do so. This model, then, is no exception to that line of thinking. The main element of the case is made out of black ceramic. With clever use of a matte finish on the lugs and a polished one on the bezel and caseback, the design exudes a sense of class that can easily be lost when capitalising on trends.
The selling point that sets this watch apart from other ceramic watches is the decision to include bronze on the sides of the case and for both the crown and the pushers. This does explore a contrast whose beauty will require time to explore fully. On the one side, you have ceramic, a scratch-resistant material that, in 10 years, it will still look like it left the boutique the day before. On the other side, you have bronze, known primarily for the fact that it develops patina both quickly and intensely.
Other features of this timepiece include a discrete date window with a black background at 4:30 and a water resistance of 10 bar. This watch is not about the individual parts but how they work in unison. For example, the case where bronze curves smoothly out from beneath the ceramic to fool you into thinking it is all one part. Rado has always been a brand for some. Their appeal has always been more from a fashion perspective than a mechanical one, and the Hypercrhome Bronze is no different. The price is steep, but in return, you will get something unique, well relatively speaking, as the watch is limited to 999 pieces. To sum up, the Rado Hyperchrome is not for everybody. It offers something truly unique. Whether that is worth CHF 4,900 is up to you to decide.