“Masters of Materials” Swiss watch manufacturer Rado have recently unveiled their iconic Captain Cook collection fully dressed in high-tech ceramic. Taking the 1960’s aesthetic from the past and combining it with cutting-edge technology and materials from the present, the new range of Rado Captain Cook Ceramic watches seems to have encapsulated all of Rado’s DNA into one single design.
History of the Rado Captain Cook
For us, the Rado Captain Cook collection is one of the brand’s best designs, and despite its release almost sixty years ago, it remains a resonating piece for watch collectors and aficionados today. The first Rado Captain Cook watch saw the light of day in 1962 in an attempt to bring the luxury watch brand in line with the ongoing diving craze. Named after British navigator and explorer James Cook who was famed for sailing and mapping much of the South Pacific, its aesthetic was rather ground-breaking for its day with a concave inward-sloping dive bezel, rice of beads bracelet and domed acrylic crystal glass. It’s believed that no more than 8,000 pieces of the Rado Captain Cook were made until production stopped entirely.
That was, however, until 2017 when Rado announced a new “vintage replica” of the design at Baselworld. Alongside a rather direct replica of the original 1962 model, they also released a more modern 45mm version for contemporary watch wearers with larger wrists. Since then, the Captain Cook reference has evolved into several reiterations, in many sizes, materials, and dial colours. The Rado Captain Cook Bronze was met with resounding success last year debuted with a variety of dial colourways and the addition of a swivelling anchor on the dial which moves with your wrist. Now, another material takes centre stage in the design, but this time something resolutely more contemporary. Let’s discuss the Rado Captain Cook Ceramic…
The Ceramic Case
The Rado Captain Cook Ceramic collection marks the first time the throwback 60’s design is engineered almost entirely in high-tech ceramic. In the past, ceramic has been used on the bezel but never before on the case and/or the bracelet. The case has more recently only been available in 38mm or 42mm, but now is slightly enlarged to 43mm. The central case is a monoblock construction and is entirely engineered from a choice of matte black high-tech ceramic or matte plasma high tech ceramic which comes in a handsome grey colour.
Since we’ve known Rado, their high-tech ceramic has played a central role in their approach to watchmaking. It’s a smooth, soft and stylish surface that boasts a list of advantages such as its lightness, scratch resistance and hypoallergenic properties. Ceramic also adapts to your body temperature almost immediately, so it never feels too hot or too cold. In the Rado Captain Cook Ceramic watches, ceramic is presented through the cases, bezel inserts and bracelets, measuring to 14.6mm in height and offering a low and curved profile that moulds incredibly comfortably on the wrist.
Alongside the matte black and matte grey ceramic cases and bracelets, Rado Captain Cook Ceramic watches are detailed with elements of either gold PVD stainless steel or hardened stainless steel on the knurled edging the bezels and on the screw in crowns. The exhibition case backs are also engineered from brushed titanium and feature an inlay of black tinted sapphire crystal which delivers a view of the automatic winding movement housed within. Each Rado Captain Cook Ceramic watch also promises a water resistance of 300 metres.
There are currently four models of the Rado Captain Cook Ceramic in the collection. The first one, under refence R32127162 features a matte black ceramic case with a rose gold PVD steel bezel and crown, black ceramic bracelet and gold elements on the dial. Reference R32127152 is incredibly similar, boasting the same matte black case and bracelet but with contrasting steel elements on the bezel and dial while reference R32127156 is basically the same but with a black rubber strap. Lastly, reference R32128202 stands out the most significantly as it is the only one dressed in plasma ceramic with a dark grey colouring. It features hardened polished stainless steel on the blue ceramic bezel and is worn on a matching grey plasma ceramic bracelet.
The Skeleton Dial
While the incorporation of ceramic in the new Rado Captain Cook is its most notable feature, we’re almost certain it was the skeletonised dial that initially caught your attention. Never done before in a Captain Cook model, the skeleton dial really gives the new designs a personality of their own and makes them decisively different to any of their vintage-leaning predecessors. Each Rado Captain Cook Ceramic watch boasts a black tinted sapphire crystal dial which offers a faded view of the Rado calibre R734 working hard beneath.
Other than its smoky translucent finish, the dial of the Rado Captain Cook Ceramic remains entirely familiar with the same applied indexes, inner flange and large arrow-shaped Superluminova central hands. At 12 o’clock the same moving anchor symbol is included which is set against a synthetic ruby plate. This splash of red, although subtle is a welcome pop of colour to the rest of the monochromatic design.
As seen through the front and back of the Rado Captain Cook Ceramic watch, the calibre R734 delivers central hands for hours, minutes ands seconds and a healthy power reserve of 80 hours. Its construction is based on the brand’s version of the Swatch Group’s Powermatic movement series, engineered off the ETA 2824-2, and features a Nivachron hairspring, 25 jewels and beats at a frequency of 28,800 vibrations per hour.
The entire Rado Captain Cook High-Tech Ceramic collection is available to order now on the Jura Watches website. For more information on these new arrivals and other Rado 2021 watch releases, get in touch with the team on 01335 453453 or send us a email@example.com.