Avani Sepang Goldcoast Resort proved to be a most pleasant presentation venue for Rado’s 2022 novelties. Known as the “Master of Materials”, Rado had crafted a space with a rustic feel — small crates in place of tables and chairs, surrounded by dried plants and rocks — to transport us to a more rugged environment (an immersive hint of the campaign video we were about to see). The left wall of the ballroom had a blown-up artistic interpretation of a watch while the right wall had numerous showcase boxes with Rado’s newest timepieces and blown-up lifestyle images behind them.
While a few of Rado’s new watches are still under embargo, the details of two key pieces that were presented may be revealed. Avani Sepang was an apt venue chosen for the first release, the Rado Captain Cook High-Tech Ceramic Diver. The Captain Cook collection, which debuted in 1962, was the brand’s first diving watch targeted at professionals, from doctors and engineers to athletes, deep sea divers and race car drivers. One could identify a watch from this range by spotting the iconic pivoting anchor, which indicated when it needed to be serviced.
Rugged, embodying the life of adventure and true grit, the Rado Captain Cook High-Tech Ceramic Diver is the newest evolution of the range. Housed inside the 43mm high-tech ceramic monobloc case — a lightweight material that adds to the structural ability of the watch, making it scratch-resistant, hypo-allergenic and hardy — is the R763 calibre, which features an 80-hour power reserve and an antimagnetic Nivachron hairspring.
As a first for Rado, this timepiece is water resistant to 300m, created following strict ISO 6425 specifications — a series of rigorous tests that ensure a diver’s watch’s ability to withstand depth pressure, be tough under harsh conditions and legible in the dark. As a nod to its history, this piece features the iconic anchor, a date window at 3 o’clock with red numerals, and a circular brushed titanium press-fit caseback decorated with a relief of two seahorses resting quietly (an echo of models from the 1960s). Chunky and easily visible hour, minute and seconds hands, as well as the matte-applied indices and bezel numerals are filled with Super-LumiNova, ensuring that the Captain Cook High-Tech Ceramic Diver is visible in all levels of light.
This instantly recognisable timepiece is fit for fearless explorations through the wilderness as well as enterprising dives into the mysterious ocean. There are six models in this range, each with a distinct colour palette. The two all black iterations are fashioned with polished hardened stainless steel turning bezels and a polished black high-tech ceramic insert. One has a high-tech ceramic bracelet with polished middle links and matte black outerlinks, and the other is fitted with a matte black rubber strap.
The two matte olive models — our favourite colour variant — have a hardened stainless steel turning bezel with an olive green high-tech ceramic insert. These are also available with a matching bracelet or rubber strap. The last two models stand out as they feature matte plasma high-tech ceramic for the case and bracelets, as well as a polished hardened stainless steel turning bezel and circular brushed plasma high-tech ceramic insert. One reference has a sophisticated, polished and lacquered sunray grey dial and the other is in a blue reminiscent of the cerulean sea.
The other key release for 2022 is the Rado Captain Cook Over-Pole limited edition, which marks the anniversary of the original worldtimer. Sporting a 37mm case made from polished stainless steel — the same material as the bi-directional turning bezel which includes a polished black high-tech ceramic insert with laser engraved cities in a silver colour — this timepiece sits comfortably on a smaller wrist.
The ideal timepiece for a busy globetrotter, the new Over-Pole is an upgraded version of the model from the 1960s, powered by the manual winding calibre R862, which boasts an 80-hour power reserve. In keeping with the vintage aesthetic, this watch has a captivating silver to black gradient dial adorned with rhodium colour-applied indices as well as white SuperLuminova dots on the 24-hour scale. As this is a Captain Cook model, it has the moving anchor symbol with a striking ruby backplate as well as a classic red date-numeral at 3 o’clock.
Only 1962 units of the Captain Cook Over-Pole are available, and they all come with a brown pouch to store the watch as well as the additional straps. The EasyClip system enables the wearer to switch between the brown vintage leather strap with a stainless steel pin buckle and the stainless steel rice grain bracelet with matching triple-fold clasp. The Over-Pole comes complete with a screw-down caseback marked “Limited Edition” along with the watch’s edition number for that added exclusive feel.
While more Rado creations will be released throughout the year, both the Captain Cook High-Tech Ceramic Diver and Captain Cook Over-Pole are must-have timepieces for the modern explorer.
This article first appeared on May 9, 2022 in The Edge Malaysia.