Introducing the Captain Cook High-Tech Ceramic from the Master of Materials
By Amanda Evans | 4 minute read
Award-winning watch brand, Rado, has always been recognised as a pioneer and perhaps one of the most forward-thinking design players in the watch industry. Still striving to set the standard, Rado’s latest design is a fusion of past and present, encapsulating Rado’s DNA in one timepiece. Introducing the new Captain Cook High-Tech Ceramic.
The original Rado Captain Cook in 37mm was launched back in 1962, during the golden era of dive watches when popularity for the aquatic sport was at its peak. Named after the famous British Explorer, Captain James Cook, the watch displayed all the features of a basic dive watch with its time, date, and rotating bezel. It wasn’t until 2017 when it was relaunched at Baselworld that this iconic timepiece really gathered momentum. With the globally renewed interest in vintage-style dive watches, Rado had reinvented from its archives to astutely intercept this latest trend. Following a reinterpretation in 42mm steel in 2019, and then bronze in 2020, it was clear Rado had its finger on the pulse. Renowned as the master of materials, the next logical step was to produce the Captain Cook in high-tech ceramic.
The Captain Cook High-Tech Ceramic collection encapsulates all Rado’s most ground-breaking achievements in one timepiece. This includes Rado’s monobloc case construction, scratch-resistant and hypoallergenic high-tech ceramic material, and the premium Rado calibre R734 featuring a Nivachron™ hairspring which protects the timepiece from magnetic fields. Presented for the first time with a case size of 43mm, there are four different references of the watch. The first is a black high-tech ceramic case and coordinating bracelet with black high-tech ceramic insert and stainless-steel rotating bezel. A second model features the same case and dial but with a rubber strap for those who favour a more casual look. The third reference again features the black high-tech ceramic case, insert and bracelet but with a rose gold PVD coated stainless steel rotating bezel and the fourth has a distinct plasma high-tech ceramic case and bracelet with stainless steel bezel and high-tech ceramic insert in a contrasting blue.
All references house the Rado calibre R734 which has an enviable 80-hour power reserve and water resistance to 300 metres. The sapphire tinted dial and case back reveals the intricacy of the skeletonised movement whilst still enabling legibility of the dial. The dial features the iconic Rado rotating anchor at 12 o’clock, protected by chevé box sapphire crystal, and the characteristic Captain Cook chunky arrow hands filled with white SuperLuminova® for enhanced visibility.
The Rado Captain Cook High-Tech Ceramic is not just another ceramic watch. It is a hybrid design that presents a fusion of desirable aesthetics with the best mechanical workings. It needs to be worn to be appreciated at its fullest. This is Rado DNA at its finest.
We spoke to our expert watch buyer, Elizabeth Millward who shared her thoughts on the latest introduction to the Rado Captain Cook collection.
The original Captain Cook watch was first introduced in 1962 in the golden era of dive watches. At the time its production was limited along with its popularity, but in recent years this collection has been unearthed and reinvented – what’s changed?
In 2017, Rado reintroduced the historic 1960s Captain Cook, retaining the 37mm case size and details such as the red numerals on the date wheel and the rotating anchor in the logo at 12 o’clock. Several different re-editions of the iconic model have been released since then, including different bracelet and strap options.
The Rado Captain Cook was then introduced last year in one of the industry’s most trendsetting materials, bronze, making it a pivotal year for Rado. With the style having already proven popular in stainless steel, it was only a matter of time before the Swiss watchmaker updated the aesthetic with a completely bronzed case.
This year, Rado released the Captain Cook for the first time in their preferred material of high-tech ceramic case and bracelet, which perfectly fits the brand’s DNA.
What sets the latest Captain Cook watch apart from its predecessors?
Since their reintroduction in 2017, the Captain Cook watches have grown to include both steel and bronze models, making them a popular collection for Rado. The new high-tech ceramic timepieces are the first Captain Cook models that feature a 43mm case and visible movement underneath the black tinted chevé box sapphire crystal, showcasing the Rado calibre R734 featuring an antimagnetic Nivachron™ hairspring.
Who do you see this latest Captain Cook High-Tech Ceramic appealing to?
The models in this collection are perfect for both men and women who enjoy retro and vintage-inspired timepieces. They are designed to suit numerous occasions, whether it is a professional environment or even for travel or adventure, these watches really fit the needs for all.
What is your favourite design feature of the Captain Cook High-Tech Ceramic and why?
The collection consists of 4 three-hand models, all of which have a 43mm high-tech ceramic case with a stainless-steel bezel and a black tinted sapphire crystal dial. My favourite feature is on the black and rose gold model, the rose gold highlights on the bezel, crown and indices provide the perfect contrast against the black case and tinted dial, this model is currently Exclusive to The Watches of Switzerland Group.
RADO is renowned as a ‘Master of Materials’ – how has this Swiss brand achieved such a status?
Rado is recognised as the Master of Materials due to its iconic ceramic watches, which have been a brand staple for over thirty years, providing a lightweight, hard-wearing foundation for precious stones such as diamonds and sapphires, as well as classic metals. Rado’s interest in materials knows no bounds. For Rado it is not enough to be tough; beauty and comfort are also important, which is why Rado were the first brand to use high-tech ceramic, a material that fulfils all three desires.
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