Among the Swiss luxury brands, Rado has always been recognised as a pioneer, never shying away from following the latest design tendencies, even taking on the role of a trendsetter. This year again, Rado continues their collaboration with trend forecaster Lidewij Edelkoort, resulting in the Portraits of Time, a photography project presenting Rado’s latest collection in four different style atmospheres, consisting of portraits and still lifes.
According to Edelkoort, selfies are passé and portraits are back:
Society is developing a taste for portraits, moving away from the ubiquitous selfie and symbolising a moment of great focus, where the essential becomes coveted and quality governs.
Sorry Instagram, your time is up… Maybe not, we’ll see… And while we contemplate selfies going out of fashion, let’s take a quick look at what has Rado for us this year.
True Thinline Colours
Let me start with the True Thinline Colours collection, it is probably the easiest and the most representative way of entering the world of Rado. Elegant minimalism, thin profile, high-tech ceramic, trendy colours and unisex design, this is the essential Rado, Rado in its purest form. There are four colours: polished green, matt brown, polished dark grey and polished blue. Measuring 39 x 43.3 x 5 mm, powered by a thin 9 ETA 210.001 quartz movement, they are matched with a ceramic bracelet and three-fold buckle. The Canadian MSRP is $2,450.
DiaMaster Power Reserve
The DiaMaster family welcomes two new members that are powered by a new movement with 80-hours of power reserve and a power reserve complication that proudly sits at 9 o’clock on the dial. There will be two versions, one with a polished black high-tech ceramic case (43 mm) and black dial with sunray pattern and the other will come with a polished plasma high-tech ceramic case with blue dial. The DiaMaster Power Reserve is one of the watches from this year that I can’t wait to have a closer look at.
DiaMaster Grande Seconde
Our readers are already familiar with the previous models of the Rado DiaMaster Grande Seconde that I had the pleasure to review and I also wrote about the updated models that were presented at Baselworld 2016.
This year Rado is presenting two new versions, blue or brown dials, with polished high-tech ceramic case. The most important change is on the dial that gets a sunray finish and instead of applied indexes, it will have white printed Roman numerals. The DiaMaster will retail for $3,470 CAD.
HyperChrome Captain Cook
Reviving success stories from the past seems to be the norm these days and Rado, even as a design trailblazer, seems to feel the urge to look back and reinterpret famous models from its past. One of them is the Captain Cook collection from the 1960s, named after the famous 18th-century British explorer Captain James Cook.
The new Captain Cook collection keeps the same dial layout with its unmistakable chunky arrow-shaped hands and in their rotating bezel, the insert is made from high-tech ceramic.
There are two 37 mm models, one that follows closely the look of the vintage piece, and the other was specifically designed for ladies with silver colour, the diamond indexes and the mesh bracelet. They are water resistant to 100 meters.
There is also a bigger, manlier version with a diameter of 45 mm, made from hardened titanium and blue ceramic bezel. This Captain Cook can go down to 200 meters. The retail price is expected to be $2,200 CAD for “the vintage” Captain Cook, $2,750 CAD for the ladies model, and $2,800 CAD the titanium model.
Another blast from the past is the HyperChrome 1616, a modern version of the vintage Cape Horn collection, launched at the end of 1960s. The new watch received its name from the year in which Cape Horn was discovered. The case is made from hardened titanium and the proportions are quite impressive: 46 x 45.5 x 13.7 mm. Under the hood, you will find the automatic ETA C07.621 with a day-date complication and a power reserve of 80 hours. The MSRP is $3,600 CAD.
The Ceramica collection is signed by renowned German industrial designer Konstantin Grcic, skillfully softening straight lines and right angles with subtle curves. As the name says it, high-tech ceramic has the leading role: the 30.0 x 41.7 x 12.3 mm case, the crown and of course the bracelet are all crafted from ceramic, while the case back and the three-fold buckle are made from titanium. Under the hood, we have an ETA 2671, an automatic calibre with three hands and date complication. This year there are three new models: the all-grey Ref. 561.0850.3.011, the limited edition featuring a brushed rhodium dial Ref. 01.561.0846.3.010, both expected to retail for $3,100 CAD, and finally the matt black Ref. 561.0808.3.015 that will retail for $3,000 CAD.
True Phospo by Big-Game
The True Phospo is also the fruit of Rado’s collaboration with a leading design agency, this time with Swiss design studio Big-Game. The 40 mm ceramic case is the typical Rado True case, the action is on the dial. The matt black brass dial is perforated to show the automatic ETA C07.631 skeleton movement in an innovative way, and also use strategically the perforations to fill them with Super-LumiNova. The hands and the logo at 12 o’clock are also coated with luminous paint. Limited to 1003 pieces, in Canada the True Phospo will retail for $2,700.
True Blaze by Sam Amoia
Samuel Amoia has been named by Vogue as “one of the Young Interior Designers to watch” and has most recently received the “Rising Talent” award from the prestigious Parisian Maison & Objet fair. He’s also known for his furniture art that blurs the line between furniture design and sculptures. The dial is covered with a layer of silvery metallic slivers, using a galvanic process that replicates the crystalline structure of diamond powder. The gold coloured indexes and the logo are printed directly on the underside of the sapphire crystal, making the dial an uninterrupted sea of glitter. Limited to 1001 piece, the retail price of the Rado True Blaze is expected to be $2,700.
True Stratum by Rainer Mutsch
I left my favourite model for the end. The True Stratum is signed by Austrian industrial designer Rainer Mutsch, featuring its trademark style. The black dial is made of asymmetrically arranged descending layers, giving a natural, organic allure to the watch. It’s replacing a traditional guilloche decoration with something more sculptural and modern. The hands are covered by a black dot, further emphasising the depth of the dial.
Inside the 40 mm matt black ceramic case, we have an automatic ETA C07.611, offering 80-hours of power reserve.
Limited to 1001 pieces, the True Stratum will retail for $2,600 CAD.
Before you go, let me show you a collection that is expected to hit the market only in 2018, the HyperChrome Light Series, or LS for short. Not quite a smartwatch, the HyperChrome LS is Rado’s way of getting their hands dirty with watches that can interact with a mobile phone. Basically, by pushing their crown, these watches can be controlled via light signals emitted by a mobile phone. While I’m looking forward to seeing exactly how they will work, from the description I received from Rado, their approach reminds me that of Division Furtive.
The first two HyperChrome LS models to come out — launch date and price to be announced — are the LS Moonphase and LS Chronograph Tachymeter. Both watches will be cased in a 45 mm stainless steel case, with a ceramic bezel, with steel crown and pushers and a curved sapphire crystal.