A Closer Look At The Rado Captain Cook High-Tech Ceramic

A Closer Look At The Rado Captain Cook High-Tech Ceramic

Let’s navigate the updates and upgrades of the four new versions of the classic dive watch.

By Rhonda Riche

Rado is no stranger to producing unexpected timepieces. Because the brand was an early proponent of the use of ceramic as a case material, the Swiss manufacture has also been able to riff on case designs. Hence, such unmistakable models as its first scratch-resistant watch, the Diastar 1, and, more recently, the True Thinline Stillness.

What was not expected was the announcement that its most traditional timepiece, the Captain Cook, would get the ceramic treatment. Called the Captain Cook High-Tech Ceramic, these four new additions to the Rado family also feature many other significant upgrades.

Let’s explore these changes together.

Cause and Effect

The Captain Cook is Rado’s signature dive watch. First introduced in 1962, it was a cult hit among vintage collectors because of the simplicity of this time-only watch. The Captain Cook High-Tech Ceramic is the culmination of many years of research and development to find a way for Rado to merge its ever-evolving know-how as the master of material while maintaining the history and tradition of the Captain Cook.

Actions have consequences. The most significant changes to the classic Captain Cook come from using Rado’s signature scratch-resistant and hypoallergenic high-tech ceramic material. For example, the lightness of this new monobloc case made it possible to upsize from 42mm to 43mm – the first time a Captain Cook has been made in this size. The monobloc construction also contributes to the watch’s 300m water resistance.

The look of the watch also feels more luxurious. Due to the hard-wearing resistance of ceramic, Rado could roll the design dice with a distinctive matte finish.

Brave New Worlds

While the materials are a game-changer for the Captain Cook High-Tech Ceramic, as a watch model, the Captain Cook’s roots in exploration play an equally important role in updating this classic. For one thing, the case material and the movement inside it had to meet the challenge of performing in extreme conditions – both in the water and on land.

Housed in the innovative high-tech ceramic monobloc case, the Captain Cook High-Tech Ceramic is powered by the Rado caliber R734 automatic movement featuring a Nivachron hairspring and an 80-hour power reserve. Features like the anti-magnetic Nivachron hairspring have become increasingly popular as we face challenges that watchmakers never dreamed of in 1962 – namely magnetic fields.

Today we are surrounded by electronic devices such as smartphones, computer monitors, and even kitchen appliances that emit magnetic fields, one of the most common factors negatively affecting the precision of a mechanical watch.

And an 80-hour power reserve means that you can take your watch off for a long weekend without having to reset it. Especially good because as we have grown used to having electronic gadgetry around us, we can sometimes forget the ancient ritual of waking up and winding a watch.

Skeleton Crew

The best thing about this reboot is that Rado is not afraid to wear its art on its sleeve. The skeletonized caliber R734 can be admired through the tinted sapphire dial and display caseback – see-through casebacks are still a rarity with most dive watches. But the greyish tinge of the crystal keeps the face from looking too busy, which helps maintain the signature simplicity of the original.

The new 43mm Captain Cook High-Tech Ceramic collection is available in black and steel with a ceramic bracelet, black and steel with a rubber strap, black and rose gold PVD with a ceramic bracelet, and a plasma and blue version in ceramic and steel with a ceramic bracelet.

Available now at rado.com, prices range from $3,300 to $3,800.

(Photography by Simon Wernovsky)

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