Swiss watchmaker Rado has long been known as a rebel in its innovations when it comes to material application. At a time when most watch brands were creating their bezels out of ceramic — a hardy, lightweight, hypoallergenic, waterproof and scratch-proof material — Rado was already using this durable material to create an entire watch case for its True Square timepieces.

This year ceramic finds its way into Rado’s signature performance dive series, Captain Cook High-Tech Ceramic that features four watch variants made with high-tech ceramic monobloc case construction.

Why ceramic, you may ask? Firstly, the material is lighter than most metals on the weighing scale (even lighter than titanium) and boasts a hardness that is unlike any traditional watch metal including stainless steel or gold.

Ceramic is also scratchproof showing no signs of wearing even after years of use (just like Corningware). It is unaffected by ultraviolet rays produced by the sun meaning that its colours will not fade. Finally, it can withstand chemical erosion and is anti-magnetic to ensure the watch’s internal movement remains unaffected by external forces.

The only downside to ceramic is that it is not exactly shatterproof. Thankfully, Rado has found a way to make its structure indestructible with a proprietary high-tech Ceramos material devised through years of research and development.

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Presented for the first time in a larger 43mm case size, the Captain Cook diver’s watch is powered by Rado calibre R734 with anti-magnetic Nivachron hairspring, 80 hours power reserve and up to 300m water resistance. The see-through dial and case back are beautifully crafted in black-tinted sapphire crystal giving us a closer look at the workings of its internal movement.

What is important to note is that the overall classic design and specifications of the Captain Cook remain largely unchanged retaining details on the dial such as the hands, applied indexes with Super LumiNova and iconic Rado rotating anchor at 12 o’clock.

Depending on the editions, the watch is worn on a three-link matte and polished black ceramic bracelet, equipped with a titanium three-fold clasp and high-tech ceramic openers. Another version has similar features but with contrasting rose gold details and PVD coated stainless steel turning bezel.

A third variant is worn on a textured and well-integrated rubber strap for those who prefer a more casual look. The fourth is more classic in appearance, featuring a plasma high-tech ceramic case and bracelet with a hardened stainless steel bezel and blue high-tech ceramic insert.

Overall, Captain Cook’s is an orgy for the eyes offering a merry mix of details, textures and finishes, and gives us an incredible sense of solidity despite the relative lightness of the case, especially when worn on a rubber strap.

More classic in appearance, this version features a plasma high-tech ceramic case and bracelet with hardened stainless steel bezel and blue high-tech ceramic insert

This version of Captain Cook High-Tech Ceramic offers contrasting rose gold details and PVD coated stainless steel turning bezel

Another version features a three-link matte and polished black ceramic bracelet equipped with a titanium three-fold clasp and high-tech ceramic openers

For those who prefer a more casual look, this variant is worn on a textured and well-integrated rubber strap

Buckle Up
Rado teams up with French-Austrian designer Marina Hoermanseder to design an exclusive Captain Cook timepiece for the ladies that marries bold, upbeat aesthetics with the Swiss brand’s automatic calibre R763 movement and high-ceramic technology. Known for her love of experimenting with colours, forms and materials, Hoermanseder makes the diver’s watch uber fashionable with three interchangeable leather straps in different hues, all neatly presented in a pretty-in-pink leather case.

The Rado Captain Cook x Marina Hoermanseder comes in a 37mm stainless steel case with a glossy white dial and white high-tech rotating ceramic bezel, accented with rose gold PVD coated accents on the lugs, flange, crown, and Super-LumiNova hands and indices. Eight bezel-set Top Wessleton diamonds have been fitted to the hour markers to give the watch some serious sparkle. Just like the gent’s version, the women’s watch comes with 80-hour power reserve but is only water-resistant to 100m.

To give the wearer more choice in terms of colour and length, Hoermanseder designed three watch straps: one in matte black leather, and two in a peachy-pink hue, one of which is long enough to go around the wrist twice. All straps are equipped with EasyClip fittings to allow for quick change and feature Hoermanseder’s trademark buckle design. 

The Rado Captain Cook x Marina Hoermanseder marries bold, upbeat aesthetics with the Rado’s automatic calibre R763 movement and high-ceramic technology

Photos: Rado