Rado has presented three diving-inspired watches as part of their vintage Captain Cook collection, and two of them are 37-millimetre watches, so small, unisex. For a few years now there has been a swing away from very large watches, but these new Captain Cook models show that there is a definite trend towards small case sizes, worn by both men and women. At the presentation, the Rado brand manager told me that for these Captain Cook models, sales of the small 37mm models are greater than the more traditional 45mm version. These watches also demonstrate the continuing success of vintage-style pieces. They are directly inspired by a 1960s Rado collection.
The small size heightens the visual effect of the diving watch characteristics. The hour hand is an enormous great chunky arrow, a contrast with the more slender minute hand, and the hour markers with vintage-colour SuperLuminova are also comparatively large. The red background of the circular window for the brand’s mobile anchor emblem adds a note of colour, which coordinates with the date numeral. The rotating bezel of the 37mm version is smooth and easy to turn. It is in steel, with a high-tech ceramic flange.
37mm sports watch
The case is in stainless steel, and it is fairly slim at 11.1 mm. It helps make the watch a good everyday piece, an example of the sports watch genre. The water resistance of 10 atm (100 metres) is less than most dedicated diving watches but it is sufficient to make the piece an excellent sports watch that will survive splashes, spray and even a bit of surface swimming. However the crown is not screw-down. The caseback is in stainless steel, with a printed illustration of three seahorses.
The movement is the innovative ETA C07.611, which is self-winding and provides 80 hours power reserve. It is an updated version of the ETA 2842-2, with many changes in the gear train, the escapement (with the use of low-friction materials) and the mainspring, which is longer to help achieve the doubled power reserve. The balance speed has been reduced from 4 Hertz to 3 Hertz, which also helps increase power reserve, but it makes the movement of the second hand a bit less smooth. There is still not any information about what’s inside and whether there are some plastic parts, but there is no doubt that the movement is accessible for maintenance.
Different options of size, colour and bracelet
Three variants of the watch are available, with different colours and straps. The more feminine version is very attractive, with a milanaise steel bracelet, white ceramic flange on the rotating bezel, and a silver-coloured dial on which eight of the hour markers are in Top Wesselton diamonds. The watches are all available as from November 2017. Read more at the Rado website.
Rado HyperChrome Captain Cook reference 763.0500.3.130
This version has a vintage leather strap with steel pin buckle, and the case is 37.3 mm in diameter, 11.1 mm thick, conventional crown. The caseback is engraved with the edition limitation: 1,962 pieces, a number that refers to Rado’s first Captain Cook collection. Price €1,860. Also available with a stainless steel bracelet at €1,960.
Rado HyperChrome Captain Cook reference 763.0500.3.070
This version has an almost mother-of-pearl look but in fact the bezel insert is in white ceramic and the dial is in silvered metal. The watch is 37.3 mm in diameter and 11.1 mm thick, with a Milanaise steel bracelet. Price €2,330.
Rado HyperChrome Captain Cook reference 763.0501.3.220
The largest version is 45 mm in diameter and 13.8 mm thick, in hardened titanium. The unidirectional rotating bezel is much firmer to rotate with respect to the 37 mm models. This piece is water-resistant to 20 atm, 200 metres, making it a true diving watch with a screw-down crown. The strap is in blue fabric, with a steel folding clasp that allows for some extension. Price €2,370. The watch is also available with a steel bracelet, price €2,590.