30 minutes on the wrist - The Rado Hyperchrome Match Point Limited Edition
When it comes to Rado watches there are at least two things to keep in mind: Rado is an innovative brand that is known for its high-quality and scratch-resistant timepieces, a leader in the introduction of ceramic in watchmaking, and for crafting ecletic watches too. The so-called “early adopters”, those people trying innovative products before they are widely adopted by the general public, have always been fascinating by Rado but the brand from Legnau (that I do consider, when it comes to innovation and materials, the “Apple” of watchmaking) is not everybody's cup of tea despite its ability to produce outstanding timepieces.
The Rado Hyperchrome is the brand's perfect fusion between two concepts: the classic architecture of a chronograph mixed with the famous brand's technology that has made this timepiece a huge success. There are currently twenty models within this collection (in my opinion additional ones will be coming soon) because many are also the technologies and materials developed by Rado over the course of the years. It all started with ceramic (actually with hardmetal) and, as it is often the case with new materials, the company's innovation and exploraion process hasn't stopped yet.
The latest model of this collection coming to the market is the Rado Hyperchrome Match Point Limited Edition. The name of this watch is no coincidence, since the entire collection is firmly connected to the game of tennis and the player Andy Murray, the first British winner of the Wimbledon Championships in the last 77 years. Rado is not only a watchmaking company but rather some sort of innovation laboratory, where one can create and test new materials, the most recent of which is the so-called plasma high tech ceramic.
The case (a 45mm-wide-monobloc) and the bracelet are crafted by heating up a compound of high tech ceramic at very high temperatures (20,000 °C), so as to give it the very same finishes, matte or polished, that you could find on a stainless steel watch but with a far superior scratch resistance. Steel is also used in the crafting process but its use is limited to two applications only. The first application involves the case: at the very end of the case making process a steel plate, which has previously undergone a hardening treatment, is applied to the case side. This particular treatment was launched by Rado in 1962 and it makes its steel virtually unscratchable The second use of steel involves the crown and the strangely untreated chrono pushers that also feature small rubber inserts.
Within the entire collection, the Rado Hyperchrome Match Point Limited Edition's bezel, is the only one to sport a tachy scale and three counters. The 60-seconds sub-counter and the 30-minutes counter display exclusively the digits used in a tennis game (15, 30, 45), while the 12-hours counter features a grill pattern design that reminds us of a tennis net. The case back, that is made in plasma high tech ceramic, is secured to the case via 4 screws and it gives full view on the movement, an upgrade of the ETA2894-2, where the winding rotor has been blackened and customized with the brand's typical anchor-shaped-logo.
When you wear it on your wrist the Rado Hyperchrome Match Point Limited Edition looks extremely attractive but a bit heavy and you can definitely notice the weight difference between the case and the bracelet. This is one of those cases, where a perfect fitting of the bracelet is essential, so as to prevent if from sliding. The visual effect offered by the timepiece's satin and polished surfaces is so incredible that even an untrained eye would notice how the bracelet's links reflect the light in a completely different way than stainless-steel-links. Last but not least this watch is produced by Rado and that means that it is virtually scratch resistant. To put this statement to the test I decided to immerse the watch into a heap of coarse salt and then examine it with a magnifying glass. The result? Not a single scratch in sight! This means that your watch will retain its aesthetical appearence forever. The 4,650-euro-retail price of this timepiece is not exactly cheap but please keep in mind that its technology and limited edition production (only 999 pieces released) are expensive.
(Photo credit: Horbiter's proprietary photo-shooting)
Gaetano C. @Horbiter