Rado Captain Cook 300 meters 2020
If you ask a Rado executive which model is the current brand's hero, you'll perhaps end up hearing: "The Rado Captain Cook." Launched in 2019, in various color combinations, the Captain Cook has raised much success, especially with a green or blue dial and matching ceramic bezel. The offering also includes multiple case sizes and dial styles, thus appealing to vintage Rado fans as much as to potential new customers whose budget is in the mid-range class of products. Accordingly, I appreciate what they did when they also introduced the Rado Original Captain Cook MKII, whose feel is so close to the original version that I own. A year has gone, and Rado has upgraded the Captain Cook collection already. What did they change, and why? Let's find out.
Upgrading an almost new timepieces' product line is as rare as it gets, even for a fast-moving brand like Rado unless the so-called "Voice of the customer" has pushed the brand to change something, which is not the case, however. From a consumer's perspective, anyone who bought the Captain Cook first edition might find this move misleading, given the one-year lifecycle so far. Nevertheless, from a specs sheet point of view, the upgrade was not that relevant, nor irrelevant too, in my opinion. The 2020 Rado Captain Cook 300m is essentially unchanged; the mechanical movement included (it is automatic with eighty hours of power reserve when fully wound), but, as the name suggests, it is water-resistant to up to 300m, with the "outgoing" variant being 200m WR instead. You can quickly spot new and old ones since the former showcases the 300m/1000ft wording on the dial.
They both come at 42mm across and are 12,1mm thick. As soon as I unboxed the new one, I couldn't' avoid noticing the 2020 Captain Cook features a darker green Pantone too. Take a look at our photos of the 2019 edition, and you'll recognize the previous one's green is brighter and more brilliant. Rado confirmed what we have guessed; my idea is that Rado designers should opt for a darker tone to pair with the steel option as smoothly as with the new bronze one. A new three-link bracelet sporting the Easy Clip quick release system debuts, along with a folding clasp with micro-extension mechanism, proving the 2020 Captain Cook 300 is a more tool-watch take on the standard one. Anyone can swap bracelets as per his or her liking, whether you're in for a Captain Cook 200m "beads of rice" or not, including leather and NATO straps alternatives. Rado added a kit option too, including those strap options, at a very attractive premium price.
As the 2020 products phased-in, the 2019 model didn't phase out, at least until quantities last, I believe. The truth is that you can still opt for the 2019 edition, on a bead of rice bracelet, and the 2020 option on a three-link bracelet as well, as standard. The point is: "Which one should a potential buyer choose?" The answer is not as straightforward as you'd love to hear. The Rado Captain Cook 2020 is, no doubt, technically more refined (especially if you're a diver) but jumps in at 165 grams, hence a 20% more than its 2019 sibling. The price gap, 2,170 Euros Vs. 2,070 Euros, is insignificant. At a 2,370 Euro retail price, you can go for the kit version with two additional straps, whereas, by adding 160 Euros to the 2020 Captain Cook's sticker price, you can make a bead of rice replacement bracelet yours. In summary, you might make the 2020 Captain Cook on old bracelet yours, weighing the original 137 grams, by spending 2,330 Euros instead of 2,070 Euros. Here is my choice, at least.
(Photo credit: Marco Antinori for Horbiter®)
Gaetano C @Horbiter®