Rado Captain Cook Automatic Bronze
The new Rado Captain Cook Automatic Bronze combines three materials: bronze, titanium, and ceramic. It is not breaking news in the industry except you won't expect such a strange offering from the brand that is synonymous with ceramic watches. That's an acceptable choice when looking at the beautiful Captain Cook, among Rado's most appreciated and top-selling new timepieces, instead. The Rado Captain Cook Automatic Bronze is the brand's second bronze watch, after the HyperChrome, whose adoption of bronze was restricted to a few parts.
This new variant of Captain Cook also confirms what Rado experimented when launching the True Thinline Nature Collection, which means releasing three color variants inspired from and connected to nature. Unlike the original steel Captain Cook, the bronze one comes exclusively on a leather strap with matching bronze tang buckle, unlike most brands. The pin buckle is a perfect match for this collection. If I had to pick the closest possible competitor, it would bring me straight to Montblanc's 1858 collection and the time-only version, primarily.
Both technically and esthetically, the curved bezel with ceramic inlay is among the Captain Cook's design cues. It also is a clear homage to the sixties, as proved by the freshly released Breitling Superocean Heritage 1957, whose vintage sibling adopted a similar solution. Measuring 42mm, across, and 12,5mm in thickness, it is bold without being hefty. By pairing the bronze case and bezel with a titanium-alloy-crafted case back, the watch is hypoallergenic, while stopping its weight to a more than acceptable 79 grams. My only concern regards the engravings on the back, which, in my experience, usually pinch the wrist. Nothing we can confirm until we are allowed to fasten one around our wrist, something we hope to do anytime soon. The Rado Captain Cook Bronze houses the ETA C07 caliber whose base module is common to other brands belonging to the Swatch group, although no silicon balance spring is mentioned in the specs sheet.
The caliber's eighty hours of maximum power reserve prove the timepiece is modern and technically more refined than its direct competitors if we exclude, again, those coming from Rado's sister brands. A slightly cambered dial and golden applied indexes filled with lots of white Super-LumiNova® (the Rado Captain Cook is a diving watch, capable of ensuring a 300-meter water resistance) complete this range extender's package. If I were asked to list the pros, I would first mention the bezel's build quality. You cannot expect anything other than excellent build quality from the master of all things ceramics, and this Captain Cook is no different. For example, the ceramic inlay is exquisitely crafted and offers touch and feel on par to that provided by competitors costing twice as much.
Regarding the color options, I would go for the blue or green ones and discard the brown one instead. When going for any bronze watch, consider it will change appearance over time, due to the natural oxidation process. Under such conditions, the brown dialed variant might tend to become too brownish; vice versa, I predict the other two ones create a pleasant contrast between patina and polished parts, like bezel and dial. We're just speculating since you won't know how everything will end up unless you own one. The Rado Captain Cook Automatic Bronze has a retail price of 2,680 Euros. It can also be purchased online if you're living in the following countries: Germany, Austria, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
(Photo credit: courtesy of Rado)
Gaetano C @Horbiter®