Rado is and always has been open to the cross-fertilization between different industries, and its partnering projects are as cutting edge as they're poorly known. What do you think of a Rado True Phospho or a Rado True Stratum, for example? They often look as they came from outer space, rather than being the outcome of a co-design project belonging to fashion luxury. The latest co-branding timepiece highlights light gray-white ceramics and involves one of the timepieces under the loupe in 2020, i.e., the Rado True Square, which we in-depth reviewed in its Open Heart variant.
The Rado True Square Formafantasma is a new take on the three hands wristwatch according to design studio Formafantasma, founded by two Italians who moved and graduated in the Netherlands. Their projects extend to various industries, with the home decor being their core interest, it seems. I find it quite intriguing to discover how an interior or fashion designer is taking on any watchmaking piece, even more so when the brand is cutting edge, like Rado. Ironically, the Rado True Square Formafantasma looks much closer to a quintessential watchmaking machine than you might think. The case, sporting a cover on top, reminds early field watches as seen during world war One, from afar, but the Rado True Square Formafantasma also reminds of cover-protected square timepieces like the never-forgotten Dunhill City Fighter, too.
Simone Farresin and Andrea Trimarchi claimed they took inspiration from vintage pocket watches when sketching the new Rado True Square Formafantasma, coming in 1001 pieces, whose white-gray ceramic gives an industrial prototype feel to it. Interestingly, the Italian duo is very active in crafting objects adopting experimental materials; therefore, the brand and the designers share the same vision. A ceramic piece is not covering the glass; it is a tiny sapphire-glass window carved out of a solid top case instead. Measuring 38 by 44 millimeters, with a 10,4 mils thickness, the Formafantasma weighs 125 grams and is water-resistant up to 50 meters. The high-tech ceramic case is an injection-molded glossy single-piece, while the flat cover has a brushed finish.
The solid case-back is in titanium and covers the ETA C07 mechanical movement boasting eighty hours of power reserve. I like the project and the outcome, but I believe it's a trend-setting product, yet not as functional, given how difficult it is to read the time in most conditions. The Rado True Square Formafantasma is a luxury accessory and a design item, not your every day three hands if you place functionality on top. The design is minimalistic as the price is not (2,580 Euros); it's not outrageous but higher than the closest collab watch you can buy, the True Square YOY, which I reckon is far more useful and way pricier than a True Square Tej Chauhan.
(Photo credit: courtesy of Rado)
Gaetano C @Horbiter®