The Rado Hyperchrome Bronze Chronograph watch hands-on
In the end Rado also gave in to the current fashion trend – it might sound like an oxymoron for a brand that turned the resistance of its watches into a reason for living, but yet Rado decided to dress up its hero model; the bronze-made Hyperchorme Chronograph. If you have any doubt that the Rado Hyperchrome Automatic Chronograph is the true hero of the brand, I suggest you read the article about the Rado Hyperchrome Matchpoint Limited Edition 2017 and get ready for the article about the Rado Hyperchrome Skeleton Automatic Chronograph Limited Edition - the most exclusive Hyperchrome ever crafted. These are two examples that demonstrate, together with the new Bronze, the theory that I had already supported in the past - the Hyperchrome is the real link between the Rado philosophy and traditional watch-making.
The bronze case that brands interpret in different shapes and alloys - and with a different approach whether they are industrial manufacturers or independent brands - has the advantage to create a unique object for the owner. In an era, where standardization has reached an excessive level and products and consumptions have been flattened up, the bronze material brings with it a breath of newness to the sector and gives a new personality to those watches that make up the belly of the market.
In a watch catalogue – or at least in one belonging to one of the well-known brands and nowadays even in one belonging to the smaller and artisanal brands – it is quite difficult not to find a model featuring a bronze case and, possibly, an aged leather strap with stitching to complete it. From this point of view, the use of bronze has now lost its novelty effect and has rather become a "commodity" in the world of watch-making. Let's say that the general response of the public, after the launch of the first products featuring this type of case, was so strong that each brand has now permanently inserted a model with a bronze case manufactured in a numbered or limited series into its own catalogue.
On how Rado interpreted the bronze fashion in the world of watch-making
Rado is not a follower – if it crafted a bronze watch that would imitate what brands like Tudor with its Tudor Heritage Black Bay Bronze or Oris with its Oris Carl Brashear Limited Edition do, it would immediately lose its true identity. It would make no sense, unless it used bronze as a functional element to feed its concept of multi-material watch. Those claims that the Rado Hyperchrome Bronze is a bronze watch are actually inaccurate; it is a Hyperchrome with a bronze side that still abides by the spirit of the collection. As outlined above – it aims to create a bridge between the brand’s thought and the traditional one.
From this point of view, the term Bronze appearing in the name is a bit 'forced’ and apparently misleading: bronze is limited to the chrono buttons, the side inserts on the case and the crown, but the central structure of the case is that of a classic ceramic and high–tech single-bloc with a black ceramic bezel and numbers made of white lacquer on the tachymeter scale.
This bezel is one of the finest ceramic bezels ever crafted, it sports a well-defined font and the tachymeter scale is very well-readable despite the reduced thickness of the ring. The dial is black with applied Arabic indices (I prefer the baton-shaped ones of other Hyperchrome) made of rose gold like the hours and the minutes hands and the chrono registers.
This is a limited-series Hyperchrome
The Rado Hyperchrome Bronze is not the first case of a Hyperchrome with a leather strap, but it is the first case of a Hyperchrome with a leather strap treated with an aging effect that ends with the classic Rado deployment buckle. It preserves all the features that make a Hyperchrome Chronograph a sturdy chronograph (an evolution of an ETA 7750 with 42 hours of power reserve) and a comfortable watch, because ceramic adapts to your body temperature and not vice versa.
A ceramic watch is actually the most suitable watch for the summer-time and is why it seems that Rado is developing a professional ceramic diver’s watch that would combine together functionality and usability. There will be only 999 pieces available of the Rado Hyperchrome Bronze and it will retail at € 5,050.
(Photo credit: Horbiter®'s proprietary photo-shooting)
Gaetano C @Horbiter®