The Rado HyperChrome Captain Cook 2017 watch hands-on
At the end of the 60s, Rado (founded in 1950) entered the world of watch-making with a mission of a sort of materials laboratory and reinterpret products in an original manner. The time of powders sintering - the first step that led towards the creation of ceramic cases – was still far away and Rado's work mainly focused on how to harden traditional metals (a process already quite widespread in the chemical and metallurgical industries).
Rado was one of the best performers of an era that saw the brand’s being born, when its timepieces were the expression of the avant-garde movement that brought in a new concept of durability and reliability that still did not exist, coupled with the typical shapes of the time. The Rado Ticin that I own still sports both a perfect case and a bracelet despite it being used very often and having undergone no servicing in over forty years. The Captain Cook family - to which this watch belongs - is one of the main pillars of the project that aims at bringing back the brand’s roots.
This is an intelligent operation, because it adds the historical reminiscence of past models that began last year with the Cape Horn and that clearly aims at consolidating Rado’s heritage value to its current avant-gardist style. The Rado Hyperchrome Captain Cook 2017 made its come-back in three versions that are suitably segmented for those who love the vintage style and different sizes; perfect examples of these new trends are the 37mm case, the historic diver's dial of the collection, or the Milanese mesh with Top Wesselton diamonds on the dial in the woman’s version of the timepiece. Finally, because this is a Rado watch no matter what, it also features an oversized version with arrow-shaped indexes on the dial, a grade 5 titanium case, and a bezel with a ceramic insert applied to a stainless steel bezel with carbon injection.
The timepiece is entirely crafted using blue tones; a shade that is always present in watch catalogues, the Rado Hyperchrome Captain Cook Blue sports a peculiar bezel with an edge inclined towards the middle of the dial; a rather odd choice that increases the feeling of greatness of a watch that is otherwise extremely light, well-built and completed with a blue denim strap (with leather insert) that is perfect for the summer.
Three sea horses are engraved on the case-back; the symbol of the scuba divers made in Legnau. The inner part of the watch hosts the ETA C07.611 calibre that guarantees up to 80 hours of power reserve. If this figure sounds familiar to you, it is because this calibre is the same one that equips other timepieces of other brands pertaining to the same group. Never was calibres’ standardization as useful as on this occasion, especially when it focuses on such high technical characteristics for an automatic three hands timepiece.
Honestly, I do not know if I would rather go for this version or the 37mm version with a flat bezel and maybe a Nato Strap, but if you regard the word “vintage” as a source of inspiration only, then the Rado Hyperchrome Captain Cook Blue is a well-balanced mix of Rado culture from the 70s and the best that you can find on the market as far as quality and sturdiness is concerned. This timepiece is an ode to the above-mentioned pioneering era and a tribute to a more traditional concept of watch-making that many of us would like to see in a Rado, without having to give up on innovation.
(Photo credit: Horbiter®'s proprietary photo-shooting)
Gaetano C @Horbiter®