RADO Hyperchrome Match Point Limited Edition 2017
When deep blue meets matte and polished gray ceramic
After about two years a RADO Hyperchrome Limited Edition makes its come back to the pages of Horbiter®. It's been too long since a chrono model of this collection, the queen of the RADO brand, has been the protagonist of our slider. This timepiece is definitely a constant presence wrapped around professional tennis players' wrist, the promoters of a collection that, from its debut, has been linked to the world of tennis; a sport RADO has long been a time keeper for and, today, the manufacturer is the official time keeper of the ATP tournaments.
Among all the RADO timepieces that light up my imagination, the Hyperchrome was never my first choice, because I naturally link this brand to minimalism and lightness, besides, quite obviously, to another property; an exceptional scratch resistance. This is a summary of properties that, within the Hyperchrome collection, reached its peak with the 2016 RADO Hyperchrome Ultralight watch. The RADO Hyperchrome Match Point Limited Edition, which adds a limited version to the already existing ones that are present within the range, should be evaluated under a different light: the light of the flagship model and that of complexity - if you are to use the standard measurements of a RADO timepiece -.
Even the very concept of weight, a cornerstone on which RADO bases its own product philosophy and part of its brand image too, reaches a completely different value here; it is surely better than on a common steel-made chronograph, but it is still quite far from that of a time-only RADO watch or that of a Thin Line, possibly due to the weight of the Valjoux-derived caliber, which gives this watch a consistency that, experience-wise, makes it more similar to a classic steel-made three-counter-chronograph rather than, for instance, a Sintra chrono. The RADO Hyperchrome Match Point Limited Edition’s experience should be split into two parts; the moment when you see it and you immediately realize that RADO carried out a special treatment to the ceramic used on the timepiece and also carried out some special finishes that make this timepiece look like a steel-made chrono - a direct alternative to a classic three-counter-chronograph – and the day-to-day experience.
The case and the bracelet are made of gray matted ceramic, with the exception of the central mesh and the central part of the case, which are both polished as they are the final result of a treatment that involves hitting the white ceramic at a temperature of 20,000°C with the gases emitted from the plasma, thus giving the material a distinct gloss, similar only – when seen from afar – to that of steel, but with a more intense gray tone that tend to matting. The aesthetic advantage over steel is the ability to withstand scratches, while preserving, indefinitely and unless subjected to strong accidental shocks, its perennial new look. This is a second to none factor when it comes to servicing the timepiece for ordinary maintenance operations. The bezel with its tachometric scale is a small masterpiece in itself because the font of the scale is extremely thin and precise and it looks as if it were part of a filigree mark and as if it were almost floating above the polished part.
The only non-plasma ceramic elements are the chrono buttons with their rubber coating that are made of Ceramos; yet another of RADO’s patents, and the titanium deployant clasp. The benefits do not finish here though and they do not only relate to this timepiece’s hypoallergenic properties; one of the pros of wearing a RADO Hyperchrome Match Point Limited Edition lies in its almost complete resistance to heat that makes the experience enjoyable throughout the whole day. In summary, this timepiece is scratch-resistant, it is mechanically reliable (thanks to the ETA-Valjoux caliber) and it is more comfortable than a three-counter-timepiece made of stainless steel of the same size (45mm). One might argue whether this is a cross-clock or not, but we would then go into details and tastes that are, somehow, very personal; let's simply say that this watch is the most classic interpretation that RADO could give of a modern chronograph without betraying the brand’s pedigree. The dial's blue is another successful choice; it is more satisfying than the gray colour used on the first limited edition that, like this one, featured the continuous seconds counter built in the shape of a tennis net. Blue is definitely the color of the future. The RADO Hyperchrome Match Point Limited Edition 2017 will be produced in just 999 pieces, each one retailed at 4650€.
(Photo credit: Horbiter®'s proprietary photo-shooting)
Gaetano C @Horbiter®