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There’s just so much to love about Rado’s limited edition Captain Cook model that calls upon the alluring vintage appearance of the 1962 classic. The Captain Cook line up has provided us with numerous exciting flavors to choose from, including a contemporary 42mm model for modern explorers. However, this stunning 37mm edition will certainly capture the hearts of those who crave an exceptional vintage-style diver that manages to flawlessly combine all the right retro elements in a complete package with modern, robust materials.
From a brand that was initially conceived as a small atelier, to become an industry leader for innovation more than a century later. Rado is a well-respected name that is no stranger to the watch world, producing incredibly robust timepieces that pushes the boundaries of what was achievable with luxury watchmaking with top-class Swiss craftsmanship, revolutionary high-tech materials and outstanding timekeeping performance. While originally founded in Lengnau, Biel/Bienne, Switzerland in 1917 as ‘Schlup & Co.’ by brothers Fritz, Ernst and Werner Schlup, it wasn’t until the brand took off in the early 1950s, selling watches under the ‘Rado’ name we’re familiar with today.
Rado Captain Cook Automatic Vintage - Ltd Ed 1962pcs Ref. R32500305
Ever since its founding, Rado has fostered the philosophy “if we can imagine it, we can make it”, which still holds true today, reflected by the brand’s highly-durable, innovatively designed timepieces. Rado is perhaps best known for their innovative use of technologically advanced materials, being one of the pioneers in the watchmaking industry adopting high-tech ceramics in their watches. Although the implementation of ceramic is widely seen across innumerable watch brands in this day and age, Rado revolutionized the industry with the birth of the Rado Integral back in 1986 with its use of scratch-resistant high-tech ceramic in the bracelet.
For the watchmaking industry, the 1960s was a booming period of valiant exploration and innovation for countless illustrious watch brands, it was arguably the golden age of wristwatches with watch manufacturers delving into unchartered waters when it comes to design and mechanical engineering. The ever-popular dive watch was certainly one of the genres of watches adopted by many major players in the market; and you’ve guessed it, Rado was no exception.
True to 60s design
In an endeavour to produce a robust dive watch offering, Rado introduced the first ever Rado Captain Cook in 1962 with its iconic inward-sloping dive bezel and arrow-shaped hour hand, a timeless design that truly aged beautifully till this very day. Named in honour of the 18th century British navigator and explorer Captain James Cook famed for his voyages that accurately mapped out the Pacific, the Rado Captain Cook is a true naval workhorse transcended through time.
Staying true to the 1962 Captain Cook, the Rado Captain Cook Automatic Vintage Ref. R32500305 is modelled after the original 37mm Captain Cook from back in 1962, presented in a historically accurate 37mm stainless steel case with sharp and defined lines. Measuring with a lug to lug distance of 48mm and a case thickness of merely 11.1mm, these tasteful dimensions express an attractive vintage appeal on the wrist, displaying a retro 60s charm in a modern package. Even for the ladies, this would look enchanting on the wrist with the striking wrist presence of a dive watch.
48mm lug to lug for better wearability
Finished impeccably with a predominantly highly polished finish at the top of the lugs and the side of the case, the lustrous case radiantly captures the light to emit a glamorous presence on this wrist. Pairing up with the handsome glossy high-tech ceramic bezel insert, the Captain Cook Automatic Vintage Ref. R32500305 absolutely gleams under the light. The vintage inspiration is emphasized here with an extremely supple 19mm dark brown leather strap with white stitching.
As a pioneer watchmaking brand implementing the innovative use of ceramic in their timepieces, the Captain Cook Automatic Vintage Ref. R32500305 perfectly embraces Rado’s pioneering spirit with a concave glossy black high-tech ceramic insert on the stainless steel 120-click coin edge dive bezel that brings a unique charm to the watch synonymous with the Captain Cook line. Showcasing both a beautiful opulent appearance and extreme toughness, Rado’s high-tech ceramic is essentially harder than nails, while being more eye-catching than steel, boasting incredible scratch and wear resistance that will stand the test of time.
Superluminova glows brightly in the dark
Underneath the scratch-resistant boxed sapphire crystal is where the Captain Cook Automatic Vintage Ref. R32500305 highlights its timeless heritage design, accurately reproducing the classic appearance of the original 60s Captain Cook in a grey, radially brushed sunburst dial along with the iconic arrow-shaped hour hand and sword-shaped minute hand. At the 12 o’clock position, the freely swinging anchor logo is undoubtedly one of Rado’s most distinctive features, a quirky touch that is simply a treat to see whenever you glance down at your wrist.
Having the date complication, in a bright red font, resting at the 3 o’clock position, the dial bears a pleasing and uncluttered symmetry, complemented with large proportional luminous hour markers in cream. For a finishing touch, the ‘Captain Cook’ text is printed with the classic vintage font, evoking a sense of nostalgia.
Screw-down caseback for 200m water resistant
Under the hood, the Captain Cook Automatic Vintage Ref. R32500305 is driven by the Swiss ETA C07.611 self-winding movement based on the ever-reliable Powermatic 80 movement. Featuring a power reserve of a whopping 80 hours, this 25 jewel movement beats at a 3 hertz rate of 21,600 beats per hour (BPH) with hand winding and hacking capabilities. Encased within a screw-in caseback stamped with three sea horses and a push-pull crown at the 3 o’clock position, the Captain Cook is equipped with an adequate water resistance of 100m, easily handling splashes and light immersion - a vital feature for a daily driver. Limited to only 1962 (in honor of the year it was initially launched), each case back is engraved with a unique serial number.
Being one of the brand’s most prominent line up, the legendary Captain Cook collection from Rado offers a truly contemporary vintage-inspired package that combines modernity with a strong and illustrious heritage to back it up. Rado definitely lives up to being the ‘champion of materials’ with the remarkable use of their high-tech ceramic. While there may be countless watches with ceramic bezels in today’s market, there are simply no other watches just like the Captain Cook, a solid dive watch that has grown to become a true icon in the watch world.
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