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Rado was initially founded in 1917 by the Schlup brothers in Legnau, Switzerland. However, the brand was known as Schlup & Co. back then, and it wasn’t until the 1950s that the name Rado surfaced and became the watch brand that we all know and love today. Granted, Rado’s popularity in the West has not reached the heights of Asia. However, their range of Captain Cook dive watches has transcended geographical boundaries to become the brand’s most well-known and popular collection today.
The Captain Cook was first introduced in 1962. Named after British navigator and explorer James Cook, the watch’s design was rather remarkable at the time, boasting an inward-slopping bezel, an original beads of rice bracelet, domed acrylic crystal, and a cyclops above the date window. Of course, the watch featured Rado’s famed moving anchor logo on the dial - a unique piece of design still present in the modern watches of today.
Rado Captain Cook High-Tech Ceramic Diver Sunray Blue Ref. R32144202
In line with Rado’s innovative and modernisation spirit, the Captain Cook has been reinvented and packs far better specifications than its predecessor. This new Rado Captain Cook features a complete high-tech ceramic case construction, making the watch lightweight and scratch-resistant. Rado’s high-tech ceramic is ten times harder (yet 2.5 times lighter) than gold, hypoallergenic, and adaptive to the temperature of the wearer’s skin. The Captain Cook High-Tech Ceramic Sunray Blue has a 43mm diameter, a height of 14.6mm, and a lug-to-lug of 50mm. The watch wears unabashedly on the larger side but will still sit well on the wrist thanks to the curvature of the lugs and its lightweight case material.
The timepiece features a beautiful sunburst sunray blue dial that will catch the light at different angles, enabling the watch to stand out from afar despite its muted ceramic case construction. The standard sword and arrow-style Captain Cook handset are utilised here, with baton indices all around except for inverted triangular markers at 12,6 and 9. A date wheel can be found at 3 o’clock, adding a helpful complication while not messing up the dial’s proportions. Rado’s ruby-tone spinning anchor logo is also found at 12, a unique touch that has become so synonymous with the brand’s watches.
True to 60s design
As a dive watch, the Captain Cook High-Tech Ceramic is affixed with a high-polished steel bezel with a ceramic bezel insert to help track elapsed time. Covering the dial is a sapphire crystal piece with an anti-reflective treatment, allowing the dial to be legible regardless of harsh lighting. It is also obviously dive-capable - with a screw-down crown and titanium caseback providing an impressive 300m of water resistance - more than enough for almost any diver. Of course, the hands and indices are generously coated with Swiss Superluminova, enabling the watch to glow brightly in the dark to aid readability.
Powering the Captain Cook High-Tech Ceramic Sunray Blue is the Rado Calibre R763. Based on the ETA C07.611 movement, it has 25 jewels, beats at 21,600 BPH, and has a massive power reserve of 80 hours. The movement is also fitted with an anti-magnetic Nivachron hairspring and exceeds Rado’s test requirements for accuracy in five positions. The Calibre R763 is reliable and robust and will stand the test of time.
Superluminova glows brightly in the dark
Rado complements the timepiece on a matching 21mm high-tech ceramic bracelet with polished center links. The polished links add a sophisticated touch to the Captain Cook, elevating it up a notch compared to its competitors' more muted ceramic watches. The ceramic bracelet gently tapers to a signed Rado clasp, allowing the watch to sit nicely on the wrist without feeling top-heavy.
With a new colourway, rugged modern construction, and being Rado’s first ISO 6425 dive watch - this new Captain Cook High-Tech Ceramic Sunray Blue combines modern materials and classic design inspiration - delivering a stunning timepiece that will be a reliable and solid partner at your side for years to come, whatever your field of exploration.