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Rado was 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 Captain Cook dive watch range has transcended geographical boundaries to become the brand’s most well-known and popular collection today.
Rado Captain Cook Over-Pole - Ltd Ed 1962pcs Ref. R32116158
The Over-Pole Worldtimer is not a notable timepiece from Rado’s archive. In fact, a quick Google search does not reveal much information about the vintage model. It was launched in 1962. The Over-Pole Worldtimer also shared the same case, case back, and inverted bezel as the Captain Cook diver.
Fast forward to 2022, Rado has introduced a faithful reissue of the Over-Pole in a limited numbered run. The timepiece maintains all the vintage cues that watch lovers will instantly appreciate whilst including new and improved materials and movement.
True to 60s design
The watch maintains the vintage case size of 37mm, has a lug-to-lug of 43mm, and a thickness of 10.3mm (including the boxed sapphire crystal!) The compact dimensions and harmonious proportions help the Captain Cook Over-Pole wear like a charm on the wrist. The watch is, of course, made of 316L stainless steel and features an entirely high-polished case. The polished nature of the case matches terrifically with the glossy, high-tech ceramic bezel, allowing the timepiece to catch the light at different angles, offering brilliant light play.
As a classic worldtimer, the bidirectional ceramic bezel features 24 laser-engraved cities that allow the wearer to track different time zones. Today, we commonly associate worldtimers with an extra GMT complication, but Rado does without an extra GMT hand here. This means tracking a secondary time zone becomes truly old-school and easy. For example, you are currently in Singapore at 10am local time. You want to find out what’s the time in Geneva. Simply rotate the bezel so that Shanghai (Shanghai and Singapore share the same time zone) lines up with the current local time in 24-hour format, using the scale at the edge of the dial. Then, all you have to do is find out the corresponding position of Geneva on the bezel, and you will get the local time in Geneva, which is 4am. Easy.
43mm lug to lug for better wearability
The watch's dial is a magnificent gradient finish that transitions from light to dark grey at the perimeter. Applied faceted hands are used here, while a red date wheel can be found at 3 that offers a functional complication for daily wear. The famous Rado swinging anchor logo sits at 12, a unique take on movable logos that have become synonymous with the brand.
As mentioned previously, a piece of boxed sapphire crystal sits atop the dial, offering protection against scratches and legibility even in harsh lighting conditions, thanks to layers of anti-reflective coating applied on both sides of the crystal. The boxed crystal also adds an extra vintage charm to the timepiece, as it is reminiscent of the mineral/acrylic crystals of yesteryears. The dauphine hands and even-hour markers feature Superlumoniva, allowing one to read the time in the dark. A signed push-pull crown and screw-down caseback give the timepiece 100m of water resistance, more than sufficient for such a vintage-styled watch.
Superluminova glows brightly in the dark
The Captain Cook Over-Pole also has a beautiful sapphire exhibition caseback, allowing a full view of the hand-wound movement within. It is the Rado Calibre R862 and is based on the ETA C07.111 movement. It features 17 jewels, beats at 21,600 BPH, and has an 80-hour power reserve. The main draw of the movement would be the Nivachron balance spring, which is impervious to magnetism. The material is also extremely temperature-tolerant, allowing it to tick reliably and accurately in different temperatures. Rado also guarantees that the R862 movement has been adjusted in 5 positions for higher accuracy. The Captain Cook Over-Pole also has a beautiful sapphire exhibition caseback, allowing a full view of the hand-wound movement.
The R862 is well-decorated with Geneva striping on the bridges and blue screws, and we can admire it fully thanks to the lack of a winding rotor. If you are put off by hand-wound movements due to the constant need to wind them, you will be assured by the 80-hour power reserve as you’ll only have to wind it once every 3 days or so. Each timepiece is also individually numbered XXXX/1962 on the caseback, a nod to the year the Captain Cook model was launched.
Beautiful sapphire exhibition caseback
Rado pairs the Captain Cook Over-Pole on a 19mm vintage-style, brown leather strap. The strap features off-white stitching and tapers slightly to a signed Rado anchor-logo buckle. Rado also includes a solid beads-of-rice bracelet, offering great versatility. Both straps feature the EasyClip system, allowing you to change straps easily within seconds.
The Captain Cook Over-Pole reissue offers a terrific look into Rado’s archives while still including modern-day technology to deliver a robust and aesthetically-pleasing timepiece. If you were getting bored of the many Captain Cook pieces that Rado has been releasing, this Over-Pole is sure to get you off your chair. While it is priced at a slight premium over the regular Captain Cook watches, it is well worth it and even includes 2 straps in the package. You get a rare hand-wound movement that has terrific performance, a gorgeous vintage-style timepiece, and overall, just a stunning watch on your wrist. It is indeed a classic travellers’ watch with a breath of fresh air.