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Rado’s ardent spirit of innovation and their use of state-of-the-art materials such as their signature high-tech ceramic has unquestionably groomed the brand to become the prestigious and globally recognized Swiss watch manufacturer it is today. However, before a time when Rado became synonymous with producing avant-garde timepieces with ceramic, there was a collection of exquisite Rado timepieces from the late 1950s that held a rather simple but exquisite appearance - it was none other than the legendary Rado Golden Horse. First debuted in 1957, this classic three-hander was a huge leap for Rado as the first ever collection presented under the brand’s name. Honoring this historic collection, Rado rejuvenated the Golden Horse from their archive with bold new modern elements that look simply gorgeous as an everyday piece.
|Rado Golden Horse Automatic Black - Ltd Ed 1957pcs Ref. R33930153|
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.
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.
|True to the 1957 spirit|
Presented in a highly-polished 316L stainless steel case, the measurements on the Rado Golden Horse Automatic Black Ref. R33930153 stays faithful to the original with a sweet case diameter of 37mm, a thickness of 10.8mm and a lug to lug distance of 44mm. Even for those with smaller wrist sizes, the dimensions here work remarkably well as an everyday timepiece as a result of its rather substantial lugs that results in an overall larger appearance, sitting closer to a 39mm diameter. Nonetheless, the vintage sizing looks incredibly elegant on the wrist, gracefully complemented by the gleaming polished surfaces.
The vintage inspiration is emphasized here with an extremely comfortable 19mm beads-of-rice stainless steel bracelet with a push-button seahorse-signed deployant clasp showcasing highly polished ‘rice beads’ flanked with outer links, beautifully complementing the brilliant case finishes while fluidly conforming around the wrist.
|True to vintage proportion, ultra wearable|
The main highlight of the Golden Horse Automatic Black Ref. R33930153 is perhaps the magnificent deep black dial adorned with a fine ripple-like texture, a lovely touch bringing additional depth to the dial. Capturing the look of the 1957 Golden Horse, the dial features a set of applied hour indices, alongside the faceted dauphine hands and the needle second hand that remains closely similar to the original. Other than the iconic freely-swinging Rado anchor logo at the 12 o’clock position, the 6 o’clock position of the dial showcases the most distinctive trait of the Golden Horse collection - the emblem of the dual seahorses. Applied in a lustrous gold colour, the two inward-facing seahorses utilizes the retro font of the text found on the original. To top it off, the thick highly-domed sapphire crystal offers exceptional resistance to scratches while mimicking the attractive distortions of the original vintage acrylic crystal.
Under the hood, the Golden Horse Automatic Black Ref. R33930153 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 signed crown at the 3 o’clock position, the Golden Horse is equipped with an adequate water resistance of 50m, easily handling splashes in daily use. Limited to only 1959 (in honor of the year it was initially launched), each case back is engraved with a unique serial number.
|Screw-down case-back for better water-resistant|
The Golden Horse is probably one of the most versatile pieces from Rado for an everyday timepiece that effortlessly manages to look amazing in just about any occasion. Perfectly blending the vintage elements of the original with Rado’s modern watchmaking capabilities backed by the Swatch group umbrella, this exceptional piece from Rado offers great value in this price segment with great mechanical performance and a historic design that will continue to stay timeless for many years to come.
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