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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. The Rado Golden Horse Hyperchrome Automatic collection creatively fuses Rado’s high-tech ceramic and the Golden Horse’s retro design to create a compelling timepiece full of contemporary character while closely upholding the design of the 1959 original.
|Rado Golden Horse HyperChrome Classic Automatic Diamonds MOP Ref. R33102903|
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.
|Mother of pearl dial with diamonds|
Presented in a highly-polished 316L stainless steel case, the measurements on the Rado Golden Horse HyperChrome Classic Automatic Diamonds MOP - Ref. R33102903 comes in a delicate case diameter of 35mm, a thickness of 10.1mm and a lug to lug distance of 41mm. The compact dimensions here are perfect for those seeking a dressy piece for smaller wrist sizes. Nonetheless, the refined sizing looks incredibly elegant on the wrist, gracefully complemented by the gleaming polished surfaces.
Finishes on the case are executed impeccably with a mirror-like polish on the top of the lugs, transitioning to a vertically brushed surface at the side of the case. Viewing the watch from the side, the push-pull crown at the 3 o’clock position showcases a striking red Rado logo, adding an attractive visual touch to the case. Nevertheless, that’s not the only thing that is aesthetically pleasing here, the watch is paired with an extremely comfortable 18 mm 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.
|Two-tone case profile|
Here’s where things get exciting; the fluted bezel on the Golden Horse HyperChrome Classic Automatic Diamonds MOP - Ref. R33102903, in a lavish rose gold tone, is forged using Rado’s pioneering plasma high-tech ceramic that is lustrously polished to a high shine. Thanks to the bezel’s grooves and ridges, the polished surfaces capture the light to produce an absolutely attractive and elegant appearance.
The main highlight of the Golden Horse HyperChrome Classic Automatic Diamonds MOP - Ref. R33102903 is perhaps the iridescent mother-of-pearl dial that reveals a brilliant sheen when viewed in different angles. In addition, this dazzling dial is adorned with a set of 12 diamonds for each rose gold hour indices, alongside a matching faceted rose gold dauphine handset. 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 with a lustrous rose gold polished finish, 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.
|Swiss ETA C07.611 automatic movement|
Under the hood, the Golden Horse HyperChrome Classic Automatic Diamonds MOP - Ref. R33102903 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 an sapphire exhibition caseback 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.
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.