Often referred to as the “Master of Materials,” Rado has long been known to get a little crazy with its watch designs. The brand was an early pioneer in the use of ceramic as a case material. Today, it has announced an unexpected addition into the ceramic fold: The Captain Cook High-Tech Ceramic. Let’s dive deep into the black, with these first photos.
It’s Bigger For a Reason
The first thing to note is that the watch has been upsized from 42mm to 43mm, a product of using ceramic to construct the case. This is a monobloc case crafted entirely from ceramic with a matte finish, and it represents the first time a Captain Cook has been made in this size. This change notwithstanding, the watch remains a capable 300m water-resistant diver.
Same as the case, the bracelet is also made of ceramic, but in a combination of finishes. The outer links match the case in a matte finish, while the glossy black inner links match the equally shiny bezel. It looks sharp in the metal, but beware of fingerprints! We’re not saying you should wear boutique gloves when handing this watch, but you might find yourself wanting to.
Does This Make My Wrist Look Fat?
No. On-wrist, the beefier Captain Cook doesn’t feel crazy at 43mm. Black is historically a slimming color, so fashioning the whole watch in black ceramic – while increasing the size – is really a net-zero. The length of the watch is just 49.8mm, making it pretty compact, and keeping any part of the case from hanging off the wrist.
The Dial That’s Not a Dial
The Captain Cook High-Tech Ceramic has a personality all its own – and one distinctly different from its heritage-leaning forebearers. It gives off a real Blade Runner vibe, but despite that fact – in overall styling – it’s still very much a Captain Cook. Keeping with that theme is the dial, which really isn’t a dial. It’s actually a black-tinted sapphire giving way to the gears of the movement beneath.
Keep It Moving
Now let’s get to what’s behind that black-tinted sapphire dial. That would be the Rado caliber R734, automatic, skeletonized movement. This movement provides 80 hours of power reserve and features an antimagnetic Nivachron balance spring, designed to keep the movement safer and more accurate.
Where the dial and bracelet are a deep black, the dial allows for some fun – though subdued – use of color via Rado’s signature rotating anchor, which is set against a synthetic ruby plate. This splash of ruby color (coupled with the warm colors from the movement) keeps this watch from being too monochromatic.
The Thick of It
This watch isn’t thin with its 14.6mm case height, but that also has to do with it being a fully ceramic monobloc case. On top of that, this is a sport watch. It doesn’t need to fit under a shirt cuff – where we’re going, we don’t need sleeves.
A few key components are not ceramic. As you can see above, the crown and coin-edged rotating bezel are made from stainless steel, adding additional contrast to the blacked-out aesthetic. The caseback is titanium and features the same tinted sapphire used for the dial.
Big Watch, Small Clasp
On the underside of the watch is the titanium three-fold clasp with black high-tech ceramic openers. This a small clasp that really blends into the links. It’s operated by a twin-trigger deployant system that makes for an easy experience. There’s no thought involved in putting on and taking off this watch, though surely plenty of thought went into designing it this way.
Can’t Forget the Lume and Crystal
The dial markers are applied and filled with Super-LumiNova – as are the rhodium-colored hands. The stark white of the lume and the pronounced black chapter ring make this watch surprisingly legible against the see-through dial surface. The crystal is a boxed sapphire with anti-reflective coating on both sides.
A Whole New Captain
In the past, you knew a ceramic Rado when you saw it, with the rectangular case and full-on retro-vibe ceramic bracelet. No more. This new release is effectively a marriage of two of the brand’s most recognizable elements and collections: Ceramic, and Captain Cook himself.
The Rado Captain Cook High-Tech Ceramic. Monobloc ceramic case with black-tinted sapphire dial and black ceramic bezel. Water resistance to 300 meters. Rado cal. 3R734, automatic, skeletonized, 25 jewels, three hands, 80-hour power reserve, antimagnetic Nivachron hairspring. Ceramic, matte and polished, bracelet with twin-trigger deployant clasp. Price: $ 3,600 (pictured). For more, visit Rado.
Photos: Kasia Milton