Rado Watches: Master of Materials
Tuesday - 26 January 2021
Since their founding in 1950, Rado watches have remained synonymous with their impressive and innovative use of hard-wearing, scratchproof and beautiful materials. Behind every new release, whether it’s the stunning new Rado Captain Cook collection, the iconic Rado DiaMaster or the classic Rado Coupole, a tradition of visionary research and progressive materials technology takes place to deliver a Rado watch not just for the wrist, but for life.
Their status as “The Master of Materials” was not something that happened overnight, however. It took decades of research, innovation and pioneering Swiss watchmaking techniques. In 1962, Rado introduced a model that would truly distinguish the brand and redefine their DNA: the Rado Diastar. Known as the world’s first scratchproof watch, the Rado DiaStar cemented Rado as a leader in material innovation and to this day it remains one of their best-selling collections. Since then, Rado have continued to push the limits of luxury watch designs from the gold-plated DiaStar in 1972, the execution of hardmetal in 1962 and the launch of their legendary high-tech ceramic in 1998 on the Rado Ceramica. Let’s look at some of these ground-breaking materials in more detail and the Rado watch collections where they can be found…
Arguably one of their most celebrated materials, Rado’s high-tech ceramic has played a central role in their approach to watchmaking since their founding sixty years ago. Rado describes their high-tech ceramic watches as “object of art and craftsmanship” boasting smooth, soft and stylish surfaces that are extremely lightweight, scratch resistant and hypoallergenic. High-tech ceramic is also incredibly versatile, arriving in metallic or matte and in an ever-expanding choice of colours – just look at the Rado True Thinline Les Couleurs collection for proof!
Rado’s use of high-tech ceramic shook the luxury watchmaking industry when it was first debuted on the original Rado Integral in 1986, advancing their already well-established reputation for one of true innovation and mastery. Its resilience to scratches remains its key characteristic but high-tech ceramic is also incredibly comfortable and lightweight on the skin and adapts to your body temperature almost immediately so it will never feel too hot or too cold. Named after its case material, the Rado Ceramica watch collection with its strong square lines and gently curved silhouette is a fine example of Rado’s exceptional use of high-tech ceramic.
Plasma High-Tech Ceramic
Described as “a perfect example of Modern Alchemy”, Rado’s plasma high-tech ceramic is similar to its counterpart mentioned above in its beneficial properties but instead delivers an otherworldly metallic shine. To achieve this, finished white ceramic is transformed by gases activated at 20,000°C in an extremely hot oven to turn it into an incredibly high-shine, almost shimmering material. The beauty of this impressive material is that while it may look different, it still showcases all the appeal of high-tech ceramic including hardness, scratch resistance, lightness and hypoallergenic properties.
The contemporary metallic look of Rado’s plasma high-tech ceramic watches looks truly breathtaking up close and it’s a rare, beautiful aesthetic that is found exclusively on timepieces made from this material. Despite the colour being only altered only on the surface, plasma high-tech ceramic is guaranteed to not fade over time and emit a handsome glow for years to come. You can find plasma high-tech ceramic in many of Rado’s most iconic collections including the Rado Hyperchrome and the Rado DiaMaster families.
After more than 50 year’s working with high-tech ceramic, Rado introduced their latest innovation, Ceramos, in 2018 as part of their new Rado DiaMaster Ceramos collection. This unique alloy delivers the best of both worlds, the classic and luxurious aesthetic of metal with the scratch resistance, lightness and hypoallergenic properties of ceramic. The perfect marriage between ceramic and metal alloy was no easy feat since it boasts a complex composite structure, multistep production process and extremely lengthy polishing requirements to make every Rado Ceramos watch look and feel its best.
Lovers of classic metals like platinum, gold and rose gold have fallen deeply for the Rado DiaMaster Ceramos collection, as it not only delivers the aesthetics of metal but the beneficial properties of ceramic. It’s impressive shine and brilliance is engineered from 90% ceramic and 10% metal alloy with sleek lines and contemporary shades radiating sophistication and elegance unrivalled. We particularly love the Rado DiaMaster Ceramos Thinline watch brought to life using rose gold coloured Ceramos and a mesmerising mother of pearl and diamond dial.
Speaking of diamonds, Rado, with their insurgence to innovate above all else, believed that it was time for a watch to be as strong as the hardest natural material in the world. In 2002, they did just that with the one-of-a-kind Rado V10K watch. This remarkable work of art was a result of painstaking research and the use of cutting-edge nanotechnology which featured a unique high-tech diamond surface with a hardness of 10,000 Vickers.
The Rado V10K watch remains one of the brand’s most impressive milestones, becoming the ultimate scratch-resistant watch with a case made entirely from a synthetic layer of nano-crystalline diamond, otherwise known as high-tech diamond. Sadly, the Rado V10K is no longer in production but their use of diamonds certainly hasn’t stopped with many of their breathtaking Rado ladies’ watches featuring the timeless brilliance of Top Wesselton diamonds.
Widely considered the ideal choice of watch glass, sapphire crystal is used in all Rado watches and delivers a seamless transition from the glass to the bracelet and case while providing impeccable scratch resistance and legibility of the dial beneath it. Many luxury watch manufacturers choose sapphire crystal glass over its cheaper counterpart, mineral glass, for its shatter resistance and ability to withstand cracks and scratches.
Sapphire crystal can also be engineered into a variety of shapes depending on the style of the watch is furnishes. Take a look at the Rado Captain Cook watch collection for example. Its sapphire crystal glass is purposely convex and curved to assist in its handsome vintage aesthetic and charm. Meanwhile, more contemporary looking Rado watches showcase classic flat sapphire crystal while more complex timepieces benefit from facetted sapphire crystal.
Last but certainly not least on Rado’s portfolio of materials is hardmetal. This exceptionally durable material was the first innovation introduced by the Swiss watch manufacturer back in 1962 with the launch of the Rado DiaStar. As Rado’s first scratch-resistant watch, hardmetal became legendary for its robustness, a material known as being more durable than steel, gold and platinum, with a capacity to withstand the stresses of everyday life.
Despite its launch almost sixty years ago, hardmetal is still used by Rado today. The Rado Original watch collection is a fine example of how the material reflects both the brand’s extraordinary watchmaking heritage and their mission for ultimate watch scratch resistance. In the collection, hardmetal is coated in a choice of yellow gold, rose gold PVD or left bare in stainless steel to deliver a breathtaking aesthetic paired with retro inspired dials and quartz or automatic movements.
As official UK stockists of Rado watches, you can find all the latest Rado watch releases on the Jura Watches website here. If you have any questions regarding Rado watches and their incredible use of materials, get in touch with the team on 01335 453453 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. Our luxury watch experts are always on hand to help!