Last week TVG headed to the QT hotel to inspect the 2014 Baselworld novelties from Rado.
Until last week Rado was a brand I hadn’t fully come to appreciate so I was pleasantly surprised by their offering. We viewed the majority of the range showcased at Basel this year including the HyperChrome, DiaMaster, Centrix, True and Integral.
I’m told Rado has a very strong Asian market and it quickly became clear that a number of their models are designed with that specific market in mind. That being said my personal taste leans towards timeless design so like most watch brands I was never going to be interested in the entire range. What did interest me however were watches from the HyperChrome and DiaMaster range, showing interesting use of materials and technologies.
Rado have been exploring the use of ceramic since 1986, pioneering the use of high-tech ceramic in watchmaking. Since then high-tech ceramic has played a pivotal role in Rado watches and has seen a host of futuristic designs displaying the versatility of the material.
I was particularly interested in their Plasma high-tech ceramic model (below) which gives a metallic grey colour without the use of any metal. The mysterious metallic brilliance is a result of Rado’s patented plasma carburising process where gases activated at 20,000˚C alter the composition of high-tech ceramic without affecting its essential properties. The surface colour of the ceramic is changed but will not fade over time, instead retaining its naturally scratch-resistant shine for years to come.
You may have noticed after seeing those two photos that neither watches have a crown. The HyperChrome Ceramic Touch range utilises an innovative new technology where the wearer uses a touch feature to activate the time function and a series of swipes along the case to move the hands to the desired time before setting it again with another touch. On the Dual Time zone watch above the wearer can also swap the timezones which is a very cool feature. You can view the technology in the video below!
The DiaMaster Automatic caught my eye as a solid entry into the watch market with its sub $3000 price point and simple elegant design. I was also impressed with Rado’s skeletonised watches, also in the DiaMaster family, made from high-tech ceramic and limited to 499 pieces world wide. I will however say that some additional detail to the movement wouldn’t have gone astray!
For a full list of Australian retailers head to the Rado website.