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Review: Rado Hyperchrome Captain Cook

Go big or go homage.
by Chester Lau on May 6, 2017
Positives

Love the dimensions. Easily the smallest diver's in modern production. Slim case profile, 80 hours power reserve movement and a good looking box sapphire crystal. Rado's unique ceramic technology is fit in the watch's bezel insert.

Negatives

It may be tough for some to justify a $2000 price tag for the Rado, given how the price is encroaching on Tudor territory and is almost twice the price of a Tissot Powermatic 80; which runs on the same movement.

Rado Hyperchrome Captain Cook

Rado releases the HyperChrome Captain Cook collection at Baselworld 2017. A reinterpretation of a Rado watch collection from the 1960s, the new HyperChrome Captain Cook family offers three variants in the collection. Today we will look at the black dial steel version, the closest variant to the original.

 

The case, dial and hands

Rado HyperChrome Captain Cook with a black sunburst dial, sized at 37.3 mm in diameter.

 

This collection stands out for its honest homage of design cues both from the brand and also other popular models in the 60s. Namely a case design reminiscent of Blancpain’s fifty fathoms and sized accordingly at 37 mm on the 100 m water resistant model.

The full dimensions of the watch measures in width, 37.3 mm, length 43.1 mm and height 11.1 mm. Fit on a polished stainless steel case, the watch is a good mix of modern materials with vintage styling. It comes with a black high-tech ceramic insert engraved and coated and fixed in a stainless steel turning bezel.

 

 

Vintage case design with a box shaped sapphire crystal glass, patina lume, but with Rado’s modern ceramic bezel.

 

The watch keeps with the dive watch tradition and practicality with a closed case back. The stainless steel case back with 3 sea horses bears some resemblance to the Omega Seamaster emblem.

The most fascinating piece of the case is the box shaped sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating on both sides. The double sided anti-reflective and the raised dome shaped crystal makes a beautiful homage to the plexi glass styling of the past. At the same time, the use of sapphire crystal instead of plastic gives the case extra durability despite adding to the higher manufacturing costs of a raised sapphire glass.

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The watch is water-resistant to 10 bar (100m) with a special engraving on the case back: LIMITED EDITION ONE OUT OF 1962.

 

 

The Rado HyperChrome Captain Cook is fit with a brown vintage leather strap with a stainless steel pin buckle.

 

For the dial, the Rado uses a black sunbrushed dial, which has an interesting character with color variations when viewed from different angles. The watch is fit with printed indexes and on its periphery a railroad minute marker rehaut.

The hands, it is hard to escape the comparison to the Omega Broad Arrow and Blancpain’s Seconds hand, although some might say it is too narrow minded to associate these design features purely to a single brand. Then again, Rado is like the abovementioned brands, also a Swatch group brand and it is ironically refreshing for the alternate portfolio to occasionally revisit classic designs. After all, the market seems to have a strong fervor for homage dive pieces (think Tudor Black Bay).

The hands and indices use patina colored Super- LumiNova®, which emanates a yellowish tinge. The fonts used on the Rado logo and Captain Cook in italics are not the most congruous, although that remains a matter of preference. A nice touch of red is added to the anchor symbol housing and the date wheel font. Good choice of color contrast, for a burst of life on the dial while maintaining the subtlety of the design. For some entertainment on the dial, the large rhodium colored anchor is a moving piece.

 

The movement

 

The Rado HyperChrome Captain Cook uses the 11 1⁄2 ETA C07.611 movement, an automatic 25 jewels movement with up to 80 hours power reserve.

 

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The Rado HyperChrome Captain Cook uses the 11 1⁄2 ETA C07.611 movement, an automatic 25 jewels movement with up to 80 hours power reserve. The movement is one of ETA’s latest movements that was also seen in another variant on the Tissot Powermatic 80. We like how the watch uses a high power reserve movement while it maintains a relatively slim profile; especially on a diver watch. Case in point, the Grand Seiko watches that we talked about in the preceding weeks measured 13-14 mm, and on a dress watch.

 

Concluding thoughts/remarks

 

37 mm on the wrist. The vintage style is matched with an impressive 80 hour movement and a limited edition of 1962 pieces.

 

 

A brilliant piece to add to its collection, the Rado Hyperchrome Captain Cook gives the brand a new market, independent of the fashion forward crowd. Then again, the brand’s challenge in maintaining strong resale value for its watches means that it is highly difficult for it to command a sound price for its watches as it scales towards the $2000 mark. The Rado Hyperchrome Captain Cook will be priced at approximately S$2,530 incl GST and US$1800 in the US.

 

Rado Hyperchrome Captain Cook Specs

 

Ref. 763.0500.3.130Rado HyperChrome Captain Cook

11 1⁄2 ETA C07.611, automatic, 25 jewels, 3 hands, date at 3 o’clock printed in red, up to 80 hours power reserve

polished stainless steel

black high-tech ceramic insert engraved and coated, fixed in a stainless steel turning bezel

polished stainless steel case back with 3 sea horses stamped polished stainless steel crown

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box shaped sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating on both sides

water-resistant to 10 bar (100m)
special engraving on case back: LIMITED EDITION ONE OUT OF 1962

black sunbrushed, printed indexes

Patina coloured Super- LumiNova®

silver coloured printed Captain Cook, Rado and Automatic logos

large rhodium coloured moving anchor symbol with red background

brown vintage leather stainless steel pin buckle

37.3 x 43.1 x 11.1 (WxLxH in mm)

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