A Rado watch is a thing of reliable, refined beauty. From the brand’s timeless ‘True Square’ range to its signature ‘Captain Cook’ collection, each Rado wristwatch offers the same solid, dependable service. Every model delivers on style, on substance and on Swiss provenance and performance. Together, Rado’s different designs keep the watch world ticking and turning. But that’s no coincidence — because ‘Rado’ means ‘wheel’ in Esperanto.
But this is the wheel reinvented. Last century, brothers Fritz, Ernst and Werner Schlup made the decision to become watchmakers. By 1957, the trio had established their own brand; Rado. From the dynamic, scratchproof ‘DiaStar’ to the elegant ‘Golden Horse’, the company’s new novelties hit wrists around the world — with Rado soon establishing itself a reputation as the watch world’s ‘Master of Materials’.
Today, owned by The Swatch Group, Rado continues to create and innovate; offering a range of different shapes, sizes and movements across its range. But, with more choice than ever, how do you know which Rado is right for you? With everything from a vintage-tinged diving watch to a futuristic colourful collaboration on offer, we’ve picked six of the best Rado timepieces below — and identified which is the best investment for you.
For men who value vintage style: The Captain Cook Automatic Bronze
Rado released its first ‘Captain Cook’ diving watch in 1962, which means that this watch — the ‘Captain Cook Automatic Bronze’ — benefits from over half a century of choice adjustments and alterations. But that’s not to say it’s lost those retro roots. In brushed, burnished bronze, this handsome automatic is the ideal watch for men who value vintage style — the sort of man who appreciates heritage and history, but still wants to look good.
Thankfully, this is also a very good-looking watch. There’s something about the combination of lush green and earthy bronze that just works, and this ‘Captain Cook’ goes big on both. We particularly like that bold bezel, with high-tech ceramic insert and highly legible markings. Working with a Swiss-made movement and 80-hour power reserve, it’s a durable, do-all bit of kit — and one finished in supple style with a stitched dark leather strap. Traditional, contemporary, timeless.
Captain Cook Automatic Bronze
For the performance-driven perfectionists: The True Square Automatic Open Heart
There’s nothing square about an angular watch. And Rado have long been proponents of the solid, four-sided case shape. The brand’s first, the ‘Elegance’, was released in 1975, with models including the ‘Jubilé’, ‘Anatom’ and ‘Glissière’ following soon after. But our choice of these edgier models? The ‘True Square’ collection. And the first of our recommendations from the range is this; the ‘True Square Automatic Open Heart’.
A new take on the iconic Rado shape, this is a high-tech timepiece. With a square injected monobloc ceramic case, it shows off an intricate automatic movement in unassertively open-worked style. Monochrome in colour — save for glimmers of rose gold — this watch bears many high-quality hallmarks of top-tier watchmaking, such as Côtes de Genève detailing on the movement holder. Ideal for those who appreciate true craftsmanship, and an eye for detail.
True Square Automatic Open Heart
For modern adventurers and men-about-town: The Captain Cook Automatic
The ‘Captain Cook Automatic Bronze’ above may have been perfect for fans of retro styling, but this slick, stripped-back stainless steel design was made for thoroughly modern men. The design may nod back to the original, but this model has been enhanced with up-to-date features and innovative touches that make it perfect for the challenges and complications of everyday life.
For starters, there’s Rado’s EasyClip System, which allows you to swap out your strap without the need for tools. There’s a slightly larger diameter; 42mm to increase legibility and toughness. There’s even an improved water resistance of up to 300 metres. Add to that the protective sapphire crystal and high-tech, scratch-resistant ceramic bezel, and you’ve got the ideal everyday watch for modern adventurers and men-about-town alike.
Captain Cook Automatic
For time-strapped renaissance men: True Square Automatic
While we’re on a green theme, let’s take a look at another of the ‘True Square’ collection. This effortlessly elegant ‘True Square Automatic’ is among the most versatile watches we’ve ever buckled up. It spans times, trends and situations. You could wear it on a casual weekend, but it would look just as quietly confident sitting under the cuff of your dinner jacket.
And its considerable talents don’t end there. Thanks to Rado’s masterful use of materials, this titanium-backed timepiece combines high-tech ceramic, sapphire crystal, rhodium and touches of Super-LumiNova to create a watch that walks the line between formal and casual with consummate, commendable ease. If you can never find time to take a breath, then this is the watch for you — because, thanks to a healthy 80-hour power reserve, it’ll seldom stop either.
True Square Automatic
For men on a mission: The Captain Cook High-Tech Ceramic
One of Rado’s newest novelties, the 2021 ‘Captain Cook High-Tech Ceramic’ is a showcase for the storied brand’s most incredible, inventive innovations. A truly revolutionary wristwatch, it fuses tradition with modern techniques, and incorporates everything from Rado’s distinctive monobloc case construction to the use of the hardy scratch-resistant and hypoallergenic high-tech ceramic.
But perhaps the boldest feature sits inside that bombastic, blacked-out case. The premium Rado ‘Calibre R734’ is a magnificent movement, and boasts an ingenious Nivachron™ hairspring. This innovation protects the most advanced Captain Cook model from magnetic fields found in everyday life — such as those in computers, radios, televisions and microwave ovens. As a result, it’s a tooled-up tool watch; kitted out with both black-ops good looks and the equipment to back that confidence up.
Captain Cook High-Tech Ceramic
For men who make statements: True Square Tej Chauhan
And, finally, something completely different. The ‘True Square Tej Chauhan’ may have none of the unadorned, utilitarian styling of the ‘Captain Cook High-Tech Ceramic’ above — but it does have a whole lot of swagger. Created in collaboration with award-winning British industrial designer, Tej Chauhan, it’s a symphony of flowing shapes, bold colours and retro influences; perfect for those looking to make a statement with their style.
It’s a fresh spin of Rado’s well-known wheel — updating the tried and tested ‘True Square’ design for a more modern, exuberant audience. We particularly like the flash of blue between 9 and 12 o’clock — a subtler pop of colour among the bold, space-age matt yellow ceramic. But perhaps our favourite touch? That padded leather bracelet; cushioned and colourful to buckle together the whole playful, pioneering package.
True Square Tej Chauhan