Watch Guru: Reviewing the New Rado Captain Cook Watch Collection

Watch Guru: Reviewing the New Rado Captain Cook Watch Collection

As an avid consumer of affordable watches with amazing quality, our Watch Guru Joshua Clare-Flagg from the popular watch blog Watch It All About is giving an insight into his thoughts on the watch world.

Watch the full video review



The History of the Rado Captain Cook Watch



Please join me as we go on an adventure. The year is 1770. Captain James Cook has chartered New Zealand and the Great Barrier Reef of Australia in his ship HMB Endeavour. Later, his voyages were instrumental in creating the first accurate map of the Pacific.

In 1962, Rado decided he deserved a watch named after him; it was their foray into the diving watch craze at the time. However, production sadly stopped in 1968.

Then, 55 years later, in 2017, Rado shocked everyone with a surprise reissue and they’ve gradually been adding various models to the popular collection through the years since.

WatchShop has just recently started stocking Rado, so we thought it would be great to introduce you all to some iterations of the Captain Cook.



“Master of Materials”



When the latest range was re-released, it was met with reasonable interest, but for some reason its popularity has particularly exploded in the past year or so. This is likely due to vintage inspired pieces continuing to steadily increase in popularity, but also due to their expansion of models using their proprietary high-tech ceramic.

Whilst to the naked eye it might look like standard DLC coated steel, or titanium, it’s certainly more than that and is quite something. Rado is known as the “Master of Materials” for the way it has revolutionised traditional watchmaking, leading the industry by introducing high-tech ceramic to its collections. But more on that later.

Their sapphire crystal is like nothing else I’ve seen before. It’s known as “Chevé (chevvy) Box shaped” - which is boxed and highly curved at the same time. This makes for a delightful viewing experience of the dial - there’s a subtle amount of distortion around the outer edge but excellent clarity in the center at all angles.



Another cool feature is the rotating Rado anchor logo. Initially I thought it could have been a micro power reserve indicator, but it serves no purpose except for spinning around. It keeps things interesting though, as it’ll always be in a different location when you glance at your watch. The backplate is synthetic ruby, the same as the jewels found movements which is a really nice touch, and looks great.

All of the bezel inserts are made out of Rado’s high-tech ceramic, which is eye-catchingly glossy and reflective. I love the downward angle of the inner bezel, which then meets the wonderfully dramatic boxed and curved crystal. The markings are clean, crisp, and filled with lume.

The hands are a slightly modernised take of the original, with huge, bold arrows ensuring excellent legibility, yet maintaining the original vintage aura.

Let’s take a look at some of these main models available.



First up is the “standard” steel edition. However, there’s nothing standard about it.

It’s available in a variety of colors with matching dials and bezel inserts, this one obviously being the green one. It has a beautiful sunray dial backdrop which spins and spins depending on the light and angle.

It’s beautifully slender at just a smidge over 12mm, whilst the 42mm diameter makes this a watch you can’t miss.

The movement is the ETA C07, which is basically the 2824-2 with an impressive 80 hour power reserve. The date wheel has been modified, with red numerals providing a splash of colour.



It also features quick release pins on a bracelet, which you don’t see too often and makes switching straps a doodle.

It’s a stonker of a watch, and one that I would happily own.

If we go a level up, we are now in bronze territory. Again, available in numerous colours, the bronze case will develop a lovely patina over age. Remaining at 42mm in diameter, with a slight height increase to 12.5mm, it’s still a comfortable wear.



The gold coloured hands and hour markers compliment the case well, and there’s something different about bronze that makes it stand out against all the other cases. Love it or hate it, you can’t deny it looks different.



Rado High-Tech Ceramic Range



Finally, the ultimate Captain Cook is the High-Tech ceramic range. What’s so special about this high-tech ceramic?

Firstly, it’s very light, resulting in a comfortable watch. It also adapts to your body temperature immediately. Rado calls it floaty and light, and I understand why. It’s also extremely durable and scratch resistant, and as it’s non-metallic it’s the perfect hypoallergenic choice for those with allergies or sensitive skin.

These watches are all slightly larger, with a diameter of 43mm and a height of 14.6mm.

Here we have 4 versions;

Two which are the same except one with the rubber strap and the other with the high-tech ceramic and titanium bracelet. One cool thing about the rubber strap is the deployant buckle has an easy to use divers extension. They feature a polished steel bezel and crown, which is a stark contrast against the deep black of the ceramic.



Our next version is another killer colour combination, gold and black. This time, the bezel and crown are polished rose gold PVD coated stainless steel, and it looks super luxurious. It’s not too flashy, but the gold is just enough to make this model look blingy, especially alongside the rose gold hands and hour markers on the dial.



Finally, my favourite model. This model looks more like the colour of titanium, and is known as their “plasma” high-tech ceramic. The blue bezel insert provides a cool subtle industrial look.

This plasma ceramic is forged in an oven at incredibly high temperatures. It’s quite the conundrum: a distinctive metallic glow, without any metal at all.



We have an upgraded movement in these ceramic versions: the Rado Calibre R734. Again with an 80 hour power reserve, it also has a Nivachron™ hairspring, which provides an advantage in everyday life by protecting the timepiece from magnetic fields. The date has been dropped too, to allow you to view as much of the movement as possible through the black tinted sapphire crystal dial.



Conclusion



When I first laid eyes and hands on the range, I was immediately struck by the build quality. The concoction of the brilliant crystal, the bold hands and shapely hour markers is so eye-catching collectively.

So, what do you think of the Rado Captain Cook? Impressed? I certainly am. What really stands out is not only the awesome design and faithfulness to the original 1960s model, ensuring a legit vintage inspired timepiece, but also the movement, and most importantly - the materials. It’s obvious to see that Rado take their “Master of Materials” label seriously. And what they’ve developed is nothing short of outstanding. I completely understand what all the hype is about, and hopefully you can too.