Rado Swiss Ceramic Watches Complete Guide-Review
Rado is a Swiss watch brand that's very unlike – and in many ways opposite to – its compatriot watchmakers. Whereas such iconic names as Patek Philippe, or Vacheron Constantin focus almost singularly on automatic mechanical movements, Rado prefer Quartz; while Audemars Piguet and Ulysse Nardin employ gold and diamonds, Rado opt for the highly advanced ceramic. And, where Jaeger LeCoultre and Blancpain rely on traditional design precepts, Rado invent a novel, breathtakingly minimalistic aesthetic approach.
In other words, Rado unapologetically break with tradition and convention, attaching themselves without reservation to newest technological advancements – both in calibers and materials encompassing them – ambitiously seeking to establish a new canon in the industry. That's why Rado watches emit such force: they bring in an air of excitement that's enriched with political, revolutionary, dangerous flavors.
In many ways, Rado is all about the design – the brand appears to aim to establish its own school of design. Since, however, they are not an academic artistic institution, but a watch brand, the company opts to fully explore a single direction instead of risking getting scattered probing several. This single direction led the developers to the cosmos – its total blackness on the one hand, and clarity with which it can be seen on the other. These are, thus, the two chief design elements in Rado watches:
Black color that covers the majority of the dials and bracelets. Various gray shades, platinum gray, for instance, enhance the effect of the main color, and even in the rare fully golden or gray colored pieces the black seems to lurk somewhere underneath.
Dial clarity, as well as translucency, become quintessential Rado qualities. From the face up to the trademark scratch proof sapphire crystal (that together create a semblance of a flat TV screen), everything was premeditated to make the process of time reading almost a mystical experience – and an effortless one as well.
Materials and Movements
Though Rado incorporate diamonds (which simply make the best indexes when one looks for luxurious brevity), and occasionally use steel and gold, it's the high-tech ceramic that lent the company its renown of an innovator. The point of employing high-tech ceramic lies not only in trying to achieve extraordinary levels of hardness and damage resistance, but also in the immediate comfort this material provides: it's very light, temperature neutral, and wraps easily around the wrist unlike any metal, leather, or rubber.
Rado started in 1957 as a caliber maker (under a different name), producing the trademark Swiss Quartz movement. Quartz is in the brand's soul, and it should come as no surprise that the lion's share of the manufacturer's watches contain these movements. There are, however, also many automatic models, which often show more conventional watch design elements.
Rado manufacture a range of collections, most of them based around a single design idea: a geometric form of the case, a rare material, or a combination of the two. Each collection comprises a basic, classic model, and various modifications and elaborations, both in the visual and caliber department. Vintage watches can be found on eBay. Click on the links to read dedicated in-depth reviews:
Ceramica makes up a brand classic: square cases, of various sizes, completely in line with the bracelets, which consist of thin ceramic plates seamlessly attached one to another. Completely black dial with a pair of understated flat hands, and a quartz caliber in the basic variant; Jubile and Chronograph pieces add on complications and diamonds.
Sintra watches take more liberties with basic Rado precepts. The most obvious modification lies in the bold convex shape; the bracelet becomes thinner towards the clasp, making the entire piece resemble a belt. Platinum gray and gold join the iconic black, automatic movements the trademark Swiss Quartz caliber. This collection includes white face pieces, and a few Jubile, diamond gemmed models.
Integral collection takes a few steps towards dressy, evening elegant design, employing a rectangular geometric shape for the case and a more sophisticated bracelet organization. The lighter, conciliative platinum gray, white and gold colors become the norm; the line also offers two-tone watches, usually opting for the contrasting black and gold palette. Quartz and automatic movements and Jubile jewelry pieces.
Original watches take Rado to space: the hardmetal case resembles a shuttle window, or perhaps a dome of a planetary colony. A true master collection in a variety of colors, quartz and automatic movements, and distinctive, uncompromising scientist or engineer like look.
True is the complete opposite of Original: round shaped, and in many variants softly colored, it reintroduces simplicity, and reveals Rado's gentler side. Several completely white models remove the unisex veil, and appeal directly to the ladies.
Coupole continues to explore the round form and the two-tone color scheme. This collection blends Original and True qualities, spicing them with dreamy futuristic touches. Some of the pieces appear like pieces of ancient complex machinery.
Ladies, Joaillerie watches include the Blue Fascination – a steely, strong feminine line that employs gold and numerous diamonds – and women's timers from existing collections.
V10k, r5.5 are two collections that further broaden Rado's scope, the former taking it to abstract minimalism, the latter towards retro, down to earth aesthetic.
eSenza, Anatom Jubile – two single focus collections, one feminine, incorporating a unique egg shaped case, the other masculine two-tone, intended for office or evening wear.