Hands-On With The Rado Captain Cook in Green
The Captain Cook collection has been a tremendous success and is, quite simply, responsible for putting Rado back on the map for many enthusiasts. And I’m including myself in that category. So let’s take a closer look at the new green version of this 1962 classic to see if we can figure out why.
Back in 2017, Rado surprised me — and probably all of us — by reintroducing the Captain Cook range. I always associated Rado with the ceramic watches that I saw so often back in the 1990s on the wrists of neighbors, friends of my parents, at the tennis club, and so on. The only Rado in the collection that appealed to me was the Diastar. But, that changed in 2017. The Captain Cook was introduced, and it inspired my colleague Mike Stockton to write about his vintage model from the 1960s (you can read about his original 1960’s Captain Cook here). A 35.5mm vintage diver with a water resistance of 220 meters. Today’s Captain Cook comes in two sizes: 37mm and 42mm. We will take a look at the latter.
On my wrist is the Rado Captain Cook R32505313, the 42mm version with a green dial. It is available with a variety of straps, but I love the beads-of-rice bracelet. It is true to the original Captain Cook that Mike reviewed. The first thought that comes to mind is that this has absolutely nothing to do with the ceramic Rado Sintras and Ceramicas from when I was younger. The Diastar, Golden Horse, and this Captain Cook are something else. And definitely intended for a different audience.
Putting this watch on the wrist is quite a sensation. This has everything to do with the beads-of-rice bracelet. I have my share of vintage bracelets, including a few beads-of-rice, but these are on 34mm watches, which I rarely wear. So it seems I had just forgotten just how comfortable these are to wear.
Unlike the original bracelet, you will not find kissing Seahorses on the clasp. Instead, the clasp bears the Rado wordmark and the famous anchor logo. That’s the same anchor you’ll find on the dial. As you can see in the picture above, the striped finishing of the clasp looks great. A double pusher mechanism ensures a secure fit of the folding clasp.
The little anchor on the dial, above the Rado wording, rotates, but in a non-disturbing way. I had a bit of fear that it would start to annoy me, but it doesn’t spin freely constantly and is a much quieter element during general wear than it might first seem to be on paper.
You really need to make a sudden quick move with your wrist in order to make it jump position. Even OCD people — there are many watch enthusiasts with this it seems — can live with it, I am sure.
Green Dial and Bezel
The green dial has a sunburst finish and, depending on the angle and the light, the green can turn from a light meadowy shade to almost pitch black. The slightly inward sloping green bezel is made of ceramic, which is not only scratch-resistant but also calls back to the pioneering spirit of Rado — the Rado many of us will recognize from our youths.
The uni-directional bezel rotates in 120 clicks and feels solid. Rado did a nice job of carrying over a lot of the most memorable design aspects of the 1960s Captain Cook to this model. All hour markers have the same shape as on the original. The hands almost have the same shape and you will also find the red printing on the date disc. The printing on the dial is sharper though, and the typography is slightly adjusted.
Today’s Captain Cook
Although I love a nice vintage watch, I feel they are often not suitable for daily wear in today’s world. I know some of you might disagree here, but I kind of follow Gerard’s view on this (you can read it here). This 42mm diameter Rado is very pleasant on the wrist. Its height is only 12.1mm which makes it look very modest on my 19cm wrist. The lug-to-lug size is 48.3mm. This model has a water resistance of 200 meters and has a screw-down crown to prevent water and moisture from entering the case.
The two kissing Seahorses seen on the 1960s Captain Cook have clearly had kids and now there are three little seahorses on the case back instead. These cover the automatic caliber C07.611. This movement is related to the ETA 2824-2 but has several modifications resulting in an 80-hour power reserve.
A watch for every day
What I like so much about this Rado Captain Cook is that it surprised me. Just like the brand did with its Golden Horse watch. These watches have put Rado back on the radar for me, as a watch enthusiast and collector. The green version with the rice-style bracelet is definitely my favorite model in the new lineup, as it brings some color to my collection and is not the usual black or blue often applied to divers’ watches. It also matches nicely with the red from the anchor and the date window. The price comes in at €2,050. I think that it is a fair price for a diver with this kind of movement and overall finishing and specifications. Last but not least, the quick release system on the bracelet makes it easy to swap for a leather strap or NATO. But I can’t imagine I’d want to let go of that beads-of-rice bracelet. Learn more about it here and check out this model in the Fratello shop.
Enjoy our video below on the Captain Cook!