Hot Take: Rado Golden Horse Collection
We get our first look at the Rado Golden Horse Collection, an exciting set of new releases with a retro-inspired piece and a lineup of modern watches.
I really don’t have anything against Rado, but up until the release of the Captain Cook diver at Baselworld 2017, let’s just say that the brand’s offerings weren’t to my tastes. For certain, they always looked different and advertised the use of advanced materials such as ceramics long before others followed suit. I think it was the overly modern looks and the fact that most used quartz movements. But with the Cook, things began to change and today, we’re happy to see things continue in the right direction with a first look at the Rado Golden Horse Collection. Sadly, we only have head-on renders, but I think it’s a decent start. And for the first time in a long time – excluding the Cook – I’m here to say that I actually can’t wait to get my hands on a new Rado for testing!
Rado Tradition Golden Horse Limited Edition
Kicking things off within the Rado Golden Horse Collection is a watch that we showed on last weekend’s edition of This Week in Watches – and man did it garner some attention on our Instagram feed. Unfortunately, we knew little about it, but that’s all been solved now. The Rado Tradition Golden Horse Limited Edition celebrates the original 1957 model that brought quite a modern look at the time along with a date feature and a waterproof case. In the same vein as the Captain Cook, this piece is part of the Tradition (retro pieces) line, limited in nature – 1957 pieces – and aptly sized at 37mm (lug to lug is 40.6mm and thickness is 14.3mm). In stainless steel, the watch contains what is, in my opinion, a gorgeous gradient dial that changes from black on its outer edges to red in the center. In keeping with the original watch, a pair of gold sea horses are applied to the dial and the date wheel has red font on a white background. The indices and hands are rhodium plated as well as the rotating anchor below 12:00. The watch comes on a black leather strap with a crocodile pattern. Water resistance is an ample 50 meters. Inside, we have the ETA C07.611, which is the Powermatic 80 providing a namesake 80 hours of power reserve. Other details of note are the use of a box-shaped sapphire crystal and a beautifully inscribed case back with three sea horses (we don’t have a picture, but it should be similar to the Cook). The model will be available in June and pricing will be 1,710 Euros.
My opinion on the Tradition Limited Edition is pretty clear – I love it. I really liked the Captain Cook reissues, but this is a stunner of a dress watch in a size that’s simply fantastic. We did get some feedback on our feed about this piece looking like a Seiko, but 1957 predates what Seiko was doing in this type of thick-lugged case style. But frankly, who cares? It’s a great looking watch within the Rado Golden Horse Collection and it really comes as a surprise. But how does the non-limited lineup look?
Rado Golden Horse Collection – The Rest of the Models
As in the case of the 37mm Limited Edition Golden Horse, I’m intrigued by the looks of the rest of the Rado Golden Horse Collection. In 42mm (49.4mm in length and 14.0mm in thickness), the Rado Golden Horse Automatic a touch larger than I’d like, but I think they’ll play well with buyers. We have the same Powermatic 80 and the use of a boxed sapphire crystal. Here, though, we get a titanium case back with sapphire crystal display. But what I really like is the use of colors and the bezels. But, they’re just different enough than the Datejust to be, well, different. And of course, Rado being Rado, the bezels are made of high tech ceramics – either in polished plasma high tech ceramic in a slightly darker gray hue than the stainless or in Ceramos rose gold ceramic (90% ceramic and 10% metal). All models on steel bracelets or leather with ceramic bezels will be priced at 2,020 Euros. Models with Ceramos bezels are slightly more expensive at 2,110 Euros. All will be available beginning in June.
As mentioned, the dial colors on the Automatics within the Rado Golden Horse Collection range from staid silver to a really wild and funky green. In the middle, there’s blue and darker grey. All of them are combined with either rose gold or rhodium accents on the hands, indices, and golden horse logo. An internal silver chapter ring highlights the minutes with Arabic numerals in 5 minute intervals. The watches are available on a combination of crocodile-embossed calf leather straps, beads of rice or oyster-style bracelets.
If I were choosing, the green dialed automatic would likely be the one I’d take home, but the grey-dialed piece with rose gold accents and a leather strap is a close second. The bezels may remind some of a Datejust, but other brands have employed ridged or fluted crystal surrounds as well. Omega’s current Globemaster is a perfect example.
The bottom line is that with the Rado Golden Horse Collection, we have a rather compelling offering from the brand. Whether it’s the limited-edition model or the normal, lineup, there’s a lot to like. With attractive, classy details, I’ll look forward to trying them in the metal.
While info is not currently online, keep checking the official Rado site for more details.