Rado and ceramics go hand-in-hand. First in square watches only, but since 2006 Rado is also able to manufacture round watches in ceramics. Rado’s latest is the new Captain Cook High-Tech Ceramic watches. We show you the new 43mm Captain Cook High-Tech Ceramic collection.

Rado shook the world of watch enthusiasts with its Captain Cook watches in steel and bronze, released over the past few years. Inspired by the famous Captain Cook watch from the 1960s. It is something that we all thought Rado forgot about, but they did not. Never underestimate those clever Swiss watchmakers. With the new Captain Cook High-Tech Ceramic collection, it seems that old meets new. Based on that same classic 1960s diver design, Rado comes up with a modern watch, created entirely out of ceramic (including the bracelet). This scratch-resistant material has been Rado’s calling card for many years now. The brand specializes ceramics and makes full use of that experience here.

Rado Captain Cook High-Tech Ceramic

Rado Captain Cook High-Tech Ceramic

The new Captain Cook High-Tech Ceramic collection consists of four different models basically. Three with a high-tech ceramic case and one with a plasma high-tech ceramic case. The plasma model being somewhat more grey than the other ceramic cases. Rado has been using this plasma ceramic technology before on its watch, you can read more about it here.

The first thing to notice is that the Captain Cook High-Tech Ceramic is unmistakeably a Captain Cook watch. The particular case shape, box-shaped sapphire crystal, and of course the diving bezel, all add up to the typical Captain Cook design. But, the watch has become bigger and bolder. Not only did the case size increase from 42mm to 43mm in diameter, the use of ceramic, a sapphire dial, and a skeletonized movement make it a very modern wristwatch.

Rado Captain Cook High-Tech Ceramic

Vintage design meets modern specifications

This can be the thing where two worlds collide (remember the Seinfeld episode where worlds are colliding?). But Rado ensured it respected the Captain Cook design — keeping the steel and bronze models as well for the enthusiasts — while turning it into a modern watch for today’s customer.

You can enjoy your vintage-inspired design, while still having the perks of a virtually unscratchable watch. You want to keep things nice, right? Besides the use of ceramics for the case and bezel, there are also three references (R32127162, R32127152, R32128202) with a solid-looking ceramic bracelet. One reference (R32127156) comes with a black rubber strap.

All four Rado Captain Cook High-Tech Ceramic watches are equipped with the caliber R734 movement. It offers 80 hours of power reserve, has an anti-magnetic hairspring (Nivachron), and has been adjusted in 5 positions for better accuracy.

Rado Captain Cook High-Tech Ceramic

Sapphire dial

The skeletonized caliber R734 movement is visible through the dial. Underneath the boxed-shaped sapphire crystal, you will find a dial made of sapphire. Just like the sapphire crystal in the case back, the dial is also smokey black-tinted. On the dial, you will find the Rado logo and the rotating anchor. The signature logo of Rado. Depending on the material, the logo and lettering are in silver and white. For the black ceramic model RS32127162 with rose gold PVD-coated bezel, the logo and printing are also in gold color.

On the wrist

Now, the best way to see if a watch is fit for the job is by putting it on the wrist. So here’s the new Rado Captain Cook High-Tech Ceramic in 43mm. I still regard diameters above 42mm as big. I am happy that the over-sized watches were just a phase for a while, like the >48mm stuff. But 43mm still sounds fairly big to me. However, as you can see, I think it is just a matter of perception as well, as a 43mm diameter looks pretty decent on my 19cm wrist.

The Rado Captain Cook High-Tech ceramic is a comfortable watch to wear, just like the 42mm steel and bronze models were as well. In the picture above you see me wearing the plasma high-tech ceramic and bracelet, with a blue dial and bezel. A very comfortable watch and the ceramic bracelet does its job properly. The fact that you can admire the mechanical movement without taking your watch off, is something we know from skeletonized pieces, of course. However, often those skeleton watches are slightly old-fashioned when it comes to design. There are exceptions of course, and I think this Rado Captain Cook High-Tech Ceramic is definitely one of them.

Price and Availability

With the new collection of Captain Cook High-Tech Ceramic watches, Rado is aiming at the customer who wants a modern watch with a vintage twist. Not the other way around, I think; that’s what the 42mm models are for. The prices for the Rado Captain Cook High-Tech Ceramic collection start at €3,400 for the model on a rubber strap and the most expensive one is the plasma High-Tech ceramic model at €3,900. Here’s an overview:

  • RS32127162 — Black ceramic & PVD rose gold on bracelet, €3,800
  • RS32127152 — Black ceramic & black ceramic bracelet, €3,700
  • RS32128202 — Plasma ceramic blue bezel  & bracelet, €3,900
  • RS32127156 — Black ceramic & rubber strap, €3,400

The watches are available now in some markets but expect June for worldwide availability. More information can be found on RADO’s website.

Quick specifications: Case diameter 43mm, height 14.6mm, lug-to-lug 49.8mm, lug-width 21mm/ Ceramic & plasma ceramic case material / sapphire dial with numerals applied with Super-LumiNova / Caliber R734 / Power reserve 80 hours / Anti-magnetic hairspring / hardened steel diving bezel with ceramic insert / water resistant to 300 meters.