Up Close — RADO Captain Cook Automatic Dive Watch In Bronze
When Michael wrote his article on the 1962 RADO Captain Cook, I was intrigued. However, I am not that much a fan of buying vintage divers so I was happily surprised when Rado introduced its new Captain Cook in 2017.
A vintage diver surely is charming, but I like to wear my watches on daily basis. You can wear a vintage diver every day of course, but I’ve had some nasty experiences with lengthy repair processes and unavailability of spare parts. Enter the new RADO Captain Cook. My most favorite edition is the steel one with the green bezel and dial on a beads-of-rice bracelet (that’s why we carry it in our shop), but the new bronze cased Captain Cook is very interesting as well.
Captain Cook Automatic Bronze in blue
Blue and divers watch go together very well. And bronze and divers are also a great match! RADO combined these two and came up with a Captain Cook in bronze with a blue dial. On top, the brand added a blue NATO strap with bronze keepers. This 42mm diver wears terrifically, due to the forgiving case shape and a very acceptable 12.5mm thickness. Basically, all specifications are identical to the steel version, but now, in bronze.
Steel case back
Underneath the stainless steel screw-down case back, you will find the caliber C07.611 movement. It is a very solid performer that is architecturally similar to the ETA2824-2 movement. This C07.611 is an enhanced version though, with a whopping 80 hours of power reserve, 25 jewels, and an operating frequency of 21600vph. On the case back, you’ll find three seahorses in bas-relief accompanied by three stars. This element is slightly different from the 1962 original, but it definitely looks cool.
Ceramic and gold protection
The real treat is on the dial side though. The beautiful blue sun-ray dial with gold colored hour markers and hands. It makes for a truly wonderful combination. A white date disc with red lettering makes it feel like a vintage watch. But, of course, it isn’t a vintage watch at all. Looks are deceiving, as the blue bezel is made of ceramic.
That means it won’t discolor over time. And speaking of discoloration, the bronze case has been treated with a very thin layer of gold (23kt gold plating, three microns thick). This treatment has been done to protect the bronze case from patination between the time the Captain Cook Bronze is produced and the delivery to the end-consumer. At some point, this protection layer will wear off and then the fun can begin.
As you can see in our pictures, our test watch has already begun to patina. Dark spots on the lugs and case band create quite a bit of character on these watches.
Which Captain Cook to pick?
There’s no doubt in my mind that the RADO Captain Cook Automatic Bronze is the brand’s golden ticket. The steel versions were received very well already, but these bronze models tick a lot of boxes as well and take the collection in a new and interesting direction.
The price is €2,660 for the Blue RADO Captain Cook Automatic Bronze whereas you can purchase the steel version (with bracelet) for €1,969. The warm tones of bronze really make this a stand-out watch, though, especially with the matching blue NATO strap with bronze keepers. In the end, it is just a matter of picking the one you like best! More information via RADO online.