Rado is one of the brands that have successfully capitalized on the modern-retro trend in recent years. Its Captain Cook collection is a great example of mixing ‘60s throwback aesthetics with cutting-edge materials. In its latest edition, the Swiss brand has gone one step further, installing a skeletonized movement in the new diver. The result is the Captain Cook High-Tech Ceramic Skeleton, showcasing watchmaking finesse both inside and out.

Rado Captain Cook High-Tech Ceramic Skeleton

The ’60s comeback

First introduced in 1962 and discontinued in 1968, the original Captain Cook dive watch was revived in steel and bronze in 2017 and then in ceramic in 2021. Since then, the Captain Cook collection has firmly secured its position as Rado’s flagship. The latest in its material upgrade is the plasma high-tech ceramic. This newest model has a monobloc case, bezel insert, and bracelet crafted from this material. In addition to being entirely scratch-resistant, hypoallergenic, and soft to the touch, this ceramic variant offers visuals and tactility that mimic metal, which extend even to the brushed and polished surface finishes. The anthracite gunmetal finish of the case is matched by the bracelet’s outer links and the circular-brushed bezel insert. The central links of the bracelet have a lighter gray color to create an appealing contrast.

Rado Captain Cook High-Tech Ceramic Skeleton

Plasma high-tech ceramic

It’s certainly a big win for anyone like me who values the wonderful properties of ceramic but not its typically glassy look. With over 35 years of honing the art of ceramics to its name, Rado’s advancement in its ceramic technology is worthy of applause. The creation of this high-tech material deserves an article on its own, which you can read here. It takes you back to last year when RJ and Lex discovered the alchemy of the plasma ceramic placed in an oven at a mind-boggling temperature of 20,000°C. To put things in perspective, that is almost four times hotter than the Sun’s surface at around 5,500°C, according to NASA.

Rado Captain Cook High-Tech Ceramic Skeleton

The construction

As with the plasma high-tech case introduced last year, the 43mm monobloc construction allows structural stability and skims off the case’s outer dimensions and weight. It also offers a water resistance rating of 300 meters. Measuring 49.8mm in length and 14.6mm in height, the new Captain Cook remains the same size as before, typical for such a modern dive watch. The case is fitted with a crown treated in rose gold PVD and topped with a matching toothed-edge rotating bezel. Instantly recognizable features from the ‘60s original Captain Cook models are the inward-tilting bezel, the typeface of the numerals, the chunky hands and markers, as well as the triangles on the bezel and the hour hand. Echoing the color scheme is a rose-gold-colored index ring and white Super-LumiNova treatment to enhance readability in low-light conditions.

The smoked veil

Sealing off those distinctive features is the familiar Captain Cook box-shaped sapphire crystal with antireflective coating on both faces. The smoked finish of the crystal not only lends a sense of mystique to the display of the skeletonized movement underneath but also makes the dial calmer. That is good news for those who often find skeleton dials lacking in legibility. But it also does the job for those who actually like to admire the neatly decorated innards. The horizontally brushed nickel structure and rose-gold-treated center bridge are sufficiently visible on the dial side.

The skeletonized engine

And on the rear side, the titanium case back also offers an unobstructed view through a clear sapphire crystal. On open display ticking inside is the ETA-based R808 three-hand automatic caliber. This is Rado’s premium mechanism featuring 25 jewels, an antimagnetic Nivachron hairspring, and an 80-hour power reserve. It has been fully tested in five positions for higher accuracy, as opposed to three positions as the standard requirement.

Rado Captain Cook High-Tech Ceramic Skeleton

The new Captain Cook High-Tech Ceramic Skeleton brings a retro look, an advanced material, and a mechanical upgrade all into one. It carries forward Rado’s winning formula with a more intricate execution for a price of €4,800.

For more information, visit Rado’s official website.

Watch specifications

Captain Cook High-Tech Ceramic Skeleton
Transparent gray with applied rose-gold-tone luminous indices and luminous hands
Case Material
Plasma high-tech ceramic with matte finish, rose-gold-tone bezel with circular-brushed plasma high-tech ceramic insert
Case Dimensions
43mm (diameter) × 49.8mm (lug-to-lug) × 14.6mm (thickness)
Smoked box-shaped sapphire with antireflective coating on both sides
Case Back
Plasma high-tech ceramic with sapphire display window
Rado R808 — skeletonized, automatic winding, 21,600vph frequency, 80-hour power reserve, antimagnetic Nivachron hairspring, tested in five positions
Water Resistance
Plasma high-tech ceramic three-row bracelet with matte and polished finishes and titanium dual-deployant clasp
Time only (hours, minutes, central seconds)
Two years