“Hmm, that’s one heck of a handsome family.” Well, I certainly wasn’t referring to the Hemsworth brothers. That was my gut reaction to seeing the new Rado Captain Cook dive watches. They have this wholesome look that has even me dropping my usual mean-girl defenses.

The Rado Captain Cook has been wooing us with its ’60s retro vibes since its revival five years ago. First introduced in steel and bronze in 2017, then in ceramics last year, the divers have firmly secured their position as Rado’s winning collection. This market consensus is evidently corroborated by the verdicts of our Fratelli.

To plasma or not to plasma?

As a new release in 2022, Rado has extended the Captain Cook family with six new members. The latest additions come in the same 43mm monobloc case in either high-tech ceramic or plasma high-tech ceramic. The diameter may sound sizable, but the use of a monobloc construction allows structural stability and skims off the case’s outer dimensions and weight. Our previous hands-on reviews concur that the diver fits snugly on the wrist and wears comfortably.

Rado’s high-tech ceramic case is entirely scratch-resistant, hypoallergenic, and soft to the touch. The plasma high-tech ceramic variant in particular has been concocted for a somewhat mind-altering experience. It offers visuals and tactility that mimic metal, which extend even to the brushed and polished surface finishes. It’s certainly a big, bold tick for anyone like me who’s not crazy about the typical glassy ceramic look. This is a wonderful advancement in Rado’s in-house ceramic technology. And with over 35 years of honing the art of ceramics to its name, Rado deserves all the adulation it gets.

Preserving the Captain Cook’s signature design

Tucked inside the practically eternal case is the ETA-based three-hand caliber R734. This latest-generation automatic movement features the brand’s trademarked Nivachron anti-magnetic hairspring and 80 hours of power reserve. It exceeds standard test requirements by three to five points for higher accuracy. The use of this movement also brings back a fully closed dial.

From the top view, everything comes together agreeably with the right proportions. The same Captain Cook features from the ’60s models have been brought back to life in the modern-day collection. Instantly recognizable are the inward tilting bezel, the typeface of the numerals, the chunky hands and markers, as well as the white triangles on the bezel and on the hour hand.

Rado’s first ISO diver certification

On the flip side, the two seahorses on the circular-brushed titanium screw-down case back also echo the engravings on the vintage models. Another notable element is the original Captain Cook anchor logo on the crown and another one on the dial, which rotates as the watch moves. As if all these were not enough to remind you of the diver’s underwater prowess, the markings of 300m water resistance on both the front and back hammer it home. And so does the ISO 6425 certification granted to this new model, which is a first for a Rado watch. Now the handsome retro diver has not only made a strong comeback, but it has also taken the Captain Cook’s legacy above and beyond.

The new line-up

As a certified diver and a legit tool watch, Rado is keen to associate the Captain Cook with a life of adventures and play across volcanos, peaks, and oceans. To me, that may be a stretch in the messaging. But why not? The color palette for the 2022 releases may be convincing me on a subliminal level.

The new Captain Cook High-Tech Ceramic Diver welcomes six variants in three colorways. Two models wear matte black and two wear (what Rado calls) olive green. Each pair in the same color are mounted on either a rubber strap with a stainless steel folding clasp (€3,250) or a high-tech ceramic bracelet with a tri-fold titanium clasp (€3,550). Two additional plasma models feature sunray blue and sunray gray dials with matching high-tech ceramic bracelets and a tri-fold titanium clasp (€3,800).

See the latest Captain Cook collection here. Also, drop your thoughts on these models in the comments below!

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