Watch & Jewellery
COOKING UP A STORM: Rado's Captain Cook High-Tech Ceramic
Text by Kee | Photo courtesy of Rado
Rado's 'Captain Cook High-Tech Ceramic'
Rado's 'Captain Cook High-Tech Ceramic'
Rado's 'Captain Cook High-Tech Ceramic'
Rado's 'Captain Cook High-Tech Ceramic'
Rado's 'Captain Cook High-Tech Ceramic'

The concept of an all-occasion, all-terrain high-tech ceramic wristwatch is probably uncommon. Some watchmakers have tried but flattered to deceive. Now the earliest adopter of arguably the sexiest material in watchmaking has introduced the Captain Cook High-Tech Ceramic, a sleek diver’s timekeeper that will serve swagger on a regular weekday and even play survival mode for unexpected trips into the wild.

Most men we know hate the idea of swapping their wristwatches just because the occasion requires it. (Well, at least more than they care to admit.) It would be like talking up the merits of changing one’s cologne depending on the time of day or using a soup spoon for soup. We get it; there are still those with this train of thought that a good design is a good design, and not even a specific occasion or activity should rule out the possibilities of its flex. This is where Rado’s  Captain Cook makes a renewed effort to double-down on a high-tech ceramic suit that has been in the catalogue ever since its introduction in 1986 (that’s a good 35 years if you’re keeping score). Captain Cook, which is named after the famous British explorer, first made its debut for Rado nearly 60 years ago. A design that rode the wave of steel diver’s watches of that era, Captain Cook’s resurfacing today – it was discontinued by the Swiss watchmaker by the end of the ’60s – is thanks in part to the demanding lifestyle needs of today’s fast-moving crowd. Today’s Captain Cook hasn’t overhauled the original in terms of visual cues though minor technical tweaks are part and parcel of any modern day revival. Rado brought it back to form in 2017, keeping all the cool (and recognisable) bits of this bygone era piece intact: the inward sloping diving bezel, the domed dial and crystal, the swinging anchor motif at 12 o’clock, the broad lume indexes and arrow hour hand. With the Captain Cook High-Tech Ceramic, Rado has piled on some serious upgrades to create its most advanced model yet in the series. Elevated in case dimensions from the original 37mm to 43mm (also larger than the 42mm edition from 2020), the Captain Cook High-Tech Ceramic features a monobloc ceramic case and matching bracelet with a hardened stainless steel bezel with ceramic inserts (just one of four new examples in the series). For those who are unfamiliar with the hype surrounding high-tech ceramic, just note that its popularity isn’t because it’s able to retain its hue and sheen for at least until the end of time. Other key benefits include being extremely lightweight, highly scratch-resistant, robust, and capable of adapting to your body temperature instantly. Now that high-tech ceramic has gotten your attention, this latest Captain Cook isn’t short on other peacocking moves too. In order to show off its mechanics, Rado has endowed it with a tinted sapphire crystal on the dial – a rarer than rare move on a diver’s wristwatch – as well as on its case back. This allows a show-and-tell of the prowess of its self-winding heartbeat (Rado calibre R734) that is supported by the Nivachron anti-magnetic hairspring, a joint venture between The Swatch Group and Audemars Piguet in a bid to go one better than the industry’s favoured use of silicon. This non-magnetic compensating alloy is said to reduce the influence of magnetic fields that might affect the running of a watch and even be able to withstand any environmental changes in temperature thanks to its titanium base. Why is this feature important? That’s because the Captain Cook High-Tech Ceramic is showing proof that it isn’t just all looks and zero game. Strap it on for an adventure underwater or even for a casual hike, and it promises not to come out from those experiences looking a lot worse for wear. Like the British explorer this was named after, Rado has built this wristwatch for any adventures on land and sea. But if you don’t have such intentions in your bones, wearing one of these might even inspire you to live a little.


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