Monochrome Watches
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The Golden Aura of the Rado DiaStar Original Skeleton

A yellow gold-coloured Ceramos bezel captures the funky Midas vibe of a vintage 1970s Diastar.

| By Rebecca Doulton | 3 min read |

Rado is synonymous with innovative materials, and the DiaStar, introduced in 1962, paved the way as the world’s first scratchproof watch made from an ultra-resilient hard metal in a futuristic oval case. Renowned as the ‘Master of Materials’, Rado’s competency today lies in high-tech ceramic cases and bracelets. To celebrate the DiaStar’s grand 60th birthday, the watch was given a gleaming composite Ceramos suit last year and also materialised in a contemporary skeletonised edition. Today, Rado takes a page from its 1970s playbook and launches a flamboyant yellow gold-coloured DiaStar with a mirror-like golden Ceramos bezel and an openworked dial.

The DiaStar was a child of the 1960s with its futuristic flying saucer case and round porthole over the dial. Almost like a helmet, the sloping flanks of the case were enormous and gave the watch its distinctive personality. Marketed as the first scratch-resistant watch made with carbide tungsten and fitted with a sapphire crystal – an innovative choice given the predominance of mineral and polymer glass – the name DiaStar was derived from the brief to be as “tough as a diamond and shine like a star”. It was an instant hit and, in 1972, appeared in an eye-catching yellow gold-coloured scratchproof case.

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Coinciding with its 60th anniversary, Rado upgraded the DiaStar with a contemporary movement and sheathed in a case made from a high-tech composite material with the hardness of ceramic and the lustre and resistance of a metal alloy. With its 90% carbide content, Ceramos is lighter than its hard metal ancestors but still retains superior scratch-resistant properties. The yellow gold-coloured DiaStar has a diameter of 38mm, a length of 45mm and a height of 11.9mm. Dominating the composition is the powerful helmet-like bezel made from Ceramos with a yellow-gold PVD coating, and boy, does that bezel shine! The middle case, caseback, bracelet and crown are made of stainless steel with a gold-coloured PVD coating, and the water-resistance rating is 100 metres. A distinctive design feature of the DiaStar is the faceted sapphire crystal that rises over the dial, forming a central square with sloping lateral flanks.

The skeletonised anthracite-coated automatic movement powering the DiaStar is positioned beneath the openworked dark grey train bridge, revealing many movement components. Attached to the black annular ring on the periphery with white minute markings, the golden hour markers are suspended over the movement. To assist legibility, the golden indices and hour and minute hands are treated with white Super-LumiNova. Perched at 9 o’clock is the brand’s signature gold pivoting Rado anchor set against a red background.

Also fitted with a sapphire crystal on the caseback, more details of the R808 calibre can be seen, including the anchor-shaped rotor with its Geneva stripes. Fitted with a Nivachron hairspring to protect the movement from magnetic fields and temperature fluctuations, the movement is regulated in five positions and delivers a robust power reserve of 80 hours.

The stainless steel bracelet with a triple-folding clasp and EasyClip system is also treated to a yellow gold PVD coating with polished H-links and contrasting brushed internal links. And while we have no doubts whatsoever about the ultra-resilient scratchproof qualities of the Ceramos bezel, will the golden PVD coating be up for the challenge? The Rado DiaStar Original Skeleton joins the regular collection and retails for EUR 2,600.

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3 responses

  1. Lovely piece, but I can’t convince myself buying one because I already own a Diastar 😅

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