With its Captain Cook, Rado, a brand part of the Swatch Group, is merging two important sides of its history. First, this watch collection revived one of the brand’s greatest watches of the past, a 1960s dive watch with a rather peculiar yet attractive design. Second, it is used as a vessel to showcase the company’s leading know-how in high-tech materials (the brand labels itself as The Master of Materials), in particular ceramics. This skilful blend of retro vibes and high-tech materials has recently been demonstrated with the Captain Cook High-Tech Ceramic Skeleton, which is now available in an unexpectedly cool mix of olive-green ceramic and PVD rose gold accents.
The Rado Captain Cook started its life as a classic take on the dive watch, yet with a slightly original design. Born in 1962, it was revamped in 2017 as a limited edition, then followed in 2019 by yet another 37mm limited edition – both watches faithful to the original concept and design, made out of stainless steel and overall playing on the vintage trend. Soon after, Rado, despite keeping the overall design alive, with the bowl-shaped bezel and domed sapphire crystal, started to play with materials. The brand first released a bronze collection. And in 2021 and 2022, things moved in a different direction, with the release of several ceramic models, such as the Ceramic Diver and the High-Tech Plasma Ceramic with an openworked movement.
Last year, Rado unveiled a slightly revamped edition with the Captain Cook High-Tech Ceramic Skeleton, a watch made of dark grey high-tech ceramic, with multiple rose gold PVD-coated accents and a more geometric layout for its openworked movement. Using this watch as a base, the brand now unveils a new version, with a combination of colours that could, at first, sound rather special. But the result surprisingly strikes high on the scale of cool.
Olive green… This is the main theme here, for most elements of the watch. It isn’t a first for Rado, which has used this military-inspired colour already in the Captain Cook High-Tech Ceramic Diver. Yet it is here used in a slightly more exuberant way. This Captain Cook Skeleton is housed in a sizeable case measuring 43mm in diameter, 14.6mm in thickness and almost 50mm in length. It is, without a doubt, a powerful sports watch that won’t fly under the radar. That being said, the overall shape is surprisingly ergonomic, with curved lugs and a clever integration of the strap, resulting in a watch that feels more comfortable than numbers suggest.
The main topic here are the colours. The monobloc ceramic case, a speciality of Rado, is made of matte ceramic in a cool olive-green tone. The same material is used for the bezel’s insert and the overall non-reflective effect is pretty cool… And then polished accents PVD-coated in rose gold enter the room (bezel frame and crown), bringing contrast, warmth and an unexpected touch of bling. It might sound special on paper but the result is actually quite attractive. It won’t be to everyone’s taste, that’s for sure. For the rest, classic elements of the Captain Cook have been retained, such as the concave shape of the bezel with an ultra-domed sapphire crystal, a see-through back and a screw-down crown. And this is a capable dive watch with a 300m water-resistance and a diving scale coated in Super-LumiNova.
The dial of this new olive green Captain Cook High-Tech Ceramic Skeleton follows suit. The openworked movement is visible under a slightly tinted crystal and is framed by a matte green inner flange. The latter is punctuated by rose-gold coated hour markers, generously filled with Super-LumiNova. The same method is used for the hands. The overall legibility is good, specifically for an openworked watch. The final touch is the emblematic free-spinning anchor logo at 12 o’clock with a synthetic ruby backplate. The centre-wheel bridge is also gold-coloured to match the overall theme of the watch, while the rest of the movement is nickel-plated.
Under the sapphire and titanium caseback of this Captain Cook High-Tech Ceramic Skeleton is the Rado Calibre R808, which is essentially a reworked and openworked version of Swatch Group’s Powermatic 80 movement. This automatic calibre beats at a 3Hz frequency and stores up to 80 hours of power reserve when fully wound. It is also equipped with an antimagnetic Nivachron hairspring and is wound by an anchor-shaped rotor.
This Olive Green Rado Captain Cook High-Tech Ceramic Skeleton is worn on an integrated, textured rubber strap with curved ends, closed by a folding clasp with a ceramic buckle cover. It will also be available with a matching matte green ceramic bracelet. Soon available as part of the permanent collection, it will be priced at EUR 4,550, CHF 3,950 or USD 4,100. For more details, please consult rado.com.