The 1960s were a decade of rapid technological, style and fashion evolution with often remarkable creative freedom. The world made huge strides in creating striking, sometimes polarizing designs. Well, if you are 1960s-ready and seeking a dose of nostalgia, Rado celebrates the 60th anniversary of their quirky Diastar, a disruptive model marketed as the first scratchproof watch. It does so by re-editing the Diastar in four different versions. Meet the Rado Diastar Original with a new material, a new movement and new dimensions.
DISRUPTIVE DESIGN AND TECHNOLOGY
1962. Rado launches the Diastar marketed as “the first scratchproof watch in the world’s history.” The Diastar was fitted with a sapphire crystal (the use of sapphire crystals only started to spread in the 1970s and 1980s) and it was “jet-styled of scratchproof super metal, more costly than gold.” Indeed, the Diastar was crafted from ultra-resistant hard metal with an alloy formed from carbide tungsten powder using a sintering process. The success of the model set the vision for what Rado would be going forward, heralding the idea that the brand would stand for the Master of Materials – in particular today with ceramic.
The original Diastar was also disruptive with its intriguing face and offbeat design… Watch design in the 1960s certainly had its quirks. The Diastar is a polarizing watch with a retro-futuristic oval, oblong case and a round opening for the dial. Form follows function… this shield-like case was very much in line with the idea of crafting a robust, un-scratchable modern sports watch. Quoting once again ads from the period, the Diastar had been thought of as “shock protected, heatproof, freezeproof, just about everything proof.”
The Rado Diastar Original
Over the years, the Diastar has gone through several evolutions but, as the model celebrates its 60th anniversary, Rado unveils the Diastar Original. In the words of Adrian Bosshard, CEO of the brand, the brief was “to upgrade the Diastar with all the know-how and technology that Rado and the Swatch Group have but to keep the DNA of the model.”
The case of the new Rado Diastar Original is much like the inaugural watch, retaining its unmistakable oval shape and round opening but it is now 38mm in width, 45mm in length and 12.1mm in height. For the first time, the watch bezel is made from Ceramos, a high-tech composite material with the hardness properties of ceramic and the lustre and resistance of a metal alloy. With 90% of titanium carbide content, the material is lighter than its hard metal predecessor and carries superior scratch-resistant properties (1750 Vickers).
The faceted Diastar sapphire crystal has always been a distinctive design feature of the model, creating eye-catching plays of light and reflections. In this instance, the brand opted for parallel facets. The mid-case, caseback and crown are in steel. Water resistance is rated at a comfortable 10 ATM or 100-metre, making it a fairly capable daily companion.
With its original vertical day-date indication, the dial of the Rado Diastar Original comes in three different colours – blue, grey and green. It is brushed in two directions and as you would expect from Rado, it is fitted with the signature free-spinning anchor logo at 12 o’clock.
The new Diastar is powered by the Rado R764 calibre (previously used in the Captain Cook for instance). This automatic movement with day-date indication is based on the C07.111, the brand’s take on the modernized version of the tried-and-tested ETA 2824. A worthy upgrade restricted to Swatch group’s brands, the movement has a power reserve beefed up to 80 hours. The hairspring is crafted from Nivachron offering enhanced resistance to magnetic fields. The stop second mechanism allows for precise setting.
All of this makes for a functional, accurate and reliable movement. And if the movement cannot be seen as the Diastar Original is fitted with a solid caseback, its R764 calibre is gold plated and its rotor takes the shape of the Rado anchor. Last, the watch is worn on a polished/brushed H-link steel bracelet with a security folding buckle released by a pair of pushers.
The Rado Diastar Original 60-YEAR ANNIVERSARY EDITION
To further celebrate this meaningful anniversary and to bring a slightly different spin on the Diastar, Rado also called on the expertise of Swiss-Argentinian product designer Alfredo Häberli, who describes himself as a blend of Swiss precision and Latin American emotionality.
The Rado Diastar Original 60-Year Anniversary Edition brings a slight geometric adaptation to the case to make it look lighter. One of the most visible changes is probably related to the finishing of the case, with a radially-brushed bezel. Another major difference is the faceted hexagonal sapphire crystal. It slightly protrudes from the case with 6 facets to celebrate 6 decades of Diastar.
The grey dial matches the colour of the case. The hands and date display were designed to look as modern and abstract as possible. The day indication itself is displayed not with words but with a coloured window showing the progression of the weekdays. Turning the watch over, the case back is engraved with the caption “DIASTAR ORIGINAL 60-YEAR ANNIVERSARY EDITION, DESIGN AFLREDO HÄBERLI”
This anniversary edition comes with two strap/bracelet options completing its monochromatic attire: a satin-brushed steel Milanese bracelet and a grey textile strap. Each is fitted with an extendable security folding clasp and they can be exchanged in seconds thanks to the EasyClip spring-bar system. Last, it is delivered with a nice travel leather pouch to store the watch and the spare strap.
The Rado Diastar Original models retail for CHF 1,350. The Rado Diastar Original 60-Year Anniversary Edition will be a little more expensive, at CHF 1,850. For more details, please visit www.rado.com.