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INTRODUCING: Rado DiaStar Original Skeleton

The Rado DiaStar Original Skeleton in stainless steel and Ceramos bezel.

The iconic timepiece from the ‘Master of Materials’ gets a stylish update with a skeletonised movement.

When Rado unveiled the Diastar in the 1960s, it emerged as one of the most polarising designs in the watchmaking industry; its unusual shape drew both commendation and condemnation. But if you were a fan, you were one for life. And it must be said that when worn, its dimensions make for a remarkably ergonomic watch indeed. Of special note was the tungsten-carbide case, which was robust and comfortable to the touch.

The Rado DiaStar 1 or DiaStar Original from 1962.
The Rado DiaStar 1 or DiaStar Original from 1962.

The DiaStar Original was not only touted as scratchproof due to the high-tech ceramic case it was housed in, but also super-waterproof, with a 220-metre resistance. It featured four patents and claimed three guarantees: technical, waterproof and scratchproof. Last year, in conjunction with the collection’s 60th anniversary, a proprietary alloy of ceramic and hard metal called Ceramos was introduced to the DiaStar.

The Rado DiaStar Original Skeleton in stainless steel and Ceramos bezel.
The Rado DiaStar Original Skeleton in stainless steel and Ceramos bezel.

DiaStar’s evolution continues just a year later with another first for the collection: a skeletonised movement that beautifully fills the space within the signature oval-shaped case. The case is in steel with a Ceramos bezel. Ceramos is a ceramic-metal composite that’s made of 90 per cent high-tech ceramic along with a metal binding agent. It offers a metallic finish with ultra-lightweight and hard properties. The movement is a new variant of the R808 automatic movement, this anthracite grey calibre is complemented by bi-colour hands and indexes for a lovely visual dance of contrasts.

The facetted sapphire crystal that protects the skeleton movement of the Rado DiaStar Original Skeleton.
The facetted sapphire crystal that protects the skeleton movement of the Rado DiaStar Original Skeleton.

Sapphire crystal on both the front and back allows unimpeded views of this movement, which boasts 80 hours of power reserve. What’s enigmatic is the facetting on the sapphire crystal – eight in all, including the flat top. An antimagnetic Nivachron hairspring ensures that everything stays extremely precise and reliable in a movement that has been tested in five positions. The case is joined to a comfortable three-link bracelet in stainless steel with alternating polished and brushed surfaces, secured to the wrist by a triple-fold buckle.

The Rado DiaStar Original Skeleton, worn on the wrist of a model.
The Rado DiaStar Original Skeleton, worn on the wrist of a model.

If the original DiaStar was a masculine representation of the quirky design ethos of the 60s, this skeletonised version is far more refined. While we would stop short of calling the new model more feminine, it certainly does exude a more elegant air – so much so that we wonder why the design team at Rado hadn’t thought to fit the DiaStar with an open-worked movement before this. From a design point of view, there is much to appreciate – the clever shape of the seconds sweeper, for example, and the facetted sapphire crystal with a square motif reminiscent of an earlier model.

The shape of the Rado DiaStar Original Skeleton from the side certainly reminds us of something alien and cool.
The shape of the Rado DiaStar Original Skeleton from the side certainly reminds us of something alien and cool.

The entire watch reminds us of a UFO – which may well have inspired its original design, if you believe what's being discussed in the US at the moment. The 38mm watch fits very easily on every wrist because the lugs are integrated into the case itself. The DiaStar is priced at S$2,950 and available at all authorised retailers and boutiques.

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Editor

Darren has been writing about, and admiring the craft of watchmaking for over a dozen years. He considers himself lucky to live in a golden age of horology, and firmly believes that the most difficult watches to design are the simplest and the most intriguing to discover.


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