Rado Captain Cook Bronze: Singapore Price And Review
This vintage-style Rado gets better with age.
Introduced in the 1960s against the back of a boom for dive-ready wristwatches heralded by the likes of Blancpain’s Fifty Fathoms and Rolex’s Submariner, Rado’s original Captain Cook was a no-frills automatic tool-watch, sized at a sensible 37mm, housed in stainless steel, and water resistant to 220m. Subsequently, though, having ventured and made a name for itself in the field of high-tech ceramic watches in the 1980s, Rado seemed to have stored the Captain Cook deep in its archives. Dive watches were never Rado's strong suit anyway, as the brand concentrated on rolling out increasingly varied scratch-resistant dress watches that featured the best of cutting-edge ceramic alchemy.
The wave of demand for retro-style timepieces in recent years, however, nudged the powers that be at Rado to dust off the blueprints for the Captain Cook. In 2017, the brand relaunched the long-forgotten dive watch to the delight of vintage-loving watch buffs, resurrecting the original’s key design features such as a concave bezel (now in ceramic), domed dial cover, and broad hands and indices. The throwback aesthetic is beefed up with modern upgrades, amongst which include the ETA C07 automatic movement with 80 hours of power reserve and an escapement made from ‘ARCAP’, an alloy said to be extremely anti-magnetic.
The ensuing popularity of the new-generation Captain Cook prompted Rado to march out more references spanning different case sizes, and dial and bezel colours. This year, Rado welcomes three new bronze models to the family, a trio that adds greater dynamism and emotional pull to the Captain Cook family.
The increased demand of late for bronze watches certainly inspired Rado’s decision to pair the alloy with the collection’s ceramic bezels. The pairing of bronze’s muted gold sheen with the green, blue and brown bezels and dials work beautifully; the striking colour contrasts enhancing both legibility and presence. To complete the look, the hands, anchor logo at 12 o’clock and trims on the edges of the indices are also rendered in a bronze-like colour.
As for ‘emotional pull’, bronze watches are known to acquire a patina over time as they get exposed to the elements, according each piece its unique identity and, for its owner, a truly personalised timepiece. Unlike some bronze watches that end up tarnished with unsightly green patches, Rado uses a bronze alloy called CuAl, which comprises copper and aluminium to ensure that the Captain Cook Bronze watches are evenly patinated. The alloy is said to be more resistant to corrosion and thus allows for a more controlled oxidisation process.
Although the Captain Cook Bronze has roots as a dive watch, its colourful, exuberant style means that the timepiece is more closely aligned to its lineage in spirit than in function - even with its promise of 300m water resistance and unidirectional bezel, a feature ubiquitous to dive watches. Having said that, we are not doubting the Captain Cook Bronze's underwater capabilities. Just that it will probably be much more effectively deployed on a yacht or pool party.
|42mm bronze case and unidirectional bezel with ceramic insert
|green, brown or blue, domed and sunray finished
Automatic ETA C07
|Hours, minutes, seconds, date
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