"HyperChrome" sounds like a pretty cool name if you ask me. That could be the name a neat video game or anime TV show. But no, for 2012 the HyperChrome is going to be a new collection of watches from Rado. In this article I am debuting two of the new HyperChrome watches, but according to Rado there will be about 27 varieties this year alone!
The HyperChrome asserts Rado's key strength as a producer of quality ceramic watches. Available in black and white ceramic variants, Rado uses some sophisticated technology to make nicely formed ceramic parts. The case for example is a monocoque (single) piece, with hardened steel sidings. Hardness rating for them is 1,250 Vickers. It comes in a few styles and sizes for both men and women.
Rado has learned over the last few years that many of its key designs (many thematically unchanged since the 1980s) are a bit too distinct for the modern mass market. I think that a lot of their core pieces will stick around, but they are really working on spicing up the collection with more mainstream designs. Rado was the first brand to really make something of the ceramic watch, but it took Chanel to highly popularize the material. Learning a few lessons from Chanel as well as other brands, Rado is pushing forward to become a major brand internationally once again.
The men's piece here is in black ceramic with steel pushers (set with ceramic pieces in them). The crown is rubber coated. The case is 45mm wide and sporty in an elegant manner. The design reminds me a bit of some of the more recent Movado pieces. The piece is called the Rado HyperChrome Automatic Chronograph XXL (I assume there will be smaller ones as well with a name like that). The case and bracelet look great and the dial is very traditional with modern minimalist elements.
An interesting design note that Rado mentions is that the Rado anchor logo placed under 12 o'clock actually moves. I assume it spins around like a tiny rotor if I understand their language correctly. If that is true then I think it will be fun and unique element to the collection. The cases are really quite nice and I enjoy what Rado is doing mixing metal and ceramic parts. The side of the HyperChrome Automatic Chronograph XXL is just very neat looking. Crystals are of course sapphire, and the cases are water resistant to 100 meters.
Both the three-hand and chronograph variants share the same type of dial theme. Mid 20th century era hands and hour markers that you'd find in Rado pieces from the past. They translate well into classy sport watch styles in watches today. For women Rado has use previewing for you a white and PVD rose gold women's model of the HyperChrome. The attractive looking piece is 36mm wide and feels like a good mix of white and gold colors. I am very curious about the rest of the HyperChrome collection.
This HyperChrome Chronograph comes with a Swiss ETA 2894-2 automatic chronograph movement while the HyperChrome Automatic contains an ETA 2681 automatic movement. While I don't know too much about the rest of the watches I do know that there will be additional case size options. All will be in either black or white ceramic, and there will be automatic and quartz movement options available. There will also be models of the HyperChrome with diamond decoration. The bracelets further look appealing - and according to Rado they have titanium deployment clasps.
Overall it seems like Rado is starting off 2012 properly with their new D-Star 200 Dive watch and the HyperChrome. Two product families with universal appeal and good use of the brand strengths and history.