Rado R-One “Tron” Watch Hands-On

Rado R-One “Tron” Watch Hands-On

Rado R One Tron Watch Hands On   hands on

While it does not surprise me much, I can't say that I would have guessed Rado would bring out a watch with the aesthetic of Tron. In a way I get it. Rado had a nice time in the 1980s when it started to popularize ceramic cased watches, and Tron came out in the 1980s. Both were futuristic in their own avant garde manner. The Rado R-One (R-1) isn't per se a "Tron watch" as there is no official connection, but you'd be amiss to find the R-One's design not wholly inspired by the movie franchise.

It is a limited edition for 2012 and it is quite expensive. Rado, like other large group owned brands, deserves some fun in design without having to focus on purely marketable timepieces. There is no mainstream appeal to the R-One, which is one reason why Rado will only produce 300 pieces. It does however offer a cool factor and you may want to look closely at Rado again.

Rado R One Tron Watch Hands On   hands on

Rado R One Tron Watch Hands On   hands on

Rado at Baselworld 2012 had one of the biggest new collections around - especially with their massive new collection of HyperChrome watches (that I debuted here). What Rado also needed was something interesting to get media involved, and something Rado retailers could have in their showcase that would attract people. Come for the R-One, leave with the HyperChrome (or something else). Rado is pushing to be big again, especially in the Western world where the brand hasn't quite been able to keep up with popular trends. Though with Swatch muscle and ceramic DNA, they are actually in a good position to engage consumers looking to spend between $1,000 - $4,000 on a Swiss watch with a neat look.

Rather than go ultra complicated with something like a Rado tourbillon, they instead wanted to bank in on the pop-culture inspired futuristic look that has been popular as of late. The R-One does have that hallmark - enough though it is a decidedly strange watch. No designer would ever make something like this as a mainstream piece - it is art.

Rado R One Tron Watch Hands On   hands on

Rado R One Tron Watch Hands On   hands on

The case design is pretty cool for this watch. Like a curved rectangle, it is in ceramic and titanium being 48.5mm tall by 34.5mm wide. A notable feature is how the straps are attached. There is a sort of retainer tube (that you can see right through), on the side of the case that holds the strap in place. I think it is probably clear that only Rado will be able to change the strap for you. The angular look of the case is still nicely curved where it counts. There is a fine mixtures of angles and organic curves on the case.

For the dial, Rado chose a unique route. The watch face itself is petite at best, residing in the center of the dial with lots of empty space above and below it. While it is smaller in comparison to the rest of the dial, the watch face is legible and well done in Rado fashion. Note that the little Rado anchor logo actually moves around like a small rotor. Inside the watch is a rarely used movement which is the Swiss ETA 2094 automatic chronograph. Think of it as a smaller version of the 2894 chronograph. You can see the movement through the caseback window with a custom Rado automatic rotor.

Rado R One Tron Watch Hands On   hands on

Rado R One Tron Watch Hands On   hands on

Rado R One Tron Watch Hands On   hands on

The dial, like the case is black ceramic. Rado mixes glossy polished and matte ceramic throughout the case design. There isn't too much contrast but it helps the design from feeling too flat. The "Tron-esque" aspect of the watch are strips of glowing blue piping. They do glow in the dark and are matched to the colors of the hour and minute hands. The blue lume strips run on the sides and middle of the case. With a slightly different color of blue - the decorative line from the center of the watch continues on the rubber strap.

Rado R One Tron Watch Hands On   hands on

Rado R One Tron Watch Hands On   hands on

Over the dial is a sapphire crystal, and you'll notice that is has a unique shape with an indented center section. This piece along with the uniquely cut ceramic case are more than likely to be the most expensive parts of the R-One watch. With the unique look and limited production, Rado is rather ambitious with the price. Each of the 300 pieces is priced at $15,000.

11 comments
nyrB
nyrB

I'm a Rado fan but I must say the jury is still out on this one,

Pricey & as previously said the novelty will soon wear off?

MichaelG
MichaelG

I concur with all the comments made previously and I do like the watch for it's elegant futuristic looks. Dial could have been resolved better... maybe even digital! Strap with blue accents would look killer. Ultimately, Rado can only dare put that price tag on it because of it's exclusivity / low production.

shinytoys
shinytoys

I love Rado, makes my heart go thump-it-ti-thump...and this piece is gorgeous, but 15K, c'mon boys, have a heart...

nateb123
nateb123

Not a massive fan with the watch dial being so squished in the centre but it's still awesome for being so crazy.  300 sounds like a smart number especially at $15000.  It's way too expensive for what it is but it will still get snatched up by people who have nothing like it and want the futuristic look (and have tons of money to burn).  It's a smart way to get a more upmarket crowd (aka the people who keep buying Hublot special editions over and over) into Rado.  Meanwhile the D-Star and Hyperchromes will reel in the volume market,

300Watches
300Watches

didn't really like the movie, but i could easily fall in love with this watch

SuperStrapper
SuperStrapper

Geez, it's really cool, but like start said, the last bit just kind slapped me in the face. I would have considered this in the under $5k range - because it is unlike anything i have now, and because I know I would wear it. But for $15k, hells no.

 

Oh well. Neat though - I'd like to give it a try. I see on the back that this is a prototype - hopefully the released version improves on the strap a bit. At least use the same colour in it as the piping on the dial to bring it all together.  

Ulysses31
Ulysses31

Quorra would have to hand-deliver this watch for me to even consider a purchase.  It's neat-looking but the novelty would fade real fast.

Greg S
Greg S

Like a digital bucket of cold water your last sentence totally killed my lust for this watch. Curses Rado!

star42
star42

Just so you know Ariel, you've made a typo with the price of this watch. It seems you've accidentally added an extra zero to the price. I mean $15 000 for this watch would be just hilarious! Right?....

Tarak
Tarak

Totally worth dumping my Royal Oak fund for this watch.

Ariel Adams
Ariel Adams

It is a weird watch, but I like seeing odd stuff like that from mainstream brands.

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