While I like this new watch range a lot I am torn because it is a Rado without being a modern Rado. What do I mean? Well for the last long while Rado watches have been mostly typified by having mostly ceramic cases. In fact Rado was pretty much the innovator behind ceramic watch. For 2012 a cool re-done diver collection comes out and it barely has any ceramic! Well, a bit more on the chrono model. If you can get over that then you’ll probably like these new D-Star 200 Dive watches a lot.

I am not sure of all the color styles that will be available but so far we have blue and black trim models. The D-Star 200 will also come in three-hand and chronograph variants. The three-hand model will be 42mm wide and the chronograph will be 44mm wide. The cases are in steel and sort of retro-barrel shaped. I actually like this case design a lot. Interestingly enough Rado claims that the deployment clasps on the bracelets will be in titanium.

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The D-Star 200 names stems from the fact that the watches are water resistant to 200 meters. They have sapphire crystals and display casebacks. Since the Rado logo is actually an anchor they styled the rotor in the movement to look like anchors – I thought that was a nice touch. The only ceramic element on the watches is the insert in the rotating bezel. It is either blue or black depending on the model. At least they included some ceramic there – which will work to assist with scratch resistance in that area.

Dial design is good but nothing revolutionary. These are actually quite sober designs with origins from the 1960s. Smooth legibility with a hint of pizazz. The contrasting colors on the chronograph make it a winner and my favorite model. Rado opted for bi-compax chronograph layout which a centrally aligned date. The symmetrical look is a benefit to the design and I like that they used a reverse mounted magnifier to make reading the date more convenient.

Inside the three-hand model is a relatively simple Swiss ETA 2824-2 automatic movement. They decorated it to look quite snazzy. The chronograph has a newer ETA A05.H31 that has 54 hours of power reserve, and some other nice features. This would be the version I would opt for – especially since the case size is a bit larger.

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The three-hand version has a simple steel bracelet, but it is nice and it tapers. Overall it should be comfortable. The chronograph on the other hand finally shows a bit more ceramic. The bracelet has a black ceramic inner link next to the steel links for more interesting two-tone look to match the dial. Overall these are rather impressive watches designed for the mainstream market and they should do when well released later in 2012.

SPECS: Rado D-Star 200 Automatic
Movement: 11 ½ ETA 2824-2, automatic, 25 jewels, 3 hands, date at 3 o‘clock, 38 hours power reserve, decorated movement
Dial: Blue, sunbrushed with 11 steel-colour applied indexes with white luminous
Anchor moving symbol, Silver-colour printed Rado and Automatic logos
Case: Polished steel, Steel turning bezel with blue ceramic insert and steel-colour metallised numerals
Steel middle part, Pressed on steel back with sapphire crystal, Curved sapphire crystal with integrated magnifier, Steel crown
Water resistant up to 20 bar (200m)
Hands: Steel-colour with printed blue line, white luminous
Steel-colour second hand
Bracelet: 3-row solid steel, satin brushed and polished, Titanium 3-fold buckle
Dimensions: 42.0 x 46.0 x 12.5 (WxLxH in mm)

SPECS: Rado D-Star 200 Automatic Chronograph
Movement: 13 ¼ ETA A05.H31, automatic chronograph, 27 jewels, 5 hands, date at 6 o‘clock, 54 hours power reserve, Small seconds, 30-minute and 60-second counters, Add and Split functions, black oscillating mass, Movement exclusive to Rado
Dial: Black, sunbrushed with 9 steel colour applied indexes with white luminous Anchor moving symbol,
White printed Rado and Automatic logos
Case: Polished steel with steel turning bezel with black high-tech ceramic insert and steel-colour metallised numerals
Steel middle part, Pressed on steel back with sapphire crystal, Curved sapphire crystal with integrated magnifier
Water resistant to 20 bar (200m)
Hands: Steel-colour with printed black line, white luminous
Steel-colour second and counter hands
Bracelet: 3 row solid steel with black high tech ceramic middle links
Titanium 3-fold buckle
Dimensions: 44.0 x 48.2 x 15.7 (WxLxH in mm)

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