In a dive watch landscape divided between vintage-inspired designs and forward-looking modernist interpretations, few diver series are able to successfully balance both sides of the spectrum as well as the Rado Captain Cook line. While its faithful 37mm interpretations of the original ‘60s Captain Cook have been an enthusiast hit for years, Rado’s more modern Captain Cook offerings received a major boost in 2021 with the introduction of the Captain Cook High-Tech Ceramic Diver. The original Captain Cook High-Tech Ceramic Diver was a stylish showcase of the brand’s ceramic expertise, pairing a lightweight and durable case and bracelet to an evocative smoked transparent dial. Although this transparent dial made for a striking look, it also affected legibility, and disqualified the otherwise rugged design from the coveted ISO 6425 standard for dive watches. Rado aims to resolve this issue in 2022 with a host of new ceramic Captain Cook entries, bringing solid dials and a wide variety of new visual options to the line, while creating the brand’s first-ever ISO 6425-certified dive watches. The new Rado Captain Cook High-Tech Ceramic Diver models deliver a solidly capable and thoroughly modern take on the brand’s cornerstone dive watch, with distinctive color options and impressive specifications.
At 43mm-wide, the monobloc ceramic cases of the Rado Captain Cook High-Tech Ceramic Diver line should provide a boldly modern stance on the wrist while hearkening back to many of the classic Captain Cook’s visual cues. Each new model in the line shares the same distinctive inward-sloping ceramic bezel insert, a bezel and unguarded pillbox crown in stainless steel, sharply downturned attached lugs, and a vintage-style box sapphire crystal. From there, each model gives the base design its own personality. The most aggressive and immediately striking model in images is undoubtedly the matte black ceramic design, which combines its stealthy base color with brightly polished stainless steel elements for high-impact contrast. The matte khaki ceramic model offers a more muted, military-inspired perspective, combining the deep tan of the case with a bezel and crown in matte blasted stainless steel for a modern low-reflectivity look. Lastly, for those searching for a more traditional style, Rado’s unique plasma ceramic gives its matte case some of the luster of steel or titanium while maintaining the material benefits (scratch resistance, weight savings, and hypo-allergenic construction) of its ceramic formula. Each model in the series is finished with an engraved titanium caseback, depicting Rado’s twin seahorse motif above a sharply rendered wave pattern backdrop. Rado rates each of these models for a dive-ready 300 meters of water resistance.
Although the base layout remains the same as previous iterations, the more reserved solid dial treatments of these new Rado Captain Cook High-Tech Ceramic Diver models bring a more traditional feel to the design while aiding at-a-glance legibility. Each of the four dial options shares its layout with the rest of the Captain Cook line, with the series’ signature polished straight sword and arrow handset flanked by applied rectangular and wedge indices, Rado’s unique ruby-tone spinning rotor emblem at 12 o’clock, and a vintage-style 3 o’clock date window with printed red numerals. All four dial variants also feature a light dégradé effect around the hours track in images, accentuating the sense of visual depth created by the domed dial surface and steeply sloping chapter ring. Black-cased models are fitted with the most straightforward dial option, a simple gloss black lacquered dial that keeps the dark and moody colorway intact. Likewise, khaki-cased variants are fitted with a tone-on-tone matte khaki dial, with a subtle sunburst effect in images. Plasma-cased models receive the greatest variety in dial finishes, with eye-catching gloss sunburst designs in deep subdued tropical brown and a cool oceanic blue in images.
The ETA C07.611-based R763 automatic movement inside the Rado Captain Cook High-Tech Ceramic Diver is every bit as modern and capable as its ceramic case material. Sporting a massive 80 hour power reserve and an antimagnetic Nivachron hairspring, the R763 offers impressively robust performance. Rado claims this movement exceeds its standard test requirements for accuracy in five positions (although the brand does not specify what these accuracy standards are), but its slightly pedestrian 21,600 bph beat rate may be a disappointment to some.
Rado complements the variety of these new Captain Cook High-Tech Ceramic Diver models with a wide range of strap options. Plasma-cased models are fitted with a matching three-link oyster-style bracelet in matching plasma ceramic, featuring brightly polished center links that accentuate the material’s metal-like luster in images. For black-cased variants, Rado offers a similar matte blasted and polished three-link bracelet in black ceramic alongside a Milanese-textured strap in black rubber for a more contemporary look. Lastly, the khaki case variant’s ceramic bracelet echoes the matte finishing of the case with a fully matte khaki design, while a Milanese-textured khaki rubber strap is also available.
With new colorways, rugged modern construction, and the brand’s first-ever ISO 6425 certification for dive watches, these new Rado Captain Cook High-Tech Ceramic Diver models combine the brand’s modern strengths with classic design cues to propel the series to new frontiers for the future. Each new model in the Rado Captain Cook High-Tech Ceramic Diver line is available now through authorized dealers. Starting MSRP for these new models stands at 3,000 CHF as of press time. For more details, please visit the brand’s website.