When I was eight or nine, I played tennis for my neighborhood’s swim and tennis club. At least, I went to tennis camp for several summers; tennis was one of the many sports and activities that my parents had me signed up for in an effort to expend some of my seemingly inexhaustible energy. I remember one summer going on a fieldtrip to a tennis tournament in Washington, DC: The Legg Mason Tennis Classic. It’s one of those kid memories, though, where you know it happened, and you remember flashes, but nothing solid. It becomes eelier the closer you get to it, always wriggling out of your hands right when you think you’ve grabbed it. The only part that’s clear in my mind is walking around a corner of the Fitzgerald Tennis Center. In the intervening decades, I’ve driven past the complex on a few occasions, always recalling that fieldtrip. A few months ago, when I got an email from Rado that it would be a sponsor at the Mubadala Citi DC Open, as it’s now known, I was compelled by nostalgia to take advantage. Hopefully, I’d be able to fill in some of the gaps in my memory. To accompany me, the brand sent its collaboration with British tennis pro Cameron Norrie, the Rado Captain Cook x Cameron Norrie Limited Edition.

I’ll tell you right now that I do not follow tennis. I understand the general rules about service and play and scoring, and I used to know the big names. But the tournament roster left me guessing; even hometown hero Francis Tiafoe, ranked 10th in the world, was unfamiliar to me. But the thing I’ve found about live sports is that it really doesn’t matter whether you know about the sport or who’s playing—invariably, the energy of the crowd and tension of the competition will sweep you up into its current.

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Plus, tennis events are great for watchspotting: I buddied up with a gentleman wearing an F.P. Journe, saw a woman in box seats rocking a Panerai Luminor, and observed no small number of Rolexes. On my wrist (and occasionally on that of my friend who came along with me) for the entire weekend, though, was the Rado Captain Cook x Cameron Norrie Limited Edition, which had me very much in the mood for tennis.

Rado has been involved with tennis since the 1980s when it took the place as a sponsor of the Swiss Open Gstaad after the original sponsor backed out. By the late 1990s, the brand sponsored over 40 professional tournaments as official timekeeper. While the current list is significantly shorter at just six tournaments, it remains the only sport in which the brand is involved, and Rados are on the wrist of a roster of tour professionals. The Rado Captain Cook x Cameron Norrie Limited Edition takes the brand’s highly successful reissue and injects it full of tennis, though the case remains unchanged from previous 42mm models.

The fully polished case has a somewhat angular shape, with thin lugs that have a slight downturn across the 46.5mm lug-to-lug. There’s a screw-down crown emblazoned with the anchor logo helping to achieve an impressive 300m of water resistance. Like most people, I never had a need for that kind of depth rating, certainly not at the tournament nor even when I took it to the beach with my family, where it performed very well in and out of the ocean.

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The hallmark of the Captain Cook collection is its stadium bezel. The coin edge is fully polished, as is the ceramic green insert, which features engraved, Super-LumiNova-filled markings. Similar to a flat bezel but far cooler looking, this style maximizes the grip area while minimizing the height, whereas more common convex bezels often result in either more height or less grip. To be sure, the Cameron Norrie Captain Cook passed my stringent bezel test: I was able to rotate it while both my hands and the bezel were wet (during my sons’ bath times and while in the ocean). The proportional benefits of the height are evident, too, with the watch measuring 12.3mm thick and wearing incredibly well, especially for a 42mm, 300m WR timepiece. While it’s not the thinnest 300m Swiss diver out there, it beats out both the Omega Seamaster and the Rolex Submariner, the former of which has a laughably useless bezel when wet.

The Rado Captain Cook x Cameron Norrie Limited Edition comes with three bands. Fitted to the watch upon its arrival was a dual-finished 3-link bracelet, with brushed interior links and the outer links and the butterfly clasp polished. You may be cringing at the butterfly clasp, but Rado smartly includes a half-link in the bracelet for precise sizing. Also included is a comfortable black leather strap with a polished folding clasp and a matching green-and-white NATO strap if you really want to turn the tennis up to 11.  The leather strap has a texture that gives it a textile appearance and has quick-release pins built in.

My gripe with the bracelet is Rado’s EasyClip system, which they say allows for changes “quickly and easily.” The system has the quick-release spring bars (seen above) that slide into a channel in the end links and act as any spring bars would with the NATO. That’s fine for keeping those bands on and for removing them, but when it comes time to reseat the bracelet, you have to manage both the bar’s position within the channel and relative to the lugs, in addition to making sure they don’t fly out in the process. All this is to say that an integrated quick-release mechanism would’ve been preferable, even if it meant using my own spring bars for the NATO.

The Cameron Norrie Captain Cook’s dial is where it all comes together, though. This is where Norrie and Rado had their bit of fun. You’ve got the standard big arrow hour hand (plus a tennis-ball yellow seconds hand tip) and applied markers that feature on all Captain Cooks, plus the same dial text and the wonderful red text date wheel. That’s all great and you’ll hear no complaints from me about legibility nor the brightness of the Super-LumiNova. Bringing together the white and green motif from the NATO and the bezel, the Norrie edition introduces a white-to-green gradient that culminates in a deep green chapter ring.

Altogether, the colorway evokes the grass courts of Wimbledon, a great aesthetic choice that’s attractive even without the tennis connection. But the chapter ring contains another easter egg. Four lumed yellow “balls” correspond to the points in tennis: love, 15, 30, 40. I even tried to use them to track the points during a match, but obviously, that didn’t work, and that’s not what they were designed for. They do, however, provide subtle contrast to the lume of the hands and indices. I found them to be a fun bit of quirk that added just the right amount of tennis to the watch to push it beyond being just another version of the Captain Cook with a new dial color.

Rado’s signature spinning anchor logo used to be an indicator of when a watch needed service: It was treated with the same lubricant as the movement components, so when it stopped spinning, it meant the rest of the watch was in a similar condition. So charming and quirky is it that there was a time a few years ago when I spent a month or two trying to find a vintage Rado solely because of the spinning anchor. On modern Rados, it still spins, but it’s no longer recommended for use as a service indicator, which is fine by me. (If I had this and treated it like my other watches, the service indicator would simply be that it no longer worked.) It hasn’t lost any of its charm, and while I certainly did flick my wrist solely to see it spin, physics or something meant that by the time my wrist stopped moving, so too had the anchor. All I got was to see it in a different position, knowing that for a short while, in the blur of my wrist’s motion, it had, indeed, rotated.

As a limited edition, the watch gets a smokey sapphire crystal exhibition caseback with Cameron Norrie’s signature and limited edition text in a metallic print—the watch is limited to 823, a nod to Norrie’s August 23rd birthday. The printing is such that you only get a clear view when it catches the light, something I prefer to the less mysterious “always on” alternative. Through the caseback, you get a view of the Rado R8763 automatic caliber, based on the ETA C07.611. This movement sees use elsewhere under the Swatch Umbrella as the Caliber 80 in Midos and the H-10 in Hamiltons. In effect, it’s an ETA 2824-2 that’s been downclocked to 21,600 vph to deliver a power reserve of 80 hours. On the day I sat down to write this, I grabbed the watch to wear after a few days away and was pleasantly surprised as to how it was still running on time. Then I remembered the 80-hour power reserve and said to myself, “Oh, that is nice.”

Coco Gauff celebrates her victory (6-2, 6-3) over Maria Sakkari in the Women’s Singles final.

Strictly speaking, this isn’t a tennis watch. That is, it’s not made for tennis. To find one of those, you’d need to check out the Richard Mille RM27-04 Tourbillon Rafael Nadal and a little over $1 million. For tennis-themed watches, you could go for one of the new Maurice de Mauriac Rallymasters, but those kind of hit you over the head with the racquet, as it were. Or you could go for something a bit less refined and more gift-shoppy like this old U.S. Open watch. The Rado Captain Cook x Cameron Norrie Limited Edition, on the other hand, is a watch that takes a more classic diver design and peppers it with winks and nods to the sport. In my opinion, it’s the best way to do a themed watch, and building on the Captain Cook’s already excellent design, it’s why the watch works so incredibly well. The Rado Captain Cook x Cameron Norrie Limited Edition is priced at $2,700 USD and is limited to 823 pieces. For more information, please visit the brand’s website

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