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Just Released by Rado: The Skeleton of Captain Cook


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Old and new: the original Captain Cook dive watch and, on the right, the latest incarnation of the model - Captain Cook High-Tech Ceramic (pic from  monochromewatches.com):

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Rado has decided to continue with its saga of exploration that is the Captain Cook, taking this iconic dive watch into the future by utilizing the latest technology of materials in which field Rado is an accomplished expert. To put it briefly, Rado has now introduced a brand new Captain Cook dive watch named prosaically the “Captain Cook High-Tech Ceramic” that leans on its previous incarnations in terms of style and aesthetic tradition but carries the iconic type forwards in the form of four distinct versions, all of which feature monobloc hi-tech ceramic cases (plasma hi-tech ceramic in the reference R32128202) and the same basic specifications. It is tempting to go down the philosophical route at this point with a discussion of how the Captain Cook dive watch has evolved over the years, but I shall pass on that temptation partly because I have written about the Rado Captain Cook before. Instead, I shall move on to focus on the facts and figures of what is, in effect, a quadruplet of varieties (each with a different reference) of a single “type” or four siblings in the same Rado Captain Cook High-Tech Ceramic family.

Before detailing the differences between these versions, it is necessary to illuminate the consistent specifications that all four variants in the Captain Cook High-Tech Ceramic collection share, including the basic case and bezel shape and design, box-shaped sapphire crystal (anti-reflective coated on both upper and lower surfaces), and - of course - the signature rotating anchor emblem on the dial. Interestingly, the anchor emblem on the new High-Tech Ceramic watches is set on a synthetic ruby plate just as it was in the 1960s, and it swings as you move your wrist; it is not just a piece of frippery because it can indicate that the watch is in need of a service. In terms of case size, the new Captain Cook High-Tech Ceramic watches are 14.6 mm high by a somewhat large 43 mm wide, although apparently they wear their extra size well and don’t feel overly large when compared to the earlier 42 mm iteration of the Captain Cook. Lug-to-lug length is 49.8 mm. Just how many buyers of the Captain Cook High-Tech Ceramic will take their watches under the ocean is a moot point, but at least those who do are secure in the knowledge that their watches are water resistant to 300 metres, aided by the hardened stainless steel screw-down crown and brushed titanium caseback.

 

 

 

 

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(Above three pics from: first and third, fratellowatches.com, second from monochromewatches.com, and bottom, from hypebeast.com)

 

 

 

All four references share the same three-hand skeletonized movement adjusted in five positions - the 25J automatic Rado caliber R734. This movement features a titanium-based antimagnetic Nivachron™ hairspring, packs an 80-hour power reserve, and has an accuracy of -0/+10 seconds per day. This movement is the brand’s version of the Swatch Group’s Powermatic, a strong evolution of the ETA 2842-2 in which a revised kinetic chain and a reduced frequency of 3 Hz enable the long power reserve. When it comes to the dial of the Captain Cook High-Tech Ceramic, all four references/versions share the same highly distinctive construction in which the traditional dial has been replaced by a somewhat smoky black-tinted sapphire crystal through which the movement can be viewed; the brushed titanium caseback also features a black-tinted sapphire crystal in all four versions. Also common to the four High-Tech Ceramic watches are the applied dial indexes filled with Super-LumiNova and the lumed hands and bezel triangle.

 

 

 

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(Above four pics from ablogtowatch.com)

 

 

 

Having provided the specs shared by the collection as a whole, we now turn to the four references and their respective individual characteristics, the basics of which are as follows for each version of the Captain Cook High-Tech Ceramic:

 

R32127162: Black ceramic case; rose gold PVD coated hardened stainless steel bezel and crown with rose gold coloured hands and highlights. Bezel insert in polished black ceramic with engraved and lacquered white numbers and markers. Black PVD coated titanium caseback with viewing crystal. Bracelet in matt and polished black ceramic with titanium 3-fold clasp and black ceramic openers. Price, €3,800.

R32127152: Black ceramic case; hardened stainless steel bezel and crown. Polished black ceramic bezel insert with engraved and lacquered white numbers and markers. Rhodium coloured hands and other highlights. Matt and polished black ceramic bracelet with 3-fold titanium clasp and black ceramic openers. Price, €3,700.

R32127156: As for R32127152 above except for the rubber strap, which is fastened by an extendable steel folding clasp and a black ceramic cover. Price, €3,400.

R32128202: Grey plasma ceramic case; hardened stainless steel bezel and crown. Polished blue ceramic bezel with engraved and lacquered numbers and markers. Rhodium coloured hands and anchor emblem. Matt and polished plasma ceramic bracelet with titanium 3-fold clasp having Ceramos™ openers. Price, €3,900.

 

The above individual specifications should permit the reader to identify the various versions in the illustrations to this topic.

 

 

 

 

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(Above two pics from monochromewatches.com and, below, fratellowatches.com)

 

 

Youtube video music and images showing off the new Rado Captain Cook High-Tech Ceramic collection, by Werner Brogle GmbH & Co. KG, 4 April 2021 (youtu.be/SHrX_2VWHcK):

 

 

 

 

The company has declared the purpose of the new Captain Cook High-Tech Ceramic to be simply that “It is all of Rado’s DNA in one timepiece”, and there is evidently some truth in that assertion. The watch is boldly modern in terms of its technology yet retains the flavour of the original Captain Cook. There may be some dissent over the increase in case size to 43 mm when the general trend has been for smaller case sizes in gents’ watches for some time, but speaking personally, my only real doubt about the new Captain Cook High-Tech Ceramic concerns the marriage of skeleton watch and tool dive watch within the same timepiece - the question being whether it sensibly or wholly fulfils either set of criteria. I myself am still a little unsure as to how much I really like the tinted sapphire crystal dial, although in practical terms, it has to be said that the watch still has a high degree of visibility and legibility. And as for the use of ceramic material in the new Captain Cook, although some may prefer the feel and heft of steel, if anyone can give us faith that lightweight ceramic is fine for watches intended for the ocean, it is Rado, sometimes dubbed the “master of materials”.

 

 

Youtube video look at  the new Captain Cook High-Tech Ceramic by Watch Chris, 2 April 2021 (youtu.be/rMwynufk-iY):

 

 

2021-Rado-Captain-Cook-High-Tech-Ceramic-hands-on-8.jpg

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Very good review Honour.

I think they look great..

Mido used Rose gold PVD in one of their Ocean Star models last year, along with the 80 hour movement, so it looks like Swatch have decided to 'share the love'!

Interesting about size. The new release of the Captain Cook originally saw two sizes available. 38mm,which was far too small for me and 45mm, which due to the design of the watch, felt like I was wearing a dinner plate! The 42mm later introduced was spot on. 43mm is also my sweet spot. I particularly like the blue bezel version. I will look at the review another time. Gone 11pm here and footy on the telly!

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Good review Honour, thank you

The only "skeleton" I have ever liked (and it wasn't a true skeleton) was an old Accutron electric, I just like dials :laughing2dw: 

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Nice review. I kind of like it but not if that makes sense!? I think I would be happy if I won it but wouldn’t buy it with my own money 

Nice review. I kind of like it but not if that makes sense!? I think I would be happy if I won it but wouldn’t buy it with my own money 

Nice review. I kind of like it but not if that makes sense!? I think I would be happy if I won it but wouldn’t buy it with my own money 

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19 minutes ago, carlgulliver said:

Nice review. I kind of like it but not if that makes sense!? I think I would be happy if I won it but wouldn’t buy it with my own money 

Nice review. I kind of like it but not if that makes sense!? I think I would be happy if I won it but wouldn’t buy it with my own money 

Nice review. I kind of like it but not if that makes sense!? I think I would be happy if I won it but wouldn’t buy it with my own money 

Did they change something in the matrix?

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