Rado Tradition Captain Cook MKIII Automatic, from $2,550.
Rado Tradition Captain Cook MKIII Automatic, from $2,550.
Image: Supplied / Wanted

The Rado Hyperchrome Captain Cook Limited Edition was one of the great surprise releases of last year, particularly from a brand synonymous with futuristic designs and ultra-slim timepieces made from revolutionary materials. This vintage-inspired diver was not only a reminder of Rado’s early watchmaking credentials, but it also gathered a large fan base among collectors and lovers of classic dive watches.

It was named after the 18th-century British explorer Captain James Cook, and was part of the reimagining of a collection of three watches for men and women based on the 1962 original with the same name. Since it was launched in the same year as Rado’s attention-grabbing DiaStar, it’s easy to see why it may have been all but forgotten.

In comparison, DiaStar was bold and, as the first scratch-proof watch in the world, it established Rado as the leading innovator in the field of groundbreaking material development. The DiaStar is also reincarnated in Rado’s new Original line-up.

The 1960s saw an explosion of radical new ideas and youth culture — sound familiar? Product and fashion designers were experimenting with new materials and, in the world of watches, Rado led the way. The first Captain Cook and 2017 editions, however, were more reminiscent of earlier military dive watches, so this year’s MarkIII — with its oversized, barrel-shaped case and colourful dial — is more reflective of that era in full swing.

Summer is here and this sporty timepiece is definitely ready for some beach action, with water-resistance to a depth of 220m, a screw-down titanium caseback, and black textile strap. The MarkIII has old-school style combined with modern touches, although its 46.8mm x 48.3mm, lightweight, matte titanium case is more substantial than that of its 37.3mm Hyperchrome sibling.

However, they both share the DNA of the original through their bold indexes and chunky hands with accents of bright yellow. There are two crowns positioned at 2 o’clock and 3 o’clock: one for setting the inner rotating bezel; the other for the time and date. The MarkIII is powered by a ETA C07.621 automatic movement with several modifications and, although the frequency has been lowered to 3Hz, the power reserve has been increased to 80 hours.
Swatch Group 011-911-1200

- From the December edition of Wanted.

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