Rado Captain Cook Automatic Bronze.
Rado Captain Cook Automatic Bronze.
Image: Supplied

The past few weeks have shown us the true value and meaning of time. Sheltered in place, I’m sure it also involved a lot of armchair travel and planning for a time — hopefully not so far off — when we can answer the call of the wild. For now, maybe it’s more reasonable to chart out adventures in our own backyard.

Reacting to the “new normal”, our first view of new Rado novelties was through an online presentation. Among these were the elegant Rado Golden Horse 1957 limited edition — a ’50s-style homage watch with smokey-green dial and steel rice-bead bracelet — and the sleek Rado True Secret automatic, with cut-out window on its emerald dial. Both highlight the growing trend for green dials, which tap into our greater concern for the natural world. Rado has also updated its very popular Captain Cook collection with a gorgeous Captain Cook Automatic Bronze.

Based on an original Rado diver’s watch that debuted in 1962, it was first revived in 2017 through the near-identical reproduction 37mm Rado HyperChrome Captain Cook Limited Edition. It came as a surprise that, when the brand known for the mastery of materials and futuristic designs launched its new collection three years ago, it was named for the 18th- century British explorer Captain James Cook. Yet this watch clearly hit a sweet spot with both collectors and newcomers. The Rado 42mm Captain Cook Automatic was launched last year as a more contemporary take on this timepiece, and if you’re looking to conquer new territories this is the perfect companion.

While there are a number of suitable tool watches to take on your journey, there are few as well-priced (around R38,000), robust, and flawless as this one. True to Rado style, hi-tech ceramic does make an appearance in the rotating concave bezel — in this case, highly polished green to complement the lush green sun-ray dial and natural tones of the brushed-bronze case and screw-down crown. Hands and indexes are finished in a gold colour with vintage-style, white Super-LumiNova. This bronze edition is also available in blue or smokey grey. Stainless-steel versions on steel bracelets, and a vintage-sized 37mm ladies’ option is also available, but not in bronze for now.

Bronze as a material is more resistant to corrosion in seawater but the added beauty lies in the personalised patina it develops over time. However, the CuAl bronze used by Rado is composed of aluminium and copper so will not patina as much as normal bronze. The circular, brushed-titanium screw-down case back features the characteristic three stamped seahorses and acts as added protection against any skin allergies. New pieces include updated water resistance to 300m and there is also proven reliability in the robust ETA C07 movement that has a handy 80-hour power reserve. The rotating anchor at 12 o’clock is a trademarked reference to a historical practice at Rado, assuming the anchor would stop swivelling when it was time for a service.

Visit Rado or Swatch Group 011-911-1200.

 From the May edition of Wanted, 2020.

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