By Jovan Krstevski

We know that the Baselworld 2016 brought many interesting timepieces but somehow even the most avid watch aficionados still miss out on some really cool stuff. The one I am talking about is the cool Rado HyperChrome 1616 that was unveiled at Baselworld 2016. Honestly, I tend to overlook some watches but certainly must not be for this kind but oh well, better late than never. By the way, this watch has been inspired by the brand’s vintage Cape Horn collection back in the 60s.

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So what do we have here? Well, if you like handsome watches and if your wrists seem beefy enough, oh yeah the Rado HyperChrome 1616 is quite large, then you will like every bit of the HyperChrome. Remember the R-One Tron of 2012, yeah don’t look for the design but the materials used particularly ceramic. At that time, it was certainly new and that was also how Rado built its reputation for releasing innovative timepiece. Moreover, the Rado HyperChrome 1616 comes in two models, one sporting titanium case while the other being black ceramic but they have the same stuff inside. The 1971 original Cape Horn watch was made of stainless steel so if you like to compare the big changes other than obvious internals, well consider the steel case with only 200–250 Vickers against the 1,250 Vickers of the high-tech ceramic, that’s huge.

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The 46mm case feels large but at only 106 grams it feels lighter too. What I like here though is the toughness of both titanium and ceramic plus the bonus of handsome looks. Like its predecessor, the new Rado HyperChrome 1616 sports a cushion-shaped case with the addition of crown protector adding to the beefy appeal of the watch. The watch also gets slightly domed sapphire crystal compared to the original synthetic Hesalite crystal of the original Cape Horn. Well, the vintage spirit of the watch stays.

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On the other hand, the dial remains original. We see the same hands and the yellow golden-colored faceted indices. The classic minutes and seconds tracks are also present which give testament to the early 1970s designs. The hands and indices sport SuperLumiNova too. Now for a little animation, there is the anchor below 12 o’clock that sways. Since the dial design is pretty much original we also see the two-tone vertical date window at 6. It’s retro but I honestly I prefer a cleaner approach.

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Underneath the hood of the Rado HyperChrome 1616 is the ETA caliber C07.621, an adaptation with day and date functions of the Powermatic 80 that Tissot introduced in 2013. This is also the product of the classic 2824–2 movement. Some highlights of the movement is the reduction of the frequency to a lower 3Hz. Then the barrel pinion diameter is also reduced in order to increase the size of the Nivaflex NM mainspring. In order to maximize the movement’s power, Rado also uses high-tech materials for the escapement that reduces friction dramatically thereby boosting the power reserve to 80 hours.

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Both the hardened titanium and high-tech matte black ceramic models come in distressed leather strap which really looks retro. At a handsome price of €2,930, I think you’re getting what you pay for. For more info, please visit rado.com

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