BY HARLAN CHAPMAN-GREEN
Have you ever wanted to see proof that a group-owned business can be influenced and, in some cases, controlled by another business in that group? Wait, you already have? Oh, yeah, the Volkswagen Group with its VW-faction of Audi cars. Remember when those used to at least look different from the VW cars they were based on? Wow, my first tangent and I haven’t gotten to 100 words yet. Anyway, with Rado being a Swatch Group brand, it’s no surprise that they sometimes take a peek at what their sister brands are doing for their own designs. Case in point: the new Captain Cook Chronograph which is giving off some serious Seamaster Planet Ocean Chronograph vibes right now.
Before I get going, I should mention that the apparent similarity of this watch to another isn’t a bad thing. There are unique touches to the Captain Cook Chronograph and, overall, I think it looks impressive.
The dial layout is the most poignant indicator of the homework peeking that seems to have gone on here. Twin subdials for chronographs has been Omega’s thing on all its watches (bar the Moonwatch) for a considerable amount of time now. In particular, the Seamaster Planet Ocean Chronograph uses this setup with two subdials at 3 and 9 o’clock and a date window at 6 o’clock. One notable difference is that the chronograph on the Captain Cook Chronograph is a 30-minute chronograph rather than a 12-hour one.
There’s a choice of dials available depending on which one you’re looking at. Stainless steel models have attractive fumé dials with either black or blue as the base colour. These also come with either a NATO style fabric strap, a leather strap or a stainless steel bracelet with brushing and polishing to match the case. Bronze models come with a blue dial with sunburst finishing, which plays with the light in a different way than the fumé dials. Bronze watches also come with a fabric strap or a leather strap but a bracelet is not an option right now. All watches have colour matched ceramic bezels.
The new Captain Cook Chronograph is also a sizeable watch at 43mm x 14.8mm. All cases provide a water resistance rating of 300m. Inside those cases is the calibre R801, which was developed with the Swatch Group. It’s based on an ETA A31 calibre which is an evolution of the 2892. It has a 4Hz beat rate, 37 jewels, 59-hour power reserve and a Nivachron magnetic-resistance escapement. We don’t know how the chronograph is operated yet (column wheel or cam? Vertical or lateral clutch? Come on guys tell us!).
For stainless steel models, theirs is set at $3710 and for bronze watches that increases to $4100. There seems to be no indication that the steel bracelet will cost extra, which is nice. Why not check these new watches out when you can? They look great.
Visit Rado here.