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Three Designers, Three Limited-Edition Rado Watches


Rado is known to most knowledgeable watch enthusiasts as a brand that pioneered the use of ceramics in watchmaking. However, Rado also prides itself on its commitment to avant-garde design, both in its own products and in other fields. This year, the brand teamed with three of today’s hottest designers to produce three very unique limited-edition timepieces in its True collection. Here’s a closer look.

The Swiss watch brand collaborated with the Swiss design studio Big-Game to create The Rado True Phospho, which offers a distinctly modern take on the skeleton watch. Applying Big-Game’s design language of simple shapes and functionality, the watch is distinguished by its black brass dial, which is perforated to allow the movement — the automatic ETA Caliber C07.631, with up to 80 hours’ power reserve — to peek through. The perforations also serve to highlight the luminescent indices, formed by filling empty spaces with Super-LumiNova to create geometric shapes. The luminous substance is also used on the tips of the hour and minute hands, and fully coats the central seconds hand, resulting in a very legible reading of the time in the dark.

Rado True Phospho - reclining

The 40-mm case of the True Phospho — named for its glowing effect — is made from a monobloc of matte black ceramic case and includes an exhibition caseback made of sandblasted black PVD titanium. A sapphire window in the caseback provides a view of the movement, which has a Super-LumiNova-coated rotor. The watch is water-resistant to 50 meters and comes on a three-row matte black high-tech ceramic bezel with a titanium folding buckle. It is limited to 1,003 pieces — 1,000 to be sold at retail, three allocated to the members of the Big-Game design studio— and priced at $2,300.

Rado True Phospho - dial CU
Rado True Phospho - back

The Rado True Stratum, limited to 1,001 pieces, arose from a collaboration with Austrian designer Rainer Mutsch. It has as its signature feature a concave dial with a three-dimensional, step-structured surface and a slightly raised, oblong plate with a yellow-printed Rado logo just right of the center. Matte rhodium-colored hour and minute hands tell the time while a yellow central seconds hand adds a splash of color to the mostly monochrome overall look. A large, perfectly centered black dot, metallized on the underside of the sapphire crystal, casts a shadow over the dial, adding to its sense of depth.

Rado True Stratum - reclining

Inside the 40-mm-diameter monobloc ceramic case beats the automatic ETA Caliber C07.611, with 25 jewels and an 80-hour power reserve, which is partially visible through a small, oblong window in the caseback that echoes the shape of the logo plate on the dial. The engraved, stepped pattern of the caseback, here also made of PVD-coated titanium, also continues the motif on the dial.  The crown and bracelet are made of black high-tech ceramic. The price: $2,200.

Rado True Stratum - dial CU
Rado True Stratum - back

American interior designer Sam Amoia of Amioa Studio — whose work is known for a sculptural, tactile looks, often encrusted with semiprecious stones — is the driving force behind the Rado True Blaze, whose dazzling yet minimalist dial resembles a disco ball, covered in a layer of glittering, metallic slivers. The textured, metallic structure is achieved with a galvanic process that replicates the crystalline structure of diamond powder. Floating above this glimmering dial, with its yellow-gold-colored hands, are the yellow-gold hour indices and Rado logo, which have been metallized directly onto the underside of the curved, nonreflective sapphire crystal.

Rado True Blaze - reclining

Powered by the ETA Caliber C07.611, the case measures 40 mm in diameter and 10.56 mm thick and is made of polished plasma high-tech ceramic in a monobloc construction. The three-row bracelet combines outer links made of high-tech ceramic with middle links made of hard-coated stainless steel. Like the Stratum, this watch is limited to 1,001 pieces and is also priced at $2,200.

Rado True Blaze - Dial CU
Rado True Blaze - back

The True Blaze’s designer, Samuel Amoia, was named by Vogue magazine as “one of the young interior designers to watch” and also served on the jury for the second annual Rado Star Prize design awards, which were awarded on May 19 in New York City. At an event celebrating this year’s finalists and winner, Amoia was presented with his personal True Blaze watch (below) — leaving 1,000 pieces to be sold to customers.

Sam Amioa Wearing Rado True Blaze

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One Response to “Three Designers, Three Limited-Edition Rado Watches”

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  1. LEE Rappeport

    The watches are art for art’s sake. The only one found interesting was the Rado True Blaze. If I were to own one it would have to be atlas 44mm and better at 45mm.

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