Rado celebrates the 60th anniversary of their Diastar collection with the presentation of 4 new watches crafted from Ceramos, their high-tech composite material. Among the new models is an anniversary edition designed with Swiss-Argentine designer Alfredo Heberli. During the launch in Zurich, we sat down with the brand’s CEO, Adrian Bosschardt, and Alfredo Heberli to discuss the genesis of this new collection.
Xavier Markle – Monochrome – Why was the relaunch of Diastar so important to the brand in 1962?
Adrian Bosshardt, CEO of Rado – Back then, Rado management had a dream to create something never seen before in terms of features and design. Scratch resistant water proof watches are in demand. Our engineers were able to meet these expectations and the Diastar was launched at the Basel Fair in 1962.
The Diastar Carbide was the first watch to combine tungsten hard metal and sapphire crystal. Back then, the norm was brass, steel, gold and hesalite crystal. Moreover, we were able to create a very bold design. It fits perfectly with the creativity of the 1960s. Six decades later, in the same context, dimensions and material. Most watches or consumer goods do not have the longevity of…
How did Diastar help make Rado the ‘Master of Materials’ it is today?
Adrian Bosshardt – Master of Materials is not a marketing slogan but a mission we started in 1962 with Carbide Tungsten. In 1966, we came up with ceramic and over time with multiple alloys and different colors, plasma ceramic and so on. Material craftsmanship is part of our brand’s DNA. It starts in 1962. That is why this anniversary is so important to us. The project began two years ago and even then the brief was clear: to upgrade the Diastar with all the know-how and technology possessed by Rado and the Swatch Group but keeping the DNA of the model.
Reworking an iconic issue is always smooth. How is it managed?
Adrian Bosshardt – We are first convinced that we will present the new Diastar only if we are 100% convinced of what we propose. From a technical point of view, we know that we work with Ceramos, which is even harder than hard metal. Ceramos has properties very close to ceramic, but with the advantage that we can work with the color of steel. We upgraded the movement and different parts. Movement R764 magnetic Nivachron spiral and 80 hours power reserve. Additionally, it is tested in 5 different locations. Finally, on this occasion, it is gold-plated.
Finally, along with the core collection (3 models), we also have an idea to offer an anniversary edition. We want to work with a designer who shares the same passion that drives us. We met Alfredo and the connection was immediate.
Alfredo, what was your approach to creating this special issue?
Alfredo Heberli, designer of the new Diastar – Well, first I need to understand the geometry of the original diastar and try to improve it. It’s slimmer now, with no big step between the case and the strap. We increased the diameter of the dial. Then, there are many details, for example. I modernized the hands… For this 60th anniversary, I created a crystal with 6 facets, one for each decade. I chose a radial brushed finish for the case to better showcase its construction. Then I wanted to get the case back as clean as possible.
There are two different straps with an easy-clip system, a beautiful fabric strap and a Milanese strap which is the most functional, sporty option for me. I think the monochromatic gray look is very avant-garde.
Adrian Bosshardt – There is an obligation to respect the DNA of the original Diastar while modernizing the model. It was fulfilled.
Alfredo, you are passionate about watch, but this is your first watch design. Is this a challenge for you?
Alfredo Huberli – Not really. The main challenge for me was learning to observe the micron. As an architect you work with the centimeter, as a designer, you work with the millimeter, where you go to micrometric precision. All this in a short time. This is something you really need to pay attention to.
What inspired the day’s performance?
Alfredo Huberli – Well, there are often different languages for day and date displays. I wanted a language, an aesthetic, a visual, with a colored window showing the week’s progress.
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