Although Rado has a history dating back to 1917, the brand really became the watch company it is today when it decided to fully embrace modern things in the 1960s. Today, Rado is considered an industry leader when it comes to ceramic watches, and the ultra-hard material plays a central role in the brand’s catalog, now available in a wide variety of different colors. With this in mind, much of Rado’s modern brand DNA can trace its roots back to the original Diastar watch, which in 1962 featured a number of state-of-the-art manufacturing materials with a strikingly futuristic design. At the time of its release, the original Rado Diastar was positioned as the world’s first “scratch-proof” watch, and it laid the foundation for the fluid designs and ceramic alloy cases that serve as the foundation for much of the brand’s contemporary lineup. To celebrate the 60th anniversary of the original Diastar model, Rado has unveiled a trio of new Diastar Original watches, along with an additional anniversary edition model designed in collaboration with Swiss designer Alfredo Heberli.
The new Rado Diastar original watches remain remarkably true to the original model’s overall core design and feature a rounded cushion shape that measures 38mm in diameter by 45mm lug-to-lug, with a slightly conical profile at the top. superficial The top of the case is made from Ceramos, Rado’s proprietary ceramic alloy that was first launched in 2011 and benefits from ceramic’s highly scratch-resistant properties, while still offering a shiny metallic look. In the trio of standard production models, the upper ceramos part of the case remains in its smooth polished form, but it gains a prominent radial brushing pattern with distinct polished edges in the 60th Anniversary Edition version. At the same time, the bottom part of the four Diastar original models is made of stainless steel and it has a solid caseback that helps endow the new watches with 100 meters of water resistance.
Unlike most watch crystals that have a flat or dome profile, all the crystals fitted to the new Rado Diastar original models have striking faces and an engraved shape. The four new watches feature crystals made of scratch-resistant synthetic sapphire, while the trio of standard models feature parallel-striped faceted crystal, while the 60th Anniversary Edition model receives a sapphire crystal with hexagonal facets, representing six decades. The original Rado Diastar watch has been accepted since its launch. Because of this difference in crystal shape, the standard models measure 12.1mm thick, while the 60th Anniversary Edition Diastar Original comes in slightly taller at 12.3mm. Additionally, while the standard versions are all fitted with stainless steel H-link bracelets, the 60th Anniversary Edition model features both a stainless steel mesh bracelet and a gray textile strap fitted with a deployant buckle, and both options are fitted with Rados. The EasyClip quick-release system makes switching between the two options a quick and tool-free process.
As for the dials of the new Rado Diastar Original watches, each of the three standard models has a different color (grey, blue or green), while the 60th Anniversary Edition version is fitted with a light gray metallic dial that compliments the tone. Its case materials make for a sleek and monochromatic overall appearance. The standard models’ dial surfaces are finished with a contrasting brushing pattern that alternates directions in each different quadrant of the dial, while the 60th Anniversary Edition’s metallic gray dial features a subtle circular brushing pattern. In addition, both dial finishes are further accentuated by the facets on the sapphire crystals above them, which distort the brushing lines on the dials and give them a more intricate overall look that changes depending on the viewing angle. At the top of the dial is Rado’s signature moving anchor logo, which rotates freely as the watch moves around, adding a unique dynamic element to a completely static component that is usually fixed to the dial’s surface.
All of the new Rado Diastar watches feature centrally mounted hands with luminescent inlays for the hour and minute hands, while the handset shape fitted to the 60th Anniversary Edition model offers a smoother and rounder shape. Not only do the hour and minute tips taper to a more prominent point, but the seconds hand on the 60th Anniversary Edition model has an elongated teardrop shape with a fully rounded base with no counterweight. Without a very significant departure from the core design of the original Diastar model, the overall effect is more sleek and modern. Likewise, while the dials of the three standard production models feature no hour markers or minute track of any kind, the dial fitted to the 60th Anniversary Edition features small circular luminous plots for the hour markers, sunk almost sandwich-style. into the surface of the dial to add more dimension and visual depth.
Additionally, while both models have virtual-oriented day and date displays at the 6 o’clock position, both their appearance and the way they choose to display their information differ. In all three standard models, both the day and date are displayed through a single rectangular aperture, with the day of the week appearing in its three-letter abbreviation. On the 60th Anniversary Edition model, the date is displayed through a small circular aperture, while the day indicator appears as a separate thin linear cutout above it. Instead of the day of the week appearing as letters, the passage of days is displayed graphically as the linear aperture looms across the weekly cycle. This approach helps play up the watch’s overall minimal aesthetic, with only the Rado name at the top of the dial and the signature “Swiss Made” at the 6 o’clock position.
Powering the new Rado Diastar Original watches is the caliber R764 automatic movement, which is based on the core construction of the popular ETA 2824 but features several significant upgrades over the standard version. Like other Swatch Group member brands, Rado benefits from this next generation of calibers that combine familiar and proven designs with updated materials and components to achieve increased performance metrics. Along with gold-plated plates and bridges, the Rado Cal. The R764 features an antimagnetic Nivacron hairspring and provides users with an extended power reserve of approximately 80 hours. In addition, Rado claims that the movement exceeds standard testing requirements by three to five positions for added accuracy, and all movements fitted to the new Rado Diastar original models feature color-matched day and date discs to coordinate with their dials.
Today, the luxury watch industry is awash with cutting-edge technology and the concept of a scratch-resistant watch has now become something that many different brands offer in their respective lineups. However, back in 1962 when the original Rado Diastar made its debut, the concept was truly revolutionary and it can be argued that the Diastar paved the way for countless other watches that exist today. Although the new models feature updated materials and movements, they are still instantly recognizable as Rado Diastar watches, and they continue the model’s rich heritage of resilient materials and pushing the boundaries of modern design. Three standard-production Rado Diastar Original watches each at official retail price $1,450 USDA 60th Anniversary Edition model is priced $1,950 USD. Additionally, despite being a celebratory anniversary model and coming with an extra strap and travel pouch, the 60th Anniversary Edition Diastar watch will not be produced as a limited edition, meaning those who wish to purchase it can add one to their collections without having to pay a high premium to purchase it on the open market. For more information, please visit Brand’s website.