Rado DiaStar Original Celebrates 60th Birthday
Rado DiaStar Original Celebrates 60th Birthday

Rado revisits the iconic watch on its diamond jubilee with four new versions, including a DiaStar Original 60-Year Anniversary Edition

Any horophile worth their salt would know that when it comes to experimenting with new materials for watches, Swiss luxury player Rado, surely leads by example. From pioneering the use of high-tech ceramic to creating patented alloys—Rado has definitely earned the right to be called the ‘Master of Materials’. And one such timepiece that shines the spotlight on their watchmaking brilliance is the DiaStar. First launched at the Baselworld fair in 1962, Rado came up with this groundbreaking timepiece during an era that was at the forefront of technological advancements in various fields—watchmaking being no exception. This was also the time when steel sports watches were in high demand and brands such as Rolex and Omega had pulled out the big guns to leave no stone unturned. So it was imperative for any brand to come up with a disruptive design to make the right kind of noise in such an environment. And Rado did just that with the DiaStar—originally created using ‘hard metal’ that made it the world’s first truly scratch-proof watch; one that could outlast, outshine and outlive practically every other fine timepiece on the market. Before this, most watch cases were made of gold or plated brass, combined with a fragile glass of mineral or polymer origin, sometimes with additional detailing in enamel that was often subjected to damage.

 

 

Rado was the first to break this mould as it was the first company to combine a hard metal (an industrial material developed in the early 20th century for tool production) case and a sapphire crystal to achieve a unique design—an elongated case, framing a round dial. This also imparted a lustrous sheen to this timekeeper. However, according to the brand, this shape arose from ‘technical constraints rather than a particular aesthetic objective’. Back then, it was no mean feat to machine such an incredibly hard alloy, which required ‘cutting-edge’ techniques that could only be carried out by a few skilled watchmakers. That’s how the watch landed its signature case design—which has been a constant—even though it’s evolved in terms of design and technology in the last six decades. And to celebrate this milestone, Rado has partnered with Swiss-Argentinian designer Alfredo Häberli, to introduce four new variants of the original DiaStar—an anniversary edition and three revamped versions paying homage to this iconic model. According to Adrian Bosshard, CEO, Rado “This iconic product is totally unique in both shape and design. The choice of the material for the case – hard metal before and now Ceramos in the new collection – makes the watch practically indestructible. It is truly a watch for a lifetime.” Let’s take a closer look.

 

 

Rado DiaStar Original 60-Year Anniversary Edition

 

While the original DiaStar was created in ‘hard metal’, the new DiaStar Original 60-Year Anniversary Edition has been crafted using Ceramos—a patented material with the durability of ceramic and the lustre and resistance of metal. With approximately 90 per cent titanium carbide content, the material is significantly lighter than hard metal without compromising on scratch-resistant qualities. Rado has collaborated with Swiss-Argentinian designer Alfredo Häberli who brings his own design aesthetic to this icon. The goal was simple: to revisit the model and incorporate subtle but notable changes, without diluting the strong personality of its predecessor, while also adding the best and latest innovations.

 

 

“In my work as a designer I’m always trying to combine tradition and innovation, and the anniversary edition is no exception. In essence, the point was to take the features of the original DiaStar and give them a contemporary form. So there’s been a minor geometric adaptation of the case to make it look more elegant and lighter. The facetted cut of the watch glass was reinterpreted in a hexagonal form meant to highlight the 60th anniversary. The hands and date display were designed to look as modern and abstract as possible,” explains Häberli in an official statement released by the brand. And like most brands these days, Rado, too, has adopted the interchangeable-strap system. “With every product, I try to add value, which lies in the everyday use of the design. For the DiaStar that means you have to be able to wear it on different occasions, so it comes with two alternative straps and in a leather case that can be used as protection while travelling,” he adds.

 

This 38mm greyscale timepiece comes with a Ceramos bezel, and features a metallic grey, circular brushed dial with dot indexes filled with natural colour Super-LumiNova. There’s also a silver-coloured moving anchor symbol inside a circular window, right atop the Rado logo near the 12 o’clock position. The hours and minutes are indicated by rhodium-coloured hands, filled with beige Super-LumiNova and the seconds hand is visible through a cut-out on the dial. There’s also a date aperture positioned at six o’clock. This watch is powered by the automatic Rado calibre R764 (gold plated), equipped with the antimagnetic Nivachron hairspring, and supplies a generous power reserve of at least 80 hours. Water-resistant to 100m, the anniversary edition is presented on a Milanese bracelet, along with an additional grey textile strap.

 

 

Rado DiaStar Original

 

This watch embodies the ultimate expression of personality, character, and style. In addition to the 60th Anniversary model, Rado has also tweaked its DiaStar Original timepiece to present three new 38mm variants, offered in dial hues of blue, green, and grey. They also feature a parallel-stripe-faceted sapphire crystal that imparts a highly sleek finish to the dial. It retains the same oval shape from 1962 original albeit with minor differences such as the DiaStar logo now present at the three o’clock position and the day-and-date window at six o’clock. The dial is topped by a Ceramos bezel—a first for this line-up. The moving anchor symbol is present here as well, however in a round window with a red backdrop. The hour, minute, and second hands are rhodium coloured in white Super-LumiNova, and the arrangement of all these elements on the minimalistic dials exudes symmetry and attention to detail when it comes to the design aspect. These models are also powered by the same automatic movement with a power reserve of 80 hours. Water-resistant to 100m, the watches are presented on polished, brushed H-link stainless-steel bracelets.

 

 

All images: Rado

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