If you’ve ever visited Tasmania, you will know that it’s renowned for its rugged landscape, abundant wilderness and raw aesthetic; the perfect backdrop to launch the new Rado Captain Cook High-Tech Ceramic, some may say!
Well, we did exactly that.
Packing our bags for a two-night escape amid a pending lockdown, we touched down in Launceston for what was to be two days of thrilling action, putting the newest iteration of the storied Captain Cook reference through its paces.
Now, you might be thinking what the Captain Cook HT Ceramic and an adventurous escapade have in common? Well, more than you might think.
In 1962, Rado presented its Captain Cook dive watch to the world, making it one of the first of its kind to hit the market. This bold and audacious exploration into a market unknown set Rado apart from its competitors, thus cementing itself as the horological icon we know it to be today.
The fact that the Captain Cook, as a modern dive watch, is intended to be a tool watch first and foremost suggests the endless possibilities of an adventure to be had, and this was the premise of our little trip to Tassie.
In honour of the 18th-century explorer in which the Captain Cook is named after, we took to the wilderness to test out the new Captain Cook HT Ceramic, and in the process, learnt just exactly what this impressive timepiece is capable of.
At a glance…
The Captain Cook High-Tech Ceramic is the culmination of many years of research and development amalgamated with the rich history and tradition of the Rado Captain Cook.
When you first slip on the Rado Captain Cook HT Ceramic, you’ll notice that, although its dial sits at 43mm, it doesn’t consume the wrist as others of similar size might. It feels sturdy without being heavy (on the contrary, it’s incredibly lightweight thanks to its ceramic build, but more on that later) but it’s immediately evident that this is a no-nonsense watch. It’s made to be worn on the daily and will happily tackle anything life might throw your way.
It ticks all the right boxes in a commercial sense, too: it’s masculine without being overly masculine, it’s distinctive thanks to the high-tech ceramic and above all, it’s stylish.
Available in four versions, all the references are powered by the Rado calibre R734 which is characterised by a strong 80 hours power reserve and 300m water resistance. The movement also features an innovative Nivachron hairspring which provides an advantage by protecting the timepiece from magnetic fields.
The dial and case back are expertly crafted in black-tinted sapphire crystal allowing its wearer to admire the inner workings of the skeletonised movement, whilst still proving to be extremely legible. This beautiful sapphire dial is also home to the iconic Rado rotating anchor at 12 o’clock and is protected by a chevé box sapphire crystal.
Rado’s continual development of its high-tech ceramic is something to be admired, and this newest watch is the perfect testament to this unique craftsmanship. In the case of this new release, you can expect an innovative high-tech ceramic monobloc case construction, scratch-resistant and hypoallergenic high-tech ceramic, all the while powered by the premium calibre R734 that many Rado owners couldn’t go without.
Honestly, images don’t do the new Captain Cook HT Ceramic justice. It’s a mechanical masterpiece that needs to be worn to appreciate its lightness and whimsical design.
Rado has long been renowned as the ‘Master of Materials’, an apt name that reveals the high-tech material innovations, particularly ceramics, involved in its timepiece productions. Scratch-resistant, durable and beautiful whilst also being comfortable and lightweight, Rado’s focus on ceramics makes them a stand out amongst an often saturated market when it comes to purchasing higher-end, Swiss-made Dive watches.
There are very few design feats that are more prominent to a watch brand than Rado’s innovation of its use of ceramic materials. For three decades, Rado has continued its use of innovative high-tech ceramic in watchmaking, which has cemented it a signature staple of the brand. But more importantly, its use is crafted by true artisans of the highest calibre. High-tech ceramic timepieces are objects of pure art and craftsmanship, plain and simple.
HT Ceramic also offers a gentle approach to glamour; lightweight and hypoallergenic, and in the example of the latest Captain Cook release, a watch that is incredibly comfortable to wear and one that can be worn on a number of different occasions.
Rado v Tassie
Now, you’re probably eager to know, how did the Rado Captain Cook HT Ceramic hold up against the wintery conditions of Tassie’s upper north?
The adventure agenda featured an interesting visit out to Derby, where mountain biking awaited. And we’re not talking about the mountain biking you were used to in your youth. Think rough, tough terrain that the world’s best riders would tackle.
Of course, baby steps were taken but naturally, the Captain Cook HT Ceramic took some falls, mud splatters and everything in between. But guess what? She kept on ticking, without missing a beat!
Next on the list was an attempt at hot/cold therapy, Wim Hof style. The Floating Sauna on Lake Derby is something to marvel at. Picturesque beyond belief, it’s a stunning sight just to witness Lake Derby at any time of the day. It is also the perfect way to end a long day of mountain bike riding.
But to jump in its freezing waters in the middle of winter? Well, that’s another thing.
Sure enough, we mustered the courage and took a leap of faith. Temperatures of the water fell below 5 degrees celsius, whilst temperatures in the sauna were over 80 degrees celsius.
A little sceptical of how the Captain Cook would hold up with all the rigours of the day, we were seriously impressed with not only the performance of this timepiece but the seamless nature of wearing it amid an array of adventurous activities.
All in all, the Rado Captain Cook HT Ceramic is a serious contender for the ‘coolest watch of the year’. But more than that, it’s a timepiece that should be seriously considered by those who are in the market for a watch that is not only steeped in history but one that is modern with incredible craftsmanship at the forefront of its design.
The Captain Cook HT Ceramic ticks all the right boxes for its target market, and we couldn’t be more thrilled to have a first go and testing out the true capabilities of this rugged watch.
The Captain Cook High-Tech Ceramic retails at a starting price of $5,275. For more information, visit the website here.