When Rado re-launched the Rado Captain Cook Automatic Bronze back in 2017, it was a masterstroke. It popped out just at the beginning of the now-inundated craze for retro designs and from a brand that nobody would have expected. At the time ceramic futurism was more Rado’s deal, not vintage, yet it worked well enough that we all went a little crazy for it.
Flash forwards to late last year and we have this, the more modern update of the watch, the Captain Cook Automatic. Rather than the authentic recreation of the Hyperchrome version, which was almost inch-pefect, the Captain Cook of now lets contemporary watch design get a foot in the door.
First off that means a larger case. After all, even I think 37mm is a little diminutive for a diving watch, no matter how retro the inspirations. It’s also a bit smaller than the huge 45mm version that was brought out as a counterpoint to that first, tiny timepiece. At 42mm it’s nicely in-between.
Second is the material. Rado may have been an early raider of its own archives, but it’s not been particularly quick to embrace the material that all but goes hand in hand, bronze. Want to add a dash of steampunk charm? Go bronze, and the Captain Cook is an ideal candidate. Paired with a blue sunray dial and ceramic bezel, the bronze colouring peeks out in the lugs. The proportions just… work.
The leather strap is pretty plain which on some watches would feel a bit devoid of character. Here it just adds to the nautical charm of the watch. Granted I’d have liked something a little more interesting – or at least diving-oriented – but it certainly looks the part, and keeps it a little lighter than a bracelet would.
Otherwise, the Rado Captain Cook Automatic Bronze has everything a diving watch requires. I didn’t exactly get to test it in the depths, but it’s apparently water resistant to 300mm which with a screwdown crown and solid caseback (complete with the signature triple seahorse engraving) I don’t doubt it. I can say for sure that the dial is eminently readable in low light – it’s hard to miss in fact – and the bezel is pleasingly solid.
The C07.611 calibre automatic movement inside has an impressive 80-hour power reserve, more than enough for diving purposes and plenty for everyday wear. It’s the same movement as has been in the Captain Cook from the start and isn’t one to be underestimated.
In short, while this new Rado Captain Cook Automatic Bronze isn’t cutting edge or revolutionary. It does however bring together all the elements that have made the Rado’s retro flagship such a darling among collectors, the quintessential modern iteration of the now-legendary 1960s original.
The Rado Captain Cook Bronze is 42mm and is made from CuAl, a type of bronze that doesn’t develop the type of patina typically associated with bronze. The bezel is made from ceramic, in three colors: Green, blue, and grey. The dial has a sunburst pattern that matches the bezel.
The new Captain Cook Bronze range is part of our exciting Captain Cook collection, which features watches inspired by original Rado pieces from the 1950s and ‘60s. Bronze is a beautiful and eye-catching material that is particularly attractive when contrasted with the green, blue and brown accents on our Rado Captain Cook Automatic Bronze watches.
At Baselworld 2017, Rado surprised the audience with a very appealing diver’s model named ‘Captain Cook’. While the brand has gained its modern notoriety by mastering high-tech materials, mostly by using coloured ceramics, Rado has a rich history of interesting vintage models.
In terms of the second coming of the Captain Cook, the introduction of a bronze model follows a well-trodden path in the modern watch product life cycle. It has been wildly successful thus far in steel, and there are a finite number of ways to refresh the watch.