Swatch-owned Rado has entered a new era of exploration for their Captain Cook line, which is fitting considering the diver is named after famous adventurer Thomas Cook.
First, late last year, the “Masters of Materials” introduced four new captivating 43mm Rado Captain Cook High-Tech Ceramic models that allowed the viewer to examine the inner workings of the skeletonized movement by featuring a black-tinted sapphire crystal. Beautiful! Then, earlier in 2022, Rado introduced the vintage-sized 37mm Captain Cook Over-Pole. Gorgeous! And now, at Art Basel 2022 in Miami, the brand is again playing around with high-tech ceramic with the launch of the Captain Cook x Marina Hoermanseder Heartbeat.
When Rado launched the Rado Captain Cook High-Tech Ceramic in 2021, enthusiasts praised the watch for its retro 1960s style. Subsequent iterations followed the mid-century modern aesthetic with its boxy case and domed crystal. But the Captain Cook x Marina Hoermanseder Heartbeat celebrates a different era – the 1990s.
And if there was one city that exemplified that decade, it was Miami, making Art Basel, which takes place in Miami Beach, the perfect event to introduce this new timepiece to the world. In the 1990s, Miami was the unofficial world fashion headquarters. It’s where supermodels shot their most memorable editorials against a backdrop of the city’s palm trees and storied art deco architecture. It was, of course, the place Gianni Versace called home. And Miami style was also relatively democratic, bringing neon-colored beach chic to the masses. To recreate that feeling of endless optimism in the Captain Cook collection, the Marina Hoermanseder Heartbeat uses a rainbow of eight precious stones and applied indices to decorate a bright-to-bright white dial. This fun face is paired with a rotating bezel with a white high-tech ceramic insert with laser-engraved, gold-colored metalized markers and numerals. The stainless-steel Captain Cook case gets a throwback look thanks to a polished yellow-gold-colored PVD coating.
Because we’re talking Art Basel, it’s important to note that there are plenty of other visually appealing touches. The dial and gold-colored moving anchor symbol are offset against a silver-colored backplate; the crystal is treated with anti-reflective coating on both faces; and the hour/minute hands are treated white Super-LumiNova to maximize readability.
A French-Austrian womenswear designer, Marina Hoermanseder is currently based in Berlin. Her work is characterized by futuristic femininity, informed by an internship with Alexander McQueen and championed by artists like FKA twigs, Lady Gaga, and Peaches – all of whom have worn her avant-garde garments. She has also collaborated with businesses such as Austrian Airlines and Nike. For this edition (her second collaboration with Rado), she has brought signature touches such as the use of bold tones, like yellow gold-colored stainless steel, and moldable materials, like leather, that she has sculpted to suit the Captain Cook’s iconic architecture.
Berlin in the 1990s had a very different feel than Miami. Especially the city’s bohemian Kreuzberg district. Instead of beaches, there were all-night dance parties held in underground clubs. Instead of photo shoots, there were sprawling events like the Love Parade, where dominatrixes and ravers held sway. But there were similarities as well, namely a feeling of fun and diversity. The most noticeable Hoermanseder additions are the leather straps, executed here in both a NATO and double tour. They come both in a shiny black, stamped alligator with gold studs, as well as a polished and brushed yellow gold colored PVD coated stainless steel grain of rice bracelet. The second most distinctive touch is a seconds hand shaped like Marina’s own signature (to help you keep the beat). Even the mechanics pay tribute to the never-ending party vibe of 1990s Miami and Berlin. The Rado Captain Cook x Marina Hoermanseder Heartbeat is powered by the precision of a Rado R763 automatic movement with 25 jewels, three hands, and a date window at 3 o’clock (to remind you what day it is when the club closes). Its Nivachron anti-magnetic hairspring gives the timepiece 80 hours of power reserve, adjusted for five positions. Finally, an additional sapphire crystal glass on the screw-down caseback allows curious watch lovers to marvel at the heartbeat of the calibre.