Rado is synonymous with trendy design-led watch designs and its pioneering use of high-tech ceramics. The True Square, Rado’s square watch with an injection-moulded monobloc high-tech ceramic case, is a signature product of the brand. Taking the openworked spirit of the Rado True Square Open Heart in a different direction, the latest True Square models in sleek black, plasma and white high-tech ceramic cases feature a split-level dial and a cut-away top plate to reveal the skeletonised R808 automatic movement.

Although there had been square precursors in Rado’s portfolio since the mid-1970s, the Ceramica of 1990 marked a milestone as the brand’s first square watch with bracelet, crown and case made of high-tech ceramic. Its sleek geometry and minimalism established the aesthetic we have come to associate with Rado’s ceramic watches. As a sibling of the Ceramica, the True Square attenuates the rigid geometry of its square case with gently rounded corners for a softer, smoother and almost liquid look and feel. Used as a canvas for famous designers in 2021, including the radically modern Formafantasma, the True Square stripped down and revealed its mechanics with its Open Heart series.

The monobloc case measures a compact 38mm in width with a slim height of 9.7mm, making it a versatile candidate for both sexes. As Robin explains in his in-depth article on Rado’s mastery of high-tech ceramics, producing ceramic watch components “is far more complex than conventional materials”, including titanium. The benefits of such a time-consuming process are a product that is lighter but harder than steel and virtually scratchproof. Another advantage is that high-tech ceramic can be mirror polished, a finishing that has been applied to the cases and bracelets of these new models.

Although the Rado True Square was stripped down in its Open Heart model, the skeletonisation of the True Square Skeleton is quite different. Two parallel bridges traverse the dial horizontally, dividing it into three areas. Not only do the bridges emphasise the geometry of the square case, but they are also an elegant, unobtrusive solution to exposing the mechanics. The bridges are, in fact, attached to the thin peripheral chapter ring with applied and luminous hour markers and minute track. To stand out, the hand and indices are coated in a rose gold colour on the black model, silver on the plasma and yellow gold on the white. There is also Rado’s hallmark moving anchor symbol attached to the lower bridge.

First seen on the skeletonised version of the Rado Captain Cook, the newly designed central train bridge eliminates the need for a dial. The black and plasma versions feature an anthracite-coated wheel bridge and mainplate, matching the nickel colour of the bottom plate and its horizontal Côtes de Genève decoration; the white ceramic model has a contrasting gold-coloured centre wheel bridge with a nickel bottom plate, also decorated with Geneva stripes. Roughly divided into three sections, you can see the balance wheel with its Nivachron anti-magnetic hairspring at noon. In the wider middle section are parts of the wheel train and the keyless work of the crown, while the barrel and mainspring occupy the central and lower segments.

A round sapphire glass on the sandblasted titanium caseback reveals the large anchor-shaped rotor of calibre R808, also decorated with Côtes de Genève. Delivering a robust 80h power reserve, Rado’s new R808 automatic movement showcases Swatch Group’s technical expertise (in partnership with the Swiss Centre for Electronics and Microtechnology) and is fitted with a Nivachron hairspring that is unaffected by magnetic fields and temperature fluctuation.