For an industry that’s gone a long way in its rich history, we know that the competition in the horology world is pretty high. Designs can seem repetitive, ideas may be outdated, and at times, technology can be too mainstream, so it takes a lot for a brand to stand out, especially with a lot of impressive and high-end brands offering their own remarkable pieces as well. Good thing, a brand like Rado didn’t back down in the midst of such challenges. Instead, it has found its own way of standing out.
Rado knew that it would be intensely difficult to compete head on with huge brands in terms of complication and movement development. Hence, it decided to have its efforts concentrated in making impressive casing and sourcing out the finest materials so it can shine as a totally unique brand.
Rado Watch Reviews
From a movement factory to a full watch brand
Three brothers, namely Ernst, Fritz, and Werner have started the Schlup & Co. factory in the town of Lengnau, Switzerland back in 1917. It was a humble movement factory that was part of the trio’s parents’ home, an atelier that mostly produced watch movements the first few decades since its launching. It had been a successful journey for the factory, as it easily became one of the biggest watch movement makers in the whole world after World War II. But it didn’t stay on that journey in its aim to further expand its horizons.
A shift in focus happened when the Schlup brothers thought of making entire watches, instead of just the movements, as the company had the abiliy to do so, anyway. Hence, came the 1950s, the company started producing their own watches and sold them under the brand name, Rado.
The first official all in-house watch collection of the brand was simply named Rado collection, a tribute to the new name of the company and the brand. It was the same name that took the Schlup brothers into a whole lot of success level, as Rado boomed into a well-loved international brand in just a decade. About 40 years after the first movement factory was established, Rado was able to reach out to 61 countries, offering their unique and fully in-house timepieces.
The Diastar 1
The most memorable and most outstanding invention of the brand until today is the iconic Rado Diastart 1. All watch enthusiasts would have heard of this piece at least once, as it was known for the title “the world’s first scratchproof watch”. Such innovative piece put Rado on the horology map, especially with their introduction of sapphire crystal and hard metal into the watchmaking process, which was unheard of during that time. It was one definite example of how the brand was able to set its name apart from all other brands, and a true testament to the expertise of the brand in the watchmaking field.
Having set the world’s standard for strength and robustness that time, Rado was pumped up to do more pioneering projects and innovative pieces that will be marked in the history of watchmaking as theirs. In fact, a gold-colored version of the watch was released by 1972, which was still supported by fans and followers of the model. True enough, until this very day, the Diastar is still known for its robustness, classic appeal and unique form, paving the way for more timepieces of the brand to shine through.
Love for innovative pieces
The next few decades on the life of the brand was solely focused on creating pieces that are aimed to be appreciated by the whole world—and the brand’s efforts all paid off. Various globally-acclaimed design awards recognized Rado’s exemplary performance and expertise, manifested through many pieces the brand has released over the years. One of them is the Rado Dia 67, which has minimalist look, but features a remarkable casing made with metalised sapphire crystal, covering the entire front of the watch. Another breakthrough feature from the brand is the high-tech ceramic that’s scratch-resistant, introduced through the Rado Integral watch that was released in 1986.
More high-tech ceramic has been used by the brand in the 90s, making it officially part of their signature materials. Taking it up a notch was the Rado Ceramica, launched by the brand in 1990, which featured a full-bracelet made from high-tech ceramic and sapphire crystal, aside from the fully-integrated casing it also features. More experiments and innovation led the band to discover how great cermet would work in watches. Cermet is made from the combination of metal and ceramic with a titanium base, and s used by the brand to create its 1993 watch, Rado Sintra.
By the end of the 90s, the brand has created much noise among watch fans and enthusiasts. It finally closed the decade with another pioneering effort, adding plasma high-tech ceramic in the Ceramica watch that gives off a beautiful metallic sheen despite the absence of any metal in its construction.
Rado in modern times
Rado’s efforts for breakthrough technology didn’t falter even at the beginning of the new millennium, designing a watch without a crown, the eSenza. Afterwards, it focused on bring a highly robust piece, with the resilience same as that of a real diamond—the Rado V10K which actually has high-tech diamond as its main material.
By 2011, the brand was on its way to fully embracing thin timepieces, releasing a watch just measuring a mere 5mm, called True Thinline. From the design of the Thinline, other pieces followed the casing technology used on the model. More high-tech pieces were released by the brand in the next few years, proving its continued search for something new and something more to surprise its followers with.
Indeed, the brand has created a name for itself as an innovative brand with a non-fearing aim to chase after the best materials there are, and it is still on the journey to bring more high-tech and positive changes to jewelry-making process—a true innovative label that deserves the respect of even the highest of brands.