Baselworld 2018 Teaser: Rado Releases Watches Inspired by Materials and Nature

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Rado continues their pursuit of material mastery with the first preview of their 2018 offerings. Though just a tease of what’s to come at Basel later this year, they are off to a strong start with two new models suggesting a slightly more whimsical approach to design, playing off of patina and nature.

HyperChrome Bronze

Though known for their use of ceramic, one of the most “modern” materials in case making, Rado is taking a look back in time with the HyperChrome Bronze LE Chronograph, introducing CuSn8 bronze into the palette. The two materials together create a conceptual and visual contrast. One is ancient, dating back 5,000 years, while the other is contemporary. One is super hard and impervious to aging while the other begins to patina within days of being exposed to air. As the watch is worn, blues, greens and browns will begin to surface in random and interesting ways along the sides of the case.

The HyperChrome Chronograph is otherwise an existing model, featuring a swooping, modern 45mm “high-tech” ceramic case with external ceramic tachymeter and bronze wings. The dial features a vertically brushed black surface with applied rose gold numerals and oversized sub-dials at three and nine. Inside is the modular ETA 2894-2 caliber, which helps keep the watch on the thin side (for an auto chrono) at 13mm. The bronze edition is limited to 999 pieces and has an MSRP of 4,900 CHF.

True Thinline Quartz

While women’s watches don’t often make it to the pages of Worn & Wound, this one was too cool to pass by. As mentioned in the announcement of Rado’s Third Annual Rado Star Prize U.S., one the core themes to this year’s collection is nature. To that end, the True Thinline has a subtle, almost hidden organic design element (among more overt references).

First, the watch is made of Rado’s dark-green ceramic, immediately bringing the tones of leaves and grass to mind. The dial then consists of a green mother of pearl surface, literally bringing something natural into the mix. For indexes, instead of printing on the dial, Rado uses rose gold plating on the back of the sapphire crystal, which creates a floating effect that adds depth to the 5mm-thin timepiece.

The hidden design element is quite clever and only visible in the right light. Printed on the backside of the MOP surface is the vein structure of a leaf. It’s a delicate structure that intermingles with the grain of the mother of pearl, fading in and out with the light. The gold indexes then bring to mind sun breaking through a forest canopy. It’s a ghostly detail that brings out something poetic from the concept. It’s hard to describe the effect, but it creates a strong “wow factor” when first seen. The Thinline Quartz will have an MSRP of 2,000 CHF. Rado

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Zach is the Co-Founder and Executive Editor of Worn & Wound. Before diving headfirst into the world of watches, he spent his days as a product and graphic designer. Zach views watches as the perfect synergy of 2D and 3D design: the place where form, function, fashion and mechanical wonderment come together.
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