First Look at Rado’s Ghostly Gray Captain Cook

In just a few short years, Rado’s Captain Cook line has gone from dormant to something of a cornerstone collection for the brand. Such is the way of the watch world in the age of the vintage reissue: if a design that is truly timeless is reintroduced and well executed, it’s almost certain to become a hit. What’s interesting about the Captain Cook is that when it was initially reintroduced it came in at a size that was much smaller than a typical modern diver – that first “HyperChrome” Captain Cook measured just 37mm in diameter. While the watch we’ll be discussing today is 5mm larger, the Captain Cook line has successfully maintained a great deal of vintage charm in its overall aesthetic through a series of interesting releases that have used Rado’s back catalog as a guide.

Rado Captain Cook Automatic 

  • Case Material: Stainless steel 
  • Dial: Gray
  • Dimensions: 42mm
  • Crystal: Sapphire     
  • Water Resistance: 200 meters 
  • Crown: Screw down          
  • Movement: C07.611
  • Strap/bracelet: Stainless steel bracelet, leather strap, mil-spec nylon 
  • Price: $2,250
  • Reference Number: R32505018
  • Expected Release: Available now 


The Captain Cook Automatic seen here is visually consistent with the rest of the Captain Cook line, which now includes watches in a variety of sizes (up to 45mm) and color options. This example in gray is a nod to the popular “ghosted” look found on many vintage divers from the 1960s, which is essentially normal watch wear and tear that some collectors are keen to spend quite a premium to have in the vault. The conceit of this particular Captain Cook is that for a little over $2,000 you can experience that look in a watch that’s extremely wearable for the modern consumer, with the weathered and faded look being built into a diver that you won’t need to treat with kid gloves. 

The Captain Cook Automatic is water resistant to a full 200 meters and is equipped with a ceramic bezel insert, sapphire crystal and a date display at 3:00 – all the ingredients for vintage inspired diver that’s been updated to meet modern standards. While some traditionalists may bristle at the inclusion of a date window on a watch like this, it’s the little pop of red text there that gives the dial a good dose of vintage flair. The now familiar Captain Cook anchor logo at 12:00 helps in this regard as well. The simple, tool-ish design is completely rooted in the 1960s.

At $2,250, the Captain Cook Automatic is an interesting value proposition for watch enthusiasts interested in vintage inspired divers from brands with real heritage, but are maybe a little more off the beaten path than many of the big Swiss watchmakers. Rado are really known more for design forward dress watches and their early adoption of ceramic as a watchmaking material. That makes the Captain Cook a bit of a curiosity, which is definitely part of the appeal for many. Rado

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Zach is a native of New Hampshire, and he has been interested in watches since the age of 13, when he walked into Macy’s and bought a gaudy, quartz, two-tone Citizen chronograph with his hard earned Bar Mitzvah money. It was lost in a move years ago, but he continues to hunt for a similar piece on eBay. Zach loves a wide variety of watches, but leans toward classic designs and proportions that have stood the test of time. He is currently obsessed with Grand Seiko.