First Look: The Rado Captain Cook MKIII Automatic (To Be Sold Exclusively Through Macy’s)

One of Rado’s most surprising hits in recent years was the Captain Cook, a relatively faithful reissue of a dive watch the brand put out in the ‘60s. Rado is extending the Captain Cook line in 2018, but this time around the storied Swiss brand is taking a slightly different approach. The MKIII Automatic takes inspiration from another variant of the Captain Cook, but rather than the near one-for-one approach of the first Captain Cook re-issue, Rado has instead chosen to go for a more contemporary take on the concept.

The Captain Cook MKIII measures 46.8 millimeters wide, 13.9 millimeters thick, and 48.3 lug-to-lug. It’s no doubt a big watch, and to offset that bigger dimensions Rado has gone with a case made of hardened grade 5 titanium—bead-blasted here for a tactical look. So while larger, it doesn’t feel like a brick on the wrist.

Up top, there’s a prominent box sapphire with an anti-reflective coating on both sides and a small metallic anchor in the middle of the crystal. On the other end, there’s a screw down titanium case back with three stamped seahorses. The case is rated to 22 bar, or around 220 meters.

The two screw-down crowns are also grade 5 titanium, but PVD coated here for a more reflective look.
The source of inspiration.

The dial then takes on a bit of a technical vibe, which makes the piece look more like an aggressive, pilot-inspired tool-watch than a ’60s-inspired diver. The dial has a black sunburst finish, with applied indexes featuring white and yellow Super-LumiNova. The inner rotating bezel continues this formula with the same LumiNova coloration. This also extends to the large hands, which look like stylized swords rendered in white (hour) and yellow (minutes). A day/date aperture is found at three, with the day wheel in black and the date wheel, in what I assume is an attempt to extend the marker at three to mirror the marker at nine, in white.

Powering the watch is the ETA C07.621, which is ETA’s 80-hour derivation of the 2836-2 caliber. It features 25 jewels, and it hacks and hand-winds.

The Captain Cook MKIII is mounted on a black textile strap with gray stitching and an extendable folding clasp.

Altogether, it’s an interesting take on a historical watch, though I think that overall the MKIII feels like its own thing, and as such it doesn’t need to be tethered to the Captain Cook line. The MKIII is a solid, techy-looking diver that should appeal to fans of such watches, and despite its dimensions on paper it’s actually quite wearable due to the hooded design. That said, I’d have preferred it around the 40-to-42-millimeter range, which I think would still work well with the design, albeit without the day complication.

The MKIII will retail for $2,550 and it will be available exclusively through Macy’s within the U.S. starting 11/14. Rado

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Ilya is Worn & Wound's Managing Editor and Video Producer. He believes that when it comes to watches, quality, simplicity and functionality are king. This may very well explain his love for German and military-inspired watches. In addition to watches, Ilya brings an encyclopedic knowledge of leather, denim and all things related to menswear.