Rado Adds Three New Ceramic Watches to their Great Gardens of the World Series

Since 2017, Rado has partnered with the Great Gardens of the World organization on watches that are inspired both by nature and the sometimes meticulous preparation of the world’s great gardens. Watchmaking and gardening might seem like an unlikely match at first, but this series is really an opportunity for Rado designers to use the natural world as a starting point for their work, which isn’t so different from what brands like Grand Seiko have been doing for years. It’s interesting to see Rado’s take on a “nature” watch, though, as they apply texture and materials in markedly different ways than other brands, coming up with watches that are very distinctly their own, with a focus on materials and highlighting Rado’s unique visual design language. 


The latest watches in the series are all inspired by specific plants found in different corners of the world, but are currently on the endangered species list. They have dynamic, textured dials and use Rado’s True Thinline ceramic case and bracelet platform as a starting point. First up is Chapter 8 (it’s the 8th watch in this ongoing series), inspired by the Hawaiian Loulu Lelo plant, which has distinct pleated leaves. The dial is broken up into separate sectors that have the pleats running in opposite directions, creating an almost psychedelic effect that is common to this series. While the Loulu Lelo leaves are a verdant green, this watch has been rendered entirely in black ceramic, with contrasting gold tone hands and dial text.

Chapter 9 is based on the Araucaria tree, sometimes referred to as the monkey puzzle tree, which is native to central and southern Chile and western Argentina. It’s an evergreen tree with long, spindly branches that inspired the repeating pattern on the white, mother of pearl dial seen here. The Araucaria tree’s leaves are sharply pointed, which is captured in the finer details of the dial work. The material here is white ceramic, but like the other watches in the collection the watch features a titanium caseback with a sapphire crystal exhibition window. 

Chapter 10 is perhaps the most complex of the three new dial designs, with a motif inspired by the Dragon Blood Tree, found in Yemen. The dial here is effectively a sandwich style design, consisting of a rose gold toned plate with an intricately skeletonized gray dial layered over it. This is meant to evoke the tangled branches of the Dragon Blood tree, which has a dramatic mushroom-like canopy with green leaves on top hiding a complex network of branches just below. The dial effectively captures a stylized view of the tree if you were to view it from underneath. The case for this reference is Rado’s polished plasma ceramic, which is a light gray tone that complements the rose gold accents on the dial nicely. 

All three watches use the same basic monobloc case design, which measures 40mm in diameter, 9mm tall, and 44.6mm from lug to lug. They run on Rado’s R766 automatic caliber, which runs for 64 hours on a full wind. The Thinline case only has 30 meters of water resistance, but these are obviously more design forward pieces and not true sports watches, in spite of a case design that vaguely recalls sporty designs of an earlier watchmaking era. 

Even beyond the interesting dial designs, one of the most compelling things about these watches is their price point. At a retail price of $2,700, these ceramic cased watches (with full ceramic bracelets) offer a lot of character and an opportunity to buy into a material that only a few years ago was demanding a far more significant premium over steel and titanium. This kind of “trickle down” effect of watchmaking features and techniques that were once purely luxury and had a high barrier for entry is one of the trends we’re most interested in tracking here at Worn & Wound. 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.