The relationship between design and watches should be an obvious one. Every watch is the product of a collaboration between product and graphic designers, made possible with the work of engineers. Watches are rare objects in that they encompass so many design disciplines. They are 2D, 3D and exist in the space of style and fashion. A great watch succeeds at all levels, and is a true example of quality design.
While most watch brands are dedicated to design in their own way, few are as dedicated to design as a global practice as Rado. Part of the Swatch Group, Rado is a pioneer of aesthetics and materials, creating simple, elegant timepieces that feature modern manufacturing and technology at their cores. A quick glance at pieces like Baselworld 2016’s Hyperchrome Ultra Light will reveal this. Combining a monobloc (single piece) silicon nitride (Si3N4) matte ultra-light high-tech ceramic case with hardened grade 5 titanium inserts and crown, as well as an automatic movement with aluminum bridges, the watch boasts more case technology than most brands have across their lines. But rather than flaunt this distastefully, the watch comes together with a minimal, Zen-inspired design that is reserved, understated and timeless.
The theme of “lightness” not only pervades Rado’s work, but also their global design initiatives. This year, Rado sponsored two design events in NYC, NYCxDESIGN and WantedDesign, as well as hosted their first Rado Star Prize on US soil, which was on display at Industry City in Brooklyn this last May. Rado Star Prize is a series of challenges for young product designers to compete in around single themes. For the US, lightness as pursued though the use of “new material(s) in the domestic realm” was the theme. There were two winners, one selected by jury, the other by the public.