Rado Revives The Captain Cook Over-Pole

Rado is bringing back a mid-century classic to diversify their expanding Captain Cook collection with a new take on the Over-Pole world timer. This is the brand’s most classic design that presents a straightforward, and non-complicated interpretation of the worldtimer, with no extra buttons, sub dials, or hands in sight.  It’s all packed into a tidy 37mm steel case with a hand-wound movement pulling duty inside. If you’ve been on the fence about the Captain Cook, the Over-Pole might just be the one to push you over the edge. 

The Over-Pole is based on a design first released in the ‘60s, and presents a rather pragmatic solution to tracking global timezones. There is no 24 hour hand here, nor any complexity that adjusts the hour hand with the rotation of the bezel, it’s simply all 24 timezones represented on the bezel via easily recognizable cities. A 24 hour scale is added to the edge of the dial, with which you can align your city of choice, and observe the time in other cities around the globe. This operates independently of the hour and minute hand, making it a helpful reference when on the go.


The re-issue captures much of the charm seen on the original, with a few changes that elevate the design as a whole. Namely, the design of the bezel layout has been cleaned up, and the cities are now laser etched into a ceramic insert. The cyclops has also been ditched, and the dial itself has been given a lovely gradient effect that transitions from light to dark at the perimeter. The faceted hour markers, and red date remain and brings a welcome touch of color to the otherwise gray color scheme. On that note, the swinging anchor sits at 12 o’clock, with a purple backing. 

Most importantly, the dimensions of the original have been left mostly in-tact, meaning a 37mm case that measures 43.1mm from lug to lug, and a hair over 10mm in thickness. Numbers that would not be possible with a true world time complication and this price point. Rado is using the caliber R862, which is based on an ETA hand cranker complete with Nivarox hairspring and 80 hours of reserve.

Rado has pushed the Captain Cook into high-tech territory with recent releases, and while the base appeal remains, there’s nothing quite like the old school charm of the original examples, and the Over-Pole is perhaps the best example of a modern Captain Cook capturing that brilliance. 

The Rado Captain Cook Over-Pole will be limited to just 1,962 examples, priced at $2,400. The watch is available exclusively through the Hodinkee shop for the time being, but look for wider availability in the coming months. Rado.

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Blake is a Wisconsin native who’s spent his professional life covering the people, products, and brands that make the watch world a little more interesting. Blake enjoys the practical elements that watches bring to everyday life, from modern Seiko to vintage Rolex. He is an avid writer and photographer with a penchant for cars, non-fiction literature, and home-built mechanical keyboards.