In recent years, nostalgia has become a big trend in various aspects of life, including cars, clothing, and camping gear. This mania has also extended to the world of watches. While the past has inspired many watches, it's not very common to come across exact replicas of vintage timepieces. However, Swiss watchmaker Rado chose to take this route when they reintroduced their famous Rado Captain Cook model a few years ago.

Moreover, this watch has a design that's over six decades old but features a contemporary movement. Everyone was curious to see how this reissued diver from Rado would actually look and perform in everyday life. And perhaps you are, too.

Getting On With The Introductions

rado captain cock

Rado, a renowned brand, is part of the esteemed Rado family. Known as the "Master of materials," Rado has garnered numerous awards over the years. Recognized for its innovative approach to watchmaking, Rado is a true pioneer in the industry. Also, the brand showcases creativity in its designs and in its use of innovative materials. With over a century of experience and expertise, Rado's journey began in 1917 in Lengnau, Switzerland, under the name Schlup & Co. Several years later, they adopted the name Rado and introduced its inaugural diving watch, the Captain Cook, in 1962.

Further, it is especially loved for its ceramic timepieces. Some of its well-liked collections with this material are:

The brand has been a leader in using ceramic in watches for a long time. Ceramics remains a key feature in the brand's modern watch designs. As we go on, the significance of this material in this particular watch will become evident.

Rado has done a great job with the Captain Cook Automatic. It's not just a modern dive watch with a retro style. It also incorporates some important features that many modern designs overlook. These features make it a very attractive timepiece. Yes, along with a reasonable price (considering it’s a luxury watch) and excellent quality. That, too, with various style choices available at the moment.

Let’s Talk About First Impressions

Even when you have the measurements, it can still be a challenge to truly grasp the size and scale of a watch from photos alone. So, despite knowing that this version of Rado's Captain Cook is 37mm wide, it can come as a surprise just how small and delicate it appears. Moreover, the watch falls on the smaller end of the dive watch spectrum at 37mm. Yet, it's still substantial enough not to be mistaken for a women's watch at first glance. Also, Rado offers a larger 42mm version of the Captain Cook for those who prefer a bigger watch.

Once you get past the physical size of Captain Cook, you’ll notice its design and craftsmanship. When compared to a 1960s reference, the modern reissue is almost the same. Well, except for the absence of a magnifying lens above the date window. Further, key design elements such as the original boxed sapphire crystal and flat bezel are still present. 

It stays so true to the original design that the only other difference from the 1960s version is adding a new case back. It can't be seen when the watch is on the wrist. This makes it look like a nearly identical replica of its 1960s predecessor when worn. Moreover, this may not reach the same level of refinement as more expensive Swiss-made watches. However, Captain Cook still boasts excellent craftsmanship.

Decoding The Rest Of Rado’s Captain Cook Watch

The Case

The Rado Captain Cook Automatic comes in a compact 37mm stainless steel case. That with a:

  • Lug-to-lug measurement of 43mm 
  • A thickness of only 11.1mm

Yes, the modern Captain Cook's flat rotating bezel looks like the original model's. But they've replaced the original coated stainless steel bezel with a new version featuring a high-tech ceramic insert. This ceramic insert has laser-engraved markers and numerals. As a dedicated dive watch, the Captain Cook Auto is water-resistant to 100 meters (330 feet).

Moreover, the stainless steel case is adorned with brushed and polished finishes. It features a push-pull crown, too. The case back design is entirely new, displaying three seahorses and three stars. It would discriminate the original design and the only element of the watch that differs from the original. 

With a standard lug width of 19mm, finding replacement bracelets or bands for the 37mm Captain Cook should be easier.

The Dial

The dial has a blue gradient that transitions from light to dark towards the bezel. When closely examined in proper lighting, it exhibits a subtle textured sunburst effect. Besides, positioned between the center of the dial and 12 o'clock, you'll find Rado's text logo and a raised rotating anchor logo. Just below these, the words "Captain Cook" sit elegantly in a stylish font. 

Additionally, the phrase "Swiss Made" is present on the dial, separated by an hour marker just above 6 o'clock. Also, a date window is located at the traditional 3 o'clock position. It showcases red numerals against a white background. It contrasts with the blue and silver tones of the dial, case, crown, and bracelet.

An arrow-shaped, highly-polished, rhodium-plated handset complements the blue dial. It comes generously coated with Super-Luminova paint. This is ideal for enhanced visibility in low-light conditions. The same luminescent treatment is applied to the dial's indices. Surrounding the entire dial is an internal bezel featuring train track-style markers.

The Movement

The Rado Captain Cook Automatic watch has one of the Swiss brand's R763 movements. It is based on the ETA 2824-2. Additionally, this modified automatic movement:

  • Features 25 jewels
  • Operates at a frequency of 21,600 vibrations per hour
  • Has a Nivachron anti-magnetic hairspring

The modifications made to the movement have enabled the watch to achieve an impressive 80-hour power reserve. This means you can take it off on a Friday, leave it untouched over the entire weekend, put it back on Monday morning, and it will continue running smoothly. Picking up right where it left off!

Although the modified ETA 2824-2 is a dependable and straightforward movement, some might prefer a slightly more high-end mechanism in the watch. It is a fact, especially when considering that in-house-modified versions of the 2824-2 are employed in other luxury watches. Yes, the one priced significantly lower than the Captain Cook.

The Bracelet

The Rado Captain Cook Automatic's case design is virtually identical to the 1962 original. So, it would have seemed somewhat odd for the brand to pair this case with a modernized bracelet design. They did this for the larger 42mm Captain Cook. 

Staying true to the original design, the updated automatic version of the iconic 1960s diver features a matching stainless steel bracelet. They do offer various strap and bracelet options for this watch. It's hard to go wrong with the original '60s-era beads-of-rice bracelet. Moreover, the bracelet is connected to the case through a fixed-end link and consists of two outer links. That with a vertical-brushed finish, framing a mirror-polished five-link beads-of-rice arrangement. Think of it as an unmistakably retro design inspired by the original model!

Further, the combination of brushed and polished surfaces on the bracelet echoes the same theme seen on the case. This staggered seven-link configuration looks visually appealing with Rado's Easy Clip system clasp. This creates an interesting play of light as the sun moves across the bracelet. The beads-of-rice design also results in a watch that fits snugly on the wrist, offering genuine comfort throughout the day. This comfort is further enhanced by the watch's overall weight. It is around 2 ounces (excluding the bracelet, which only adds a few dozen grams at most).

Read more: Captain Cook and Beyond: Exploring the Iconic Features of Rado's Diver Collection

The Price

All the breathtaking specifications are for $3000. 

Rado may not have established the same reputation in the dive watch category as some other brands over the years. But if this belonged to one of the Swatch group's other manufacturers, it might command a significantly higher price. Moreover, the movement, previously used in earlier versions of this watch (offering an impressive 80-hour power reserve), and the nostalgic factor, remains a strong selling point.

In 2017, several watchmakers reintroduced heritage models. They faithfully replicated the original designs, almost down to the last detail. The Captain Cook was among the more thoughtful and well-received timepieces in this trend. Now, with the new Captain Cook Automatic, Rado demonstrates how to make a heritage model appeal to a broader audience beyond the niche of vintage enthusiasts. This time, its appeal lies not solely in its '60s heritage but also in its contemporary features.

Final Thoughts

It's challenging not to appreciate the Rado Captain Cook! 

  • Firstly, its design is both straightforward and unmistakably Rado. 
  • Besides, the implementation of this design has been nearly flawless.
  • The color scheme is visually appealing.
  • The Captain Cook exemplifies how simplicity can be incredibly effective in a watch. 
  • Paired with a top-notch case, it's a perfect combination. 

While some may question using this shade of blue for a watch case, Captain Cook demonstrates how it can give a timepiece a unique and distinct character.

To finally wrap it up, we want to let you know that no other place will offer you this or any luxury watch with a better service than Bijoux Eclore. We are among the best authorized retailers for numerous watch brands in Canada. And we are always looking for more clients to serve. 

Start browsing our website and get your hands on your own Rado Captain Cook right now!