HANDS-ON: Retro Rado – the funkadelic HyperChrome 1616


When our good friend Justin Mastine-Frost was assembling his lists of last year’s best watches at various budgets, one entry in the 3-4k category sprung out – the Hyperchrome 1616. And no, not just because of how huge it is. The reason it stood out is because it challenges many of the stereotypes and preconceptions about Rado watches. When I think Rado, I immediately visualise sleek, thin cases, instantly recognisable thanks to the opalescent sheen of ceramic. Well, the 1616 is none of those things, but that doesn’t mean it’s not Rado to the core. You don’t have to be an expert to realise that the 1616 is inspired by the ’70s, an era where the prevailing attitude to watch design was the bigger and bolder, the better. Its muse is a watch called the Cape Horn, which had a distinctive shape with the same sort of rounded-off square case that we see here. Rado has taken this silhouette and run with it, bumping up the size to a highly polished 46mm that will not go unnoticed on your wrist. You’d be forgiven for thinking it’s polished steel but in fact it’s a specially treated titanium which makes it almost as scratch-resistant as ceramic. So even on this ostensibly heritage-styled… Read More

MY WEEKEND WITH: the RADO Hyperchrome Ultra Light Limited Edition Automatic XL

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When I opened the box in the hotel room, after arriving in Queensland for the Rado-sponsored Brisbane International tennis tournament, I was taken aback. This was not the watch I was expecting. Perhaps years of indoctrination and the current advertising campaign – with a ball bouncing around in a 3D model of a Match Point dial – made me assume it would be a Hyperchrome chrono of some kind, but nevertheless it was a pleasant surprise. Considering the program includes actually playing tennis and that my suitcase was full of laid-back summer clothing, a simple, ultra-light (the name does not lie) three hander on a grey canvas strap was just right. My first impression was… What? This is Rado? Although we shot this watch at Basel 2016, it had slipped under my radar. A closer inspection revealed a very cool concentric engraving pattern on the dial and the trademark ‘floating’ logo; some nice nuances to the overall sporty, simple design. Once I put it on I felt… Comfortable. This is a watch that’s extremely light, but not unsubstantial; it’s still solid enough. The light ceramic case construction and canvas strap make it extremely comfortable and appropriate for summer, when bulky clothes and bulky watches… Read More

INTRODUCING: The Rado HyperChrome Automatic in brown ceramic


Synonymous with ceramic watches, Rado are rightfully considered an industry leader in the field, so it was big news at Baselworld last year when they announced the first ever brown ceramic models. What makes the rich brown so special is that the ceramic powder is imbued with the colour before it’s fired, rather than being coated with a surface colour. It’s a complicated process, particularly when you consider that components shrink by 23% during the kiln sintering stage. But the result is a case that shows different hues under different lights, warms to the wearer’s skin temperature, is scratch resistant and super light. Definitely worth the effort. The new brown cases will initially be offered on three models from Rado’s popular HyperChrome collection – the three-handed HyperChrome Automatic pictured here, the Automatic Tachymeter chronograph and a ladies’ piece with a diamond-set rose gold bezel. Both the Automatic and Automatic Tachymeter models see the brown partnered with softer tones of rose coloured PVD stainless steel. The 45mm Automatic Tachymeter is limited to 1000 pieces. The HyperChrome Automatic is slightly smaller at 42mm, and uses the ever-reliable ETA 2892-A2 movement. You can’t look at the rich, glossy case and bracelet of the… Read More

NEWS: Rado sponsors Brisbane International 2016 tennis tournament

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I remember the moment with perfect clarity. It was the Australian Open, 1993, I was 17, and finally, FINALLY, I could prove to my squad (Ormond Tennis Club, what a crew) that the Thor-like thunderbolt serves I had been throwing down with my right hand since the early 90s were 200km/h, if not more. There was a chance to serve into a ceiling-high net and a little timer LCD display would show the gathering crowd of onlookers its speed. I took a deep breath, went through my pre-serve routine, bounced the ball like Djokovic, and… 177km/h. This thing must be broken? My ego certainly was, momentarily. Boastful teenagers of Brisbane and the world are going to get to see several things they haven’t before at the Brisbane International 2016, including an accurate reading of their serving speed thanks to Rado smash corner (contestants that guess the correct speed will receive a tennis pack from Rado), as well as a Hyperchrome shaped corner clock on every court, measuring the elapsed time of each match. Rado is all set to join the world of Australian tennis, which is hotting up in anticipation of the Australian Open (18-31 January 2016), with its sponsorship of Brisbane International 2016. The event… Read More