HANDS-ON: The evolution continues with the new Rado Captain Cook Chronograph HANDS-ON: The evolution continues with the new Rado Captain Cook Chronograph

HANDS-ON: The evolution continues with the new Rado Captain Cook Chronograph

Ricardo Sime

The Rado Captain Cook. As one of the brand’s bestselling lines of watches, the Captain Cook does a great job of showcasing what Rado can do. Interesting use of materials? Check. Amazing, vibrant dials? Check. All this accomplished while staying at a reasonable price point. And for years now, the line has continued to slowly but surely evolve, establishing itself as one of the best mid-priced divers on the market. This year, that evolution continues with the brand’s latest release, the Rado Captain Cook Chronograph.

The case

The chronograph is built on the Captain Cook case we all know, however at 43mm, it’s slightly larger.  You also get a thickness of 14.9mm, making room for that chronograph movement inside. In terms of case material, you get two options; stainless-steel (as seen in the video) or bronze (pictured below). And seeing as the Captain Cook is considered the brand’s marquee diver, you get 300 metres of water resistance, a feat aided by the screw-down pushers and crown.

In person, the overall brushing used on the bronze case as well as the polishing on the pushers, crown and lumed ceramic bezel, provide a nice bit of contrast. This leads to a fun and lively presence on the wrist.

The dial

Rado has always excelled with its dials. They’re vibrant and on this chronograph we now have the added aesthetic of depth. It all starts at the boxed sapphire crystal, which then leads to a sunburst blue dial, with a bi-compax layout. The subdials on the layout are further pushed into the dial and also provide a change in texture, with a circular pattern extending from their center.

Rounding out the design, we get a date window at six with red printing and the thick, applied hour markers. And of course, there is my favourite part of every Captain Cook, the rotating anchor at 12. It plays no part in the functionality of the watch yet it’s so Rado that the watch would look strange without it.

The movement

Powering the actual functionality of the watch is the Rado calibre R801. It’s a thinner evolution of the R650, their ETA2924-2 based movement. Instead of 45 hours of power reserve, it now has 59. And to aid with combatting the effects of magnetism, it features a NivachronTM hairspring. But what does all of this mean for real world use? Well, the movement ends up being quite capable. Over a seven-day period, it averaged +4 seconds a day which is pretty good for a non-COSC certified movement.

The strap(s)

The bronze Rado Captain Cook chronograph comes with an assortment of straps. There is the blue textile strap pictured, which includes a gold coloured line runnig down its center. This matches quite well with the case. Rado also includes a blue leather strap with gold stitching and a solid blue NATO strap. All three come with bronze hardware.

The Verdict

It’s hard to argue with Luke and Andrew about just how good these are. The layout is perfectly symmetrical. The case is robust and features just the right amount of shine. The 43mm size is very reasonable for a diver’s chronograph. Like Rado did with the Captain Cook when it was first released, this feels like another hit.

Rado Captain Cook Chronograph pricing and availability:

The Captain Cook Chronograph is now available on their website. The stainless-steel models are priced at $5925 AUD ($3710 USD) while the bronze version comes in at $7050 AUD ($4410 USD).