Rado have seen a rapid expansion to their Captain Cook adventure watch collection over the last year and they show no signs of slowing down. First we saw the Captain Cook Ceramic, which helped to prove the adage that Rado are a Master of Materials. That was followed by the Ceramic Diver and the Over-Pole Worldtimer. The introduction of specialised Captain Cooks is an exciting trend. One that’s set to continue with the new Rado Captain Cook Chronograph.
On the surface the new watch is recognisably a Captain Cook thanks to its signature elements. Primarily the retro box-shaped sapphire crystal and case shape. However, converting the Captain Cook into a chronograph required several changes to the design.
Most notably, it has a 43mm diameter case in steel or bronze to accommodate the chrono movement. That makes it the largest steel or bronze Captain Cook, upsized to match the more recent full ceramic models. The split of materials across the three references are two in stainless steel and one in brushed bronze. All three have ceramic insert bezels, Rado’s signature material.
Of course, a chronograph needs a chronograph dial. Rado have kept things simple with a bicompax layout featuring small seconds at 3 o’clock and a 30-minute timer at 9. There’s also a central chronograph seconds hand alongside the regular hours and minutes.
There’s no tachymeter but the lack of additional scales keeps the display uncluttered and maintains a dive watch level of legibility. Which is relevant since the Captain Cook Chronograph has 300m water resistance, impressive for a chrono. Plus, the simple display allows for plenty of space to admire the sun ray brushed finish. Which is available in gradient blue, gradient black or solid blue.
Under the surface, the Captain Cook Chronograph houses the new, thinner R801 automatic movement. It has a great 59-hour power reserve and is very reliable because of the Nivachron anti-magnetic hairspring.
The hairspring helps the movement exceed standard accuracy test requirements in five positions. You can’t see the movement though, it’s hidden behind a solid screw down caseback that helps provide 300m water resistance.
Lastly, the three references are all available with a choice of three straps, matched to their case material and dial colour. The choices are leather strap, textile NATO strap or stainless steel bracelet. Although the bronze edition is an exception as instead of a bracelet, it has a secondary NATO strap with a bronze coloured stripe – similar to the recent Tudor S&G model.
Both steel models have prices of £3,440, with the bronze a touch more at £4,090, putting them at a similar price point to the high-tech ceramic models. It’s a good price for them as they’re the most mechanically complex Captain Cooks in the range. It’ll be interesting to see if Rado eventually introduce full ceramic versions of the watch or if they’ll explore more complications, both sound great to me.
Price & Specs:
- Model: Rado Captain Cook Chronograph
- Ref: R32146208 (blue dial, brushed bronze case)
R32145208 (blue dial, stainless steel case)
R32145158 (black dial, stainless steel case)
- Case/dial: 43mm width x 49.5mm length x 14.8mm height, screw-down crown and pushers
Ref. R32146208 – Brushed bronze (CuAl) case, blue sunray dial, bronze (CuAl) turning bezel with polished blue high-tech ceramic insert with engraved numbers and markers, triangle with vintage-look yellow Super-LumiNova®
Ref. R32145208/R32145158 – Polished stainless steel case, silver to black or silver to blue dial, stainless steel turning bezel with a polished blue high-tech ceramic insert with engraved numbers and markers, triangle in white Super-LumiNova®
- Water resistance: 300m (30 bar)
- Movement: Rado calibre R801, automatic, 37 jewels, 5 hands, red printed date at 6 o’clock, antimagnetic Nivachron™ hairspring, exceeds standard test requirements from 3 to 5 positions for higher accuracy
- Power reserve: 59h
- Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, chronograph
- Strap: Ref. R32145208/R32145158 – Polished and brushed stainless steel bracelet with extendable folding clasp, brown or blue leather strap with stainless steel folding clasp and black or blue textile NATO style strap with stainless steel pin buckle
Ref. R32146208 – Blue textile NATO style strap with a gold coloured middle line and brushed bronze (CuAl) pin buckle and loops, blue leather strap with brushed bronze (CuAl) pin buckle and loops and blue textile NATO style strap with brushed bronze (CuAl) pin buckle and loops
- Price/availability: £3,440 (in stainless steel) and £4,090 (bronze)