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Rado Ceramica

With the Rado Ceramica, the company launched the sleek black model of the watch industry. Simple and timeless, this iconic design effortlessly fits into any setting and easily attracts attention for its wearer.  More

Rado Ceramica
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Technical innovation at moderate prices

The Ceramica collection consolidates Rado's reputation as the Swatch Group's avant-garde brand. Rado has been revolutionising the use of high-tech ceramics in the art of watchmaking since 1962. With the Rado Ceramica, the brand helped to introduce the advantages of the material to a wider audience.

Ceramics go mainstream

Visual and technical characteristics of Rado Ceramica

Even an established series needs rejuvenating, which is why Rado collaborated with the internationally famous German industrial designer Konstantin Grcic in 2016 to give the Rado Ceramica a fresh new design. The newly designed Ceramica by Grcic deliberately distances itself from the style of the previous models in several respects. The satin-finished black dial on the new models and the bracelet are matte effect and in contrast to the shiny and shimmering versions from the 1990s. Grcic put more focus on the dial, thus improving the readability. Where there used to be a smooth join between the bracelet and case, he widened the dial so as to set it off from the bracelet. In addition, while the inner band of the ceramic bracelet was previously made of plastic, the new models are made of PVD-coated stainless steel.

The new dimensions of the Rado Ceramica watches make them fairly sizable, with the outer measurements of 30 by 41.7 mm and a case thickness of 12.3 mm. Fine details such as the rotating anchor logo of the brand have of course been included in the new models. The new automatic Ceramica houses the precise ETA 2671 movement that boasts a power reserve of 38 hours.

How much do pre-owned Rado Ceramica watches cost?

  • Ref. R21808152 of the Ceramica series is finished in matte black, with the satin-finished dial and white bar indices standing out against it. At 6 o'clock there is a discreet date window that blends into the dial. Super-LumiNova is applied to the indices and pointers to increase readability. The RRP is €2,380 but certified pre-owned models can be purchased for slightly less.

  • Grcic also designed a signature model (Ref. R21708152) limited to just 701 pieces with a simple classic dial and luminous indices. The case is square but has a slight curve at the join to the bracelet – something that really enhances the wearing comfort. Inside you will find a precision quartz movement. The RRP is €1,980.

  • Another unconventional item is the Rado Ceramica Digital Automatic (Ref. 01.290.0926.3.115), which has a digital display but is driven by an automatic movement. The concept is not entirely new and has previously been used by Hamilton in the Pulsomatic, but it still created a talking point in 2019. The Calibre of choice in the Digital Automatic is the E18.711 111/2 from ETA. The model is now only available pre-owned and can be purchased from €1,500.

Rado’s path to ceramics

When Rado officially launched the Ceramica series in 1990, the company was none the wiser that they would soon have to reposition themselves on the market. At that time, Rado was a luxury brand of the Swatch Group and impressed with its futuristic design and special focus on the Chinese market. The Rado Ceramica was a perfect fit for this model: Simple, beguiling and with the new ceramic case that was also technically cutting edge at the time. However, in 1993, Jean-Claude Biver decided to restructure the Swatch Group. Rado’s brand philosophy was unaffected, but they conceded the Chinese market to Omega, focusing more on the entry-level target market instead.

However, this didn’t stop Rado from continuing to strive for innovation. In 1998, the Ceramica became the first watch to produce plasma high-tech ceramics. This process involves heating white ceramic in a melting furnace. The gases released following blasting of the material at 20,000°C transform the white ceramic into a new material with the ceramic itself reaching 900°C. This process creates a colour and texture reminiscent of stainless steel, but which has the same properties as ceramic. After testing on the Ceramica, it was used as the standard process for making series such as the HyperChrome and DiaMaster.

Other Rado series worth investing in

  • The series that led Rado to ceramic is the Rado DiaStar. In 1960, Rado began experimenting with harder metals in an effort to make the first scratch proof watch. The resulting DiaStar was introduced in 1962 and takes its name from the Diamond Star. The market took some time to get used to the ambitious oval design of the DiaStar, but sales figures increased steadily and the DiaStar managed to establish itself among watch enthusiasts.

  • Also launched in 2012, the HyperChrome Collection tastefully uses ceramics, but is closest to the design of a classic dress watch. The high-quality workmanship, diamond accents and two-tone variants are aimed primarily at beginners looking for a high-quality dress watch. In addition to the classic models, the collection also includes chronographs. Depending on the model, the HyperChrome is also available with a transparent back cover.

  • The name says it all with the Rado Esenza: a watch stripped back to the essentials in its design and to dramatic effect. Diamond indices break up the darkness of the black dial and, alongside the two silver hands, look like a light at the end of a tunnel.

  • With the Integral, Rado answers the calls for a slim and elegant ladies' watch. With a subtle 20 mm diameter, gold-plated ceramics and diamond embellishments, this stunning timepiece is so elegant it could almost be mistaken for a regular bracelet with added functions.

  • The Rado Centrix is a flawless example of a traditional wristwatch – whether you're looking for a men's or women's watch with a leather, steel or ceramic strap or even with or without a rotating bezel, it’s all possible with the Centrix. Even chronographs and a weekday display are available for you to choose from. The seemingly endless variety of Centrix styles means that there is a model for every taste.

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