Rado launched the iconic square Ceramica in 1990, an all-ceramic watch with an integrated bracelet that ushered in the brand’s extensive use of the material. In 1993, the Sintra introduced cermet, a stronger and more advanced titanium-based ceramic. High-tech ceramics have become a mainstay for Rado and really differentiate the brand, while square cases are a signature design element introduced a half-century ago with watches like the scratchproof DiaStar, although it wasn’t fully embraced until the 1986 ceramic Integral. The latest Rado True Square Automatic Collection combines this square aesthetic with the brand’s new high-tech ceramic injected-monobloc technology, an industry first.
The True Square collection has 15 new references and comes in a few flavours, including the Open Heart skeletonised series and more conventional standard models, and case/bracelet colours in black, white and plasma (silvery grey). Men’s cases are a somewhat reserved 38mm in width and 9.7mm (Open Heart) or 9.6mm (standard) in height, while women’s models have a width of 29mm. Unlike prior collections that used high-tech ceramics that were pressed, the new watches have a monobloc case made from injection-moulding technology. Similar to titanium, the high-tech ceramic case and integrated bracelet are lightweight, durable and hypoallergenic, and feature Rado’s classic metallic sheen. The Open Heart models have sapphire crystals front and back showcasing the decorated automatic movement from both sides, while the standard models have solid backs. Water-resistance for all models is 50 metres.
Dials on the standard models come in sunburst green, blue or black, with silver hands and stick indices on the green and blue dials, and gold on the black dial, all having Super-LumiNova inserts. The dials are retro and simple with hours, minutes and seconds, and a bevelled date window at 3 o’clock.
The Open Heart series is more visually interesting, featuring a webbed aesthetic with a large circular aperture at 12 o’clock (housing the balance wheel) and smaller one at 7 o’clock. The overall vibe is similar to the Hamilton Ventura Skeleton Limited Edition. The black Open Heart model has a black skeletonised dial with gold indices and hands, while the white model has a white dial with round gold indices and hands, and the plasma model has a blue dial with silver indices and hands, again all with Super-LumiNova inserts.
There are quartz and automatic variants, but we’ll focus on the men’s automatic standard and Open Heart models that use the calibre C07 (based on the ETA C07.111, also known as Powermatic). It has 25 jewels, beats at 21,600vph (3Hz) with a healthy 80-hour power reserve. Functions include central hours, minutes, hacking seconds and date (which isn’t utilized in the Open Heart models). The movement is decorated with perlage and Côtes de Genève on the front and Côtes de Genève on the partially open-worked rotor – the movement is only visible on the Open Heart models. Interestingly, there’s a cutout plate with Côtes de Genève surrounding the round movement, providing a square mechanical appearance to the Open Heart’s front that would otherwise be round.
Prices for the Rado True Square Automatic collection start at USD 1,950 for the black standard dial, while the blue and green dial models with the plasma ceramic finish retail for USD 2,150.
The black Open Heart model retails for USD 2,350, the plasma and blue model retails for USD 2,550 and the rather exotic all-white model retails for USD 2,900.
For more information and to see all 15 True Square models, visit Rado’s website. Orders can also be placed online.
Technical specifications – Rado True Square Automatic
38mm diameter x 9.7mm (Open Heart) or 9.6mm (standard) height – high-tech ceramic via injection molding (satin finish) in black, white or plasma – sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating – sapphire exhibition case back (Open Heart) or solid titanium back – ceramic crown – 50-meter water resistance
green, blue or black sunray finish (standard) or skeletonized black, blue or white (Open Heart) – stick indices and hour, minute and seconds hands in either gold or silver with Super-LumiNova
Open Heart models display the automatic movement
Rado calibre C07 (based on ETA C07.111) – automatic – 25 jewels – 21,600vph (3Hz) – 80-hour power reserve – central hours, minutes and hacking seconds with date (not on Open Heart models) – decorations include perlage and Côtes de Genève on the front, and Côtes de Genève on the partially open-worked rotor – movement only visible on Open Heart models
integrated high-tech ceramic bracelet in black, white or plasma with hidden folding clasp and twin pushers
USD 1,950 (black standard dial)
USD 2,150 (blue or green standard dial)
USD 2,350 (black Open Heart)
USD 2,550 (blue Open Heart)
USD 2,900 (white Open Heart)