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Capturing the essence of the classic 60s Diastar, Rado unveiled a reinterpretation of the original model made with a contemporary 21st century refresh. Equipped with modern upgrades in its movement and dial design, the Rado “Diastar” Original Blue Ref. R12160213 continues to rediscover the iconic case design that is undeniably the main hallmark of the Diastar, offering a unique experience that closely feels like the original.
|Rado DiaStar Original Blue Ref. R12160213|
Prior to the famous high-tech ceramic Rado is now synonymous with, Rado developed a watch with an ultra-hard case in 1962 that they were so confident with, it was even introduced as “the world’s first scratch-proof watch”. This was none other than the Rado Diastar, a watch constructed out of one of the strongest natural metals known to man—tungsten carbide, boasting a level of hardness only second to diamond. This established a precedent for future Rado models and a long-time tradition of almost 60 years of being a leader in the watchmaking industry with the innovative use of revolutionary materials.
From a brand that was initially conceived as a small atelier, to become an industry leader for innovation more than a century later. Rado is a well-respected name that is no stranger to the watch world, producing incredibly robust timepieces that pushes the boundaries of what was achievable with luxury watchmaking with top-class Swiss craftsmanship, revolutionary high-tech materials and outstanding timekeeping performance. While originally founded in Lengnau, Biel/Bienne, Switzerland in 1917 as ‘Schlup & Co.’ by brothers Fritz, Ernst and Werner Schlup, it wasn’t until the brand took off in the early 1950s, selling watches under the ‘Rado’ name we’re familiar with today.
|Retro Vertical Day-Date display|
Ever since its founding, Rado has fostered the philosophy “if we can imagine it, we can make it”, which still holds true today, reflected by the brand’s highly-durable, innovatively designed timepieces. Rado is perhaps best known for their innovative use of technologically advanced materials, being one of the pioneers in the watchmaking industry adopting high-tech ceramics in their watches. Although the implementation of ceramic is widely seen across innumerable watch brands in this day and age, Rado revolutionized the industry with the birth of the Rado Integral back in 1986 with its use of scratch-resistant high-tech ceramic in the bracelet.
“The brief was to upgrade the Diastar with all the know-how and technology that Rado and the Swatch Group have but to keep the DNA of the model.” Said by Adrian Bosshard, CEO of the brand.
Crafted out of an entirely polished hardmetal scratch-resistant case, the Rado “Diastar” Original Blue Ref. R12160213 sports the highly-recognizable case design of the 60s original with its distinctive shield-like oval case shape, a rather unique style. Nothing really looks quite like it, a polarizing design by Rado that represents the early days of the brand. Measuring with a case diameter of 38mm, a thickness of 12.1mm and a lug to lug distance of 45mm, the watch presents itself with a retro size that exhibits the elegance of a timeless dress watch. Despite having relatively compact dimensions, the presence on the wrist is substantial as a result of the mirror-like polishing on its case, further emphasized by its quirky case design.
|“Dish” shaped case that’s uniquely Rado|
Being a pioneering technology that was way ahead of its time when it was first released in 1962, Rado executed the watch bezel to be made from Ceramos - a high-tech composite material with the hardness properties of ceramic, instilling north a captivating look and scratch resistance of a metal alloy. With a composition of 90% titanium carbide content, the material is lighter than its hard metal predecessor and carries superior scratch-resistant properties of around 1750 Vickers.
Paired together with the scratch-resistant stainless steel steel mid-case, the watch clads brilliantly polished surfaces from scratches, allowing it to hold its gorgeous shine for many years, in fact, it is not uncommon to see vintage Diastar pieces looking as good as new. Pairing with the watch, the 20mm stainless steel bracelet feels incredibly fluid and comfortable with highly-polished outer links that complement the stunning polished case.
|Superluminova for night reading|
One of the Diastar’s defining traits is prominent on the faceted sapphire crystal, showcasing beautiful vertical lines that gorgeously play with the light in different angles. Underneath the crystal, the black dial of the Rado “Diastar” Original comes alive with pleasant details that closely resembles the dial of the original. The dial is clean with no indices applied, allowing an excellent view for the double-brushed blue dial and paired with squared-off hands to create a retro 60s look. Alongside the vintage Rado and Diastar logo, the date and day window is presented in a vertical window at the 6 o’clock position, keeping the dial rather symmetrical.
Under the hood, the Rado “Diastar” Original is driven by the Swiss ETA C07.611 self-winding movement based on the ever-reliable Powermatic 80 movement. Featuring a power reserve of a whopping 80 hours, this 25 jewel movement beats at a 3 hertz rate of 21,600 beats per hour (BPH) with hand winding and hacking capabilities. Encased within a stainless steel screw-in caseback and a screw-down crown, the watch is equipped with 100m of water resistance, offering ample protection against splashes. Coming from a design that came straight out of the 60s, the Rado “Diastar” Original Blue Ref. R12160213 evokes a whole lot of nostalgia with an incredibly unique design that will not be mistaken for anything else other than the Diastar. Rado’s proud watchmaking heritage is clearly embodied in this amazing model, rediscovering a legendary watch that represented Rado’s beginnings as a manufacturer that has grown to be a true master of materials.