- Exactly 60 years ago, the first watches under the Rado logo appeared. 60 years for a watch brand - is it a lot or a little?
- There is very little for the history of the watch brand, because many brands go back to the 19th and even the 18th century. But this is a very long period of time in terms of material evolution. This aspect of watchmaking has been the focus of Rado engineers from the very beginning.
- What have you learned to do with ceramics over the years?
- We have come a long way. At first we were faced with the problem of form, and for a long time we were limited in the form of manufactured cases. The initial design of the watch looked like this: the ceramic “meat” was “built up” on the central steel “frame”. But about five years ago, we learned how to work with ceramic monoblocs and grind out of them cases of the desired shape. This is somewhat reminiscent of the Formula 1 race cars, which have experienced approximately the same evolution: the “skeleton” of the car and the skin existed separately, and then integrated. So we managed to make the watch lighter and the model range more diverse. Add some more color to this. After all, up to the present moment, ceramics have been monochrome, and we have “painted” it in the current shades of green, blue, gray.
- What was the main difficulty in the staining process?
- The main problem is to achieve a constant stable color shade that would be repeated in all models of the line without exception. In addition, not only the watch case, but also the bracelet is made of ceramics, which means that no difference or color transition should be visible between them.
- Are there technical limitations in achieving color diversity?
- I think there are no problems from a technical point of view. However, we do not want to enter the territory of fashion brands, which offer a wide palette, but in the minds of buyers are not so durable. Today we have six basic shades.
- What other materials are you working on now?
“This year we presented the first watch with a hardened titanium case, the HyperChrome Captain Cook, an interpretation of the 1960s collection. We also continue research in the field of silicon nitride - it is a lighter and stronger, but at the same time, more elastic material (after all, the main drawback of ceramics is its fragility). Another direction is the introduction of new materials in caliber parts: for example, in the HyperChrome Ultra Light watches, the platinum and bridges are made of aluminum, and as a result, an automatic watch with a strap weighs only 55 g.
- Don't you think that this "super lightness" scares off some clients who need to feel the thing on their wrist?
- I was one of them. But if you try an ultra-light watch that immediately becomes a "part" of your hand and seems to grow out of your skin, you cannot refuse it.
- Why is it important for a brand to present author's design projects?
“It’s innovation that has made Rado a strong brand for half a century, and we must provide our brand with avant-garde ideas for the next 50 years. Such cooperation allows us to push the boundaries and discover new literally in everything: materials, forms, technologies. We offer all project participants the same watch (Rado True) and give full carte blanche. We are going to implement the most original and successful experimental ideas on a regular basis in the future. For example, we really liked the sparkling dial invented by Sam Amoy, in which the electroplating process completely copies the crystal structure of diamond powder, or the original perforated black brass dial, invented by the Swiss designers Big Game., - it serves to lighten the construction of the watch and at the same time gives it a sporty look.>