In the early 1960s, shortly after the then four-decades-old Schlup & Co. changed its name to Rado, its engineers and designers set out to create a timepiece that would outlast and outshine every watch on the market. In November 1961, they patented the use of ‘hardmetal’, an alloy of tungsten carbide, for watch case manufacturing. A few months later, in April 1962, Rado introduced the first DiaStar at the watch fair in Basel, Switzerland, positioned as the “world’s first scratchproof watch.” With its distinctive design, and the unprecedented combination of the lustrous hardmetal and a sapphire crystal, the original DiaStar became quite a sensation. Not only did it help Rado establish a dedicated fan following across several generations to follow, but it also set the blueprint for the brand’s journey to becoming the “master of materials”.
Now, to celebrate the model’s 60th anniversary, Rado has relaunched the DiaStar as an “original” series in three dial colours and as a special “Anniversary Edition” crafted in Ceramos, a proprietary alloy of titanium carbide and high-tech ceramic.
Made in collaboration with Swiss designer Alfredo Häberli, the 38-mm DiaStar Original 60-Year Anniversary Edition (Ref. R12163118), gets a radially brushed Ceramos bezel framing a dial covered by a tough sapphire crystal with hexagonal facets that mark the six decades passed since the model’s introduction. This anniversary edition is paired with a woven stainless-steel mesh “Milanese” bracelet, with a mottled grey textile strap provided as an optional accessory inside a special pouch.
Beating inside the 100-metre water-resistant case is Rado’s calibre R764 automatic movement, boasting 80 hours of power reserve, featuring an anti-magnetic hairspring that ensures precise timekeeping.
“This iconic product is totally unique in both shape and design,” says Rado CEO Adrian Bosshard. “The choice of the material for the case – hardmetal before and now Ceramos in the new collection – makes the watch practically indestructible. It is truly a watch for a lifetime.”
Apart from the special anniversary edition, Rado has also released a standard DiaStar Original model with a parallel-stripe-faceted sapphire crystal, polished and brushed H-link stainless-steel bracelet, and a range of three dial colours – blue, grey and green. As opposed to the brushed texture of the special edition’s bezel, the Ceramos coiffe of the regular model gets an ultra-shiny finish with polished angles and detailing set over a matching, monochrome stainless-steel case.
The best bit though is that for a special edition automatic watch that uses unique materials, the DiaStar Original 60-Year Anniversary Edition comes with a relatively affordable price tag of $1,950. The three DiaStar Original releases, meanwhile, are all priced at $1,450 each.