Advanced & Adventurous: Rado’s Captain Cook High-Tech Ceramic Skeleton

In the watch category, we’re often presented with either innovation, practicality, or style. Sometimes, we get these attributes in pairs — but it’s rare for a timepiece to tick all three boxes. However, with its rich history and technical prowess in materials innovation, Rado continues to set itself apart in that regard. While the Captain Cook collection takes inspiration from the brand’s archives — referencing its first dive watch from 1962 — the new Rado High-Tech Ceramic Skeleton variant in matte olive green is a far cry from a “heritage reissue.”

The choice of colour is a charming one. The tone-on-tone case and matching strap are suitably subtle, and the contrasting pop of rose gold on the bezel and crown keeps the piece from feeling like a piece of military cosplay. At 43 mm in diameter, and with a thickness of 14.6 mm, it’s not a watch that will fly under the radar — although the short and angled lug profile of its case will help the watch rest nicely on smaller to medium-sized wrists. And, rather than employing a typical solid dial, Rado has mixed things up, and given us a disc of smoked sapphire. With Super-LumiNova-filled indices resting just below its hands — which are also applied with the luminous compound — Rado has delivered a package that truly matches form with function.

Of course, creating a good mechanical wristwatch isn’t solely about aesthetics. Thankfully, visible through both its smoked sapphire dial plate and its display caseback, the ETA-based Rado R808 self-winding movement provides reliable and accurate timekeeping. An anti-magnetic Nivachron hairspring aids that accuracy, while its fully-wound mainspring spools up to a maximum 80-hour power reserve.

The case for this Captain Cook High-Tech Ceramic is an interesting one. Transparent dials, skeletonized movements, and ceramic cases are not typically associated with watches built for adventure, yet Rado’s latest proves these rules were made to be broken. Who’s ready to go exploring?