Founded under the name of Schlup & Co. in 1917 by the three brothers Ernst, Fritz and Werner Schlup, the company that would go on to become Rado survived a modest start before becoming one of the globe’s top producers of watch movements by the end of WWII.
The brand soon became known as Rado and by the 1950’s they were selling more watches than ever, releasing the legendary Golden Horse collection in 1957. By the turn of the decade, Rado had a brand presence in over 61 countries worldwide and was undoubtedly one of the global leaders in the industry.
Things were going well for the Swiss company founded by three brothers of modest means, yet in 1962 things would get even better. That year saw the launch of the DiaStar 1, billed as the world’s first scratch-proof watch. The product went down a storm and to this day it is looked upon as a masterstroke by those in the industry. This innovative approach to materials would become typical of Rado’s watchmaking for years to come, with the brand deciding to use hard metal and sapphire crystal at a time when this was by no means de rigueur.
Over the coming decades Rado would make the use of innovative materials its own, honing an ability to produce scratch-resistant yet beautifully designed watches that was entirely unique. Gold, sapphire and, by the late 80’s, hi-tech ceramic was becoming increasingly key to Rado watch designs, which were proving immensely popular with enthusiasts the world over.
These days Rado continue to produce some of the most innovative watches around, melding innovations in material with traditional Swiss watchmaking techniques that can be traced back to the brand’s founded in the early 20th century. Undoubtedly, the release of the ultra thin True Thinline timepiece back in 2011 represented a new milestone for the brand, doing away with a stainless steel core for a sleek new approach to casing known as ‘monobloc’.
Whilst all of Rado’s watches are produced with the utmost care and some of the most advanced materials available, some have established themselves as true icons of the horological world.
For example, the Rado Hyperchrome Skeleton Automatic Chronograph Limited Edition is a marvel of modern watchmaking that is winning fans across the globe. As a Rado, the watch is of course scratch resistant as well as expertly constructed. With just 600 pieces available, this is a highly exclusive watch whose skeleton dial and perfect proportions guarantee plenty of attention. The watch is part of the wider Hyperchrome collection, which takes inspiration from vintage Rado watches. The masculine HyperChrome range was created in 2012 as Rado's go-to timepiece. Boasting more than 70 different models, the HyperChrome family prides itself on versatility and catering to all styles. With both quartz and automatic movements as well as a stunning selection of colours, sizes, styles and innovative materials, HyperChrome watches are Rado’s signature high-tech ceramic offering.
Another key collection in the Rado arsenal is the Ceramica, a modern yet inimitable range of watches that has managed to establish itself as a true icon of modern day Swiss horology. With dsign by Konstantin Grcic, the Rado Ceramica is a stunning rectangular timepiece that possesses strong lines and an ever so slightly curved silhouette. Light, scratch resistant and comfortable, the Rado Ceramica is one of the brand’s best sellers and with such a unique aesthetic, it really is not difficult to see why.
Undoubtedly, Rado is today one of the most innovative Swiss watchmakers around. With a perfect blend of modern and traditional, function and form, Rado manage to remain relevant at a time in which competition has never been more fierce. The brand itself is proof that quality will always shine through, with Rado’s use of innovative materials and cutting edge design concepts ensuring that the company remain key players are the horological table.
When somebody purchases a Rado watch, they are not simply getting a new timepiece. Rather, they become part of a family with more than a century of tradition, a fraternity made up of those committed to championing first-class engineering and design principles in an age when disposable style has become the norm.