Every watch brand hopes to have a dynamic, ever-evolving design in its collection, but very few brands are able to maintain the discipline required to have a design that becomes universally recognisable. For Rado, that watch might just be the Captain Cook, a timepiece with a consistent design-DNA that can be seen through its countless iterations over the years. The latest expression of the vintage-inspired dive watch is the Rado Captain Cook Bi-Colour, which is bringing back the 1980s with a vengeance.
The Captain Cook was first released by Rado in 1962, right at the peak of the global interest in recreational scuba diving. This was less than a decade after the very first real dive watches were born, and Rado continued to manufacture the Captain Cook until 1972. The watch remained in the Rado archives, until 2017 when the Lengnau-founded brand decided to revive the design, to significant success.
In the years since the Captain Cook was reborn, Rado has offered it in dozens of different expressions, from steel and bronze to high-tech ceramic, but the latest bi-colour or two-tone models might be some of the best yet. Available in either rose and yellow gold-tone, the watches feature PVD coatings on their bracelet, crown and dial to serve up a watch that looks straight out of The Wolf of Wall St.
The stainless steel cases measure 42mm in diameter, offering decent wrist presence at 12.3mm thick. You certainly won’t forget that you’re wearing the Rado Captain Cook Bi-Colour on your wrist, but not in an awkward or unbalanced way. The black dial and polished black ceramic bezel both offer a stark contrast to the two-tone case and bracelet, with hands that match the gold tone of the rest of the watch.
Both watches are powered by the Rado calibre R763, which features an antimagnetic Nivachron hairspring and offers a very solid 80 hours of power reserve. The movement is hidden behind a solid caseback, which guarantees both watches to 300m of water resistance.
It’s exciting to see brands bringing two-tone into the 21st century, after its rampant popularity in the 80s faded in favour of one-metal watches. This latest Captain Cook collection from Rado also goes to show just how versatile its design is, looking the part across such a range of different styles. Both watches will be available in the coming weeks, and have an RRP of $3,500.