It was about 2012 when Rado replica watches first released the HyperChrome collection of watches which, in my opinion, represents an interesting character and dimension to the brand. Rado’s self identity has been in flux over the last few years as the brand seeks to position itself appropriately in today’s market. The Swatch Group-owned brand has had considerable historic success with timepieces ranging from sport models to distinctive formal watches in ceramic. The Rado HyperChrome Automatic Chronograph continues the brand’s strength in ceramic, an honor it earned long ago, for a new generation of mechanical watch lovers. So let’s check out this easy-to-wear and -enjoy ceramic sports watch and discuss where I think it fits into the overall picture of modern timepieces.
On various occasions over the last few years I’ve had opportunities to discuss Rado’s history and ceramic watches. It was in the early 1980s, I believe, that Rado began to produce watches with zirconium oxide cases and bracelets. Zirconium oxide is the particular type of ceramic which most ceramic watches are made of. Oftentimes in watchmaking this is known as “high-tech ceramic Rado fake watches” Rado was the innovator in ceramic watches, which is a fact lost on many people today given that ceramic as a luxury watch material has been used prolifically.
Credit probably goes to Chanel for making ceramic a popular material for modern watches. In the early 2000s the Chanel J12 collection brought both black and white ceramic to the masses, which made the material a real phenomenon. Ceramic is a useful material in watchmaking for a range of reasons. Principle among them is that ceramic is very difficult to scratch, meaning that ceramic-cased watches do not appear to age, really. The color is permanent, in that it won’t fade or blemish over time, and that the material is both non-magnetic and hypoallergenic. The downside of ceramic is that because it is more rigid than metal, it can crack if subject to enough force. I’ve never personally cracked a ceramic watch, but it has been known to happen.
In my opinion, the drawbacks of ceramic watches are far outweighed by the positives which include the wear-resistance, as well as the colors. Looking on Rado’s website right now, I can count at least eight different color styles of the Rado HyperChrome chronograph series replica watches. These include the ceramic case material rendered as three shades of gray, brown, white, black, yellow gold tone, and rose gold tone. Few brands have the sophistication of Rado when it comes to using ceramic materials for cases and bracelets. The brand definitely deserves a lot more credit for its innovation in ceramic as a case material, which is credit the brand no doubt wants to have more of. A close inspection of the way their cases are made reveals a level of technical ingenuity really not found in most other ceramic-cased watches – especially at these prices.