Rado’s Captain Cook collection is by far one of the brands most iconic lines, a watch, as they say, designed to stand the test of time. Back when Rado released the first Captain Cook model, the Swiss Brand wasn’t known or associated with dive watches. Many of the watch brands back in the day attempted to delve into the different categories of watchmaking to expand their horizons, and Rado was no different. Typically being a dress watchmaker, Rado designed and released their first dive watch, the Captain Cook timepiece, in 1962.
The name Captain Cook was of course given to honour the explorer Captain Cook. The original 1962 Captain Cook was a serious dive watch, with a case built to survive approximately 220m of watch depth. Back in 2017, Rado re-released the 1962 Captain Cook model with a 1:1 recreation of the original, all with updated movement and materials. The design of the 2017 watch was kept the same as the original, as they retained the 37mm case sizing, red numeral on date wheel, shape of hour indices and hands, down to the spinning anchor at 12’clock position. The watch community loved this re-edition of what is a classic dive watch upon its release. With the watch becoming popular, Rado decided to make multiple iterations of the Captain Cook, with many different versions with different coloured dials being released.
Earlier this year, Rado released a new variation of the Captain Cook, with the new timepiece now given a beautiful green dial, the perfect colour for modern explorers looking to answer the call of the wild! WatchAdvice was fortunate to get our hands on this release, coming equipped in the stainless steel bracelet.
The Rado Captain Cook automatic comes in two different case sizes: a 37mm and 42mm version. Opting to use two different sizes is a great way to accommodate those that prefer to have the watch sit smaller on the wrist, as most dive watches in modern times are 40mm and above. The size we have on our hands today is the 42mm. The stainless steel case measures roughly 12.3mm in height, which is ideal for a dive watch as it won’t feel too bulky on the wrist. The lug to lug size of the case is roughly 48.3mm, which makes the watch sit nicely on a 6.5inch wrist. The case has also been rated for a depth of approximately 300m (1000ft).
The Rado Captain Cook comes with a ceramic bezel which is scratch-resistant and has smooth yet tight rotations. Like the original 1962 piece, the bezel is concaved, and has clear crisp legibility thanks to the contrast of the markers against the green colour of the bezel. The bezel comes equipped with knurled edges for grip when turning the bezel uni-directional. The crown on the case is relatively large, which will come in handy if wearing gloves. The crown also comes equipped with Rado’s Anchor logo.
Rado’s Green Captain Cook model comes with a beautiful green sunburst dial, which has some seriously dark undertones to it. Depending on the light angle, the dial can go from a meadow green to almost full black. The dial is kept relatively the same as the original 1962 Captain Cook timepiece, albeit with modern touches. This green variant keeps the hour markers, hands and the red date all the same from the classic model. The lume has of course been updated, which gives the latest timepiece a white finish for the hour indices and hands.
Much like the bezel, the dial is super easy to read. Even under low light conditions, the contrast of the hour markers and hands against the dial is superb. This readability is further enhanced when the sunburst dial shows darker tones, for example, when deep underwater. Under low light conditions, the large lume markers also stand out.
At the 12o’clock position, Rado’s iconic brand logo is shown. This little brand logo rotates in 360 degrees, but not in a distracting way. The anchor doesn’t just spin freely; instead, a sudden quick shake of the timepiece is required to set it in motion.
The movement inside the Rado Captain Cook is the automatic Calibre C07.611. Derived from the ETA 2824-2 movement, Rado has given several of their own updates and modifications to bring the best out of the ETA calibre. Rado’s Calibre C07.611 movement now gives out a power reserve of approximately 80 hours, which is quite hefty and well above average standards. The watch comes with a closed case back and includes the iconic motif, the three seahorses along with three stars.
How does it wear?
As we mentioned earlier, for a 42mm case size dive watch, the Rado Captain Cook wears well on a 6.5inch wrist. With a thickness of 12.3mm, the watch feels thinner on the wrist, especially for a 42mm case and can be quite easily worn as a daily, as it won’t feel too bulky. The watch does weigh in at 165g, which is slightly on the heavy side for daily wear, but I didn’t find it uncomfortable after a full day of wearing the watch. The Rado Captain Cook, with its 80-hour power reserve, means the watch can be easily left unworn over the weekend, and come Monday it can be worn again without needing to be wound.
On the wrist, the dial is aesthetically pleasing to look at. As mentioned earlier, the Captain Cook offers a high level of readability. The silver date window with red coloured numbers also provides high visibility. The gradient green dial is easy on the eye, and the sunburst effect is aesthetically pleasing to see in person.
The steel bracelet with brushed and polished elements is comfortable to wear, and with the help of an easy-clip system ( as Rado calls it ) the bracelet of the captain cook can be easily changed without the need for any additional tools. With this in mind, the look of the watch can be easily changed within minutes from stainless steel bracelets to leather straps or nato textile straps. Which means the Rado Captain Cook is ready for all seasons.
Coming from the archives of Rado’s iconic timepieces, the Captain Cook is a bigger, bolder reinterpretation. Now donned with a beautiful green sunburst dial and bezel to match, this modern update is already proving to be a hit among watch enthusiasts. The Sub $5000 is a competitive range for dive models, with a lot of different brands offering some great choices. However, if you are in the market for your first dive timepiece or want to add another dive watch to the collection, we highly recommend the Rado Captain Cook. A watch with brand history, robust design, 300m water depth and a very aesthetic dial, you’ll be hard-pressed to look elsewhere!
Rado Captain Cook Specification (Ref R32105313):
- Case : 42mm, 12.3mm thickness and approximately 48.3mm lug-lug
- Case material : Stainless steel
- Dial: Green
- Crystal : Sapphire, domed on both sides, anti-reflective coating inside
- Water resistance : 300 meters
- Movement : Calibre C07.611
- Power reserve : 80 hours
Australian Retail Pricing : $3,350.00
Availability : Available now
Enquire at local Authorised dealers :
- Brisbane – Wallace Bishop
- Melbourne – Hardy Brothers and Monards
- Sydney – Shum’s Watches & Jewellery
- Perth – Mazzucchelli’s Jewellers