Maintaining a consistent design language and introducing only microscopic aesthetic alterations over a period of more than half a century testifies to the omnipresent charm of successful design creation.
Rado is fond of this trend and over decades, its premium offerings from the current catalog can be confused with their inceptive models dating back more than 70 years. Embodying the philosophy, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” is taken to an all-new level with a timepiece that has hardly changed since its birth 60 years ago.
Yes, we are talking about the faithful expression of affordable opulence – The Rado Diastar, which celebrated its 60th Anniversary in 2022 with the launch of a modern reinterpretation of the original Diastar as a special edition designed by the Swiss-Argentine minimalist of high acclaim – Alfredo Häberli.
The Modern Face of a True Design Icon
As a timepiece accoladed for its ground-breaking use of advanced materials and futuristic aesthetics, the original Diastar was already a showstopper in 1962. Combining bold nuances such as a distinctive oval cushion-styled case shape with a faceted crystal for intense visual depth and also presenting novel material technology innovation, the Diastar was intended to outshine and outlast all other watches in the market.
Fast-forward 60 years, we celebrated the success story of the Diastar with the launch of the Diastar Original 60-Year Anniversary Edition in 2023 as a special edition with no production limits to wow Diastar enthusiasts all across the globe. The special edition watch with subtle yet notable alterations follows Rado’s unhindered commitment to material research as this time the watch is constructed out of a case made of Ceramos – a material that combines the hardness of ceramics with a metallic lustre.
The Diastar Story – A Tale of Many Firsts and Commitment to Innovation
The original Diastar was born in 1962 out of a simple yet strong commitment to creating an accurate and eternally beautiful timepiece. Culminating out of an unhindered effort to strive for the best, the watch was launched as the world’s first scratch-proof watch.
The watch essentially embodied the intense fashion evolution which was synonymous with the 1960s. Marketing the Diastar as the first scratch-proof disruptive watch offering resulted from a pioneering material innovation that highlighted the technical prowess of Rado. The watch was crafted from an ultra-resistant and durable alloy called ‘Hardmetal’ which was essentially composed of tungsten carbide powder. It was patented by Rado on November 28, 1961.
Such innovations carved Rado the reputation for being the “master of materials”.
This diamond-like resistance and indestructible shine made the name “Diastar” an absolute natural. The clever fusion of those two words has been the model’s very evocative moniker ever since.
The scratch-proof competence continued along the watch crystal which was made out of sapphire glass. In the 1960s, it was an uncommon sight and only watchmakers like Rado dared to feature it on their timepieces.
The material working challenges of Hardmetal which couldn’t be machined easily due to the lack of precision laser-guided CNC machines during the era resulted in the distinctive oval case shape which became a symbol of sheer beauty in the industry. The Diastar shape was born and rapidly wowed watch enthusiasts all across the world.
As emotionally put forward by Rado CEO Adrian Bosshard, “For decades, watch connoisseurs have been wearing this watch. I have distinct memories from my childhood about family members and their acquaintances wearing a Diastar and today, those watches still look like new. This certainly is one reason for me becoming a watch-lover myself and I am proud that the Rado Diastar Original has a firm place in the bestseller list of many countries around the globe, to this day.”
The Rado Diastar Upgrades
The original Rado Diastar has gone through myriad design evolutions and the CEO Adrian Bosshard attributes the long-term success of the timepiece to its distinctive shape and features he states, “to keep the strong personality of its predecessor, while also adding the best and latest innovations.”
He further adds that, “This iconic product is totally unique in both shape and design. The choice of the material for the case – hard metal before and now Ceramos in the new collection – makes the watch practically indestructible. It is truly a watch for a lifetime.”
As the years followed, the Diastar continued to evolve in size, materials, complications as well as movement variants of automatic or quartz. Even 60 years later, the Rado Diastar continues to be impressive for reasons beyond just design as its material and technical innovation is captivating beyond words.
Alfredo Häberli – The Designer
For designing the Rado Diastar Original 60th Anniversary timepiece, Rado picked the right man. Alfredo Häberli is a designer guided by Swiss precision philosophy and a Latin passion! The Argentine-born designer based in Switzerland is renowned for minimalistic designs and his works exhibit the signature traits of out-of-the-box designs that intertwine with material innovation.
The brief for Alfredo was simple, “don’t change a lot but change what is necessary while maintaining the root DNA of the timeless product”. Alfredo didn’t change a lot but still managed to make the iconic watch look distinctively contemporary.
Alfredo has been an avid watch lover and his enthusiasm for watches was sparked when at the age of 18 he was gifted a watch by his father. He recalls that, “Since I opened my own design studio more than 30 years ago I haven’t kept up with the times, which means I don’t follow trends. But my never-ending dream is to design a watch.”
He expresses the design philosophy of the watch in two words: precision and poetry as he states, “There is precision in the automatic movement, in the material, in the workmanship and geometry, and the poetry lies in the fascinating, ineffable matter of time.”
The Diastar Original 60-Year Anniversary Edition – A Future-Ready Reinterpretation of The Original
The Rado Diastar Original 60-Year Anniversary Edition combines material innovation and design excellence while continuing to highlight the trademark aesthetics and technicalities of the collection. Of the hallmark nuances in the latest model, the radially brushed bezel of the Ceramos case, a faceted hexagonal sapphire crystal, and a minimalist dial design set it apart from the original model.
The product DNA and Diastar roots are omnipresent throughout the timepiece but presented in a modern or contemporary offering with sleek yet noticeable design alterations. The timepiece gives the impression of being a retro offering for the modern wearer.
The ancestry of the latest anniversary edition timepiece can be easily traced back to the original Diastar models. With the Ceramos construction, you get a metal-like luster and ceramic-like hardness resulting in an indestructible watch that can maintain its refinement forever.
The hexagonal faceted sapphire crystal on the face with its six sharp edges is symbolic of the 6 decades of success for the watch where each facet symbolizes a decade of the love the timepiece has garnered among watch connoisseurs. This unique aesthetic element also makes it appear like a diamond.
The watch is powered by the automatic Rado caliber R764 with an autonomy of 80 hours and an anti-magnetic hairspring. The Anniversary Edition timepiece comes paired with an interchangeable stainless steel Milanese mesh bracelet with the option of a grey fabric strap as well for contrast.
Ceramos – Ceramic Like Hardness and Metal Like Luster
The Ceramos material is an alloy with a dominant titanium carbide composition which makes the package lightweight, scratch-resistant, and lustrous to a higher degree than normal ceramic, metal, or even Hardmetal.
Rado took a big step forward in its material innovation competence with the introduction of the Ceramos material. The novel material presents similar advantages in terms of lightweight, strength, and wearer-friendly nature to ceramic. It is the most modern material in the entire Rado portfolio.
What Ceramos allows is a similar materialization and aesthetic outlook as steel. While ordinary ceramic is limited to be available in white, black, or plasma hues, with Ceramic you get steel tones and also achieve PVD coatings all while maintaining a steel-like luster.
About material innovation, designer Alfredo Häberli says that, “History teaches you that much has been created, formally. The material, however, offers a perfect opportunity for real innovation. For the Diastar, the first scratch-resistant watch on the market, its technical innovation attracted a lot of attention. As a Swiss designer, I’m always interested in innovation, which makes it possible to move forward in the history of design.”
Diastar – The Epic Shape of Time
The original Diastar was a futuristic offering that set many benchmarks and firsts in the industry. The 60th Anniversary timepiece pays tribute to that spirit by incorporating novel material innovation and disruptive design philosophy.
The core endeavor of the project was to build up on the history and exclusive design language of the brand and introduce subtle changes which are consistent with the Diastar design DNA yet present a contemporary feel to the overall package.
The beautiful words of Rado CEO Adrian Bosshard sum up the final takeaways for the iconic timepiece, “The Diastar Original has for 60 years been an important pillar in the global Rado collection. I strongly believe that such an iconic product will continue to be a bestseller for the next 60 years.”
Rado Diastar Original 60-Year Anniversary Edition
Movement – Rado calibre R764 (gold plated), automatic, 25 jewels, 3 hands, date and graphical day display with
2 colour schemes in grey or natural colour Super-LumiNova® at 6 o’clock, 80-hour power reserve, antimagnetic
Nivachron™ hairspring, exceeds standard test requirements from 3 to 5 positions for higher accuracy
Case – Polished Ceramos™ bezel with polished stainless steel middle part and crown
Hexagon faceted sapphire crystal anti-reflective coating on inside face
Polished stainless-steel case back
Water-resistant to 10 bar (100m)
Dial – Metallic grey, circular brushed
Dot indexes filled with natural colour Super-LumiNova®
Hands – Rhodium coloured with natural colour Super-LumiNova®
Rhodium coloured second hand with blind hole
Bracelet – EasyClip system
Satin brushed stainless steel “Milanese”, polished sides, satin brushed cover with polished openers
Additional grey textile strap, satin brushed stainless steel extendable folding clasp and polished pushers
Dimensions – 38.0 x 45.0 x 12.3 (WxLxH in mm)