Rado has unveiled a new bronze version of the iconic Captain Cook diver, the first time the self-styled “Master of Materials” has made a bronze-cased watch. The new Captain Cook Bronze Automatic comes with either a green, brown or blue dial, along with matching ceramic bezel insert.

Aside from the bronze case, the watch is faithful to all the codes that have made the re-issue of the Rado classic so popular. Rado may be best-known for pushing the boundaries with new materials and for making slender ceramic watches, but the Captain Cook has now made the company a player in the always popular dive-watch segment.

The new Captain Cooks are a modern take on a Rado classic. In the 1960s, a diving craze swept the oceans – and with it the watch industry – and Rado, mostly known for dress watches, decided to get in on the act. The watch was ambitiously named for the British explorer James Cook and came with a claimed 220 metres of water resistance, as well as a beads-of-rice stainless-steel bracelet and Rado’s characteristic “swinging anchor” emblem at 12 o’clock.

Rado Captain Cook Bronze
Rado Captain Cook Bronze

Around 8,000 Captain Cooks were made between 1962 and 1968, but far fewer than that survive – some are doubtless at the bottom of the ocean – and the originals are highly-prized by collectors. The first modern-era Captain Cook was first released in 2017. There was a limited-edition 37mm version – close to the size of the original – as well as a 45mm ceramic version.

A newer version was released in 2019 with a 42mm case, available on a range of straps and bracelet, as well with different dial colours. Each is powered by an ETA C07 automatic movement with a handy 80 hours power reserve and water-resistance up to 300 metres. Our own interpretation of a classic, the stealthy grey-dialled Rado  x  The  Rake  &  Revolution Captain  Cook  “Ghost  Captain”, is available in limited numbers here.

Rado x Revolution "Ghost Captain" Limited Edition (Image © Revolution)
Rado x Revolution "Ghost Captain" Limited Edition (Image © Revolution)

The 1960s was a big decade for Rado: it introduced the tungsten carbide DiaStar with sapphire crystal, the industry’s first scratch-resistant watch. The Captain Cook may not have been the first diving watch, but as its life extends well into this not-so-young century, it has now established itself as a diver with a very loyal following.

Technical Specifications

Movement

Self-Winding ETA C07; hour, minute and running seconds; date; 80-hour power reserve

Case

42mm brushed bronze, water-resistant to 300m

Strap

Leather with bronze buckle