Rado Captain Cook Over-Pole Limited Edition: Rare Treat
Rado revisits its 1962 worldtimer with this reissue, which might be the most interesting in its class, thanks to some unusual decisions.
While watch brands are not typically known for making bold moves, they can surprise, as Rado does with the Captain Cook Over-Pole Limited Edition (reference R32116158), a reissue of a rare worldtimer from the 1960s. This idiosyncratic 2022 release differs from the original in one important way: it features a manual winding movement even though all indications are that the original was an automatic. To get it out of the way, neither this version nor the original used a proper worldtime module, such as the Louis Cottier-pioneered one used by both Patek Philippe and Vacheron Constantin in the 1930s. Instead, both the current Over-Pole and vintage use a bi-directional rotating bezel with city names to do the job, in a lifehack sort of way.
Rado actually has another new Captain Cook model in play, a ceramic dive watch, but the Captain Cook Over-Pole immediately superseded it in our schedule. It is a limited edition of 1,962 pieces — a reference to its year of original manufacture — so it might disappear soon after all. The size of the limited edition Over-Pole is 37mm, just like the original, and it is in stainless steel, unlike the ceramic the Lengnau-based firm is mostly known for today. The date also features red text just like the original (now sans magnifier). The gradient dial is similar to the original, as are the rhodiumized applied indexes and the SuperLuminova dots above them. Contemporary updates include sapphire for the box crystal (although the shape is consistent with the original) and ceramic for the bezel insert with laser engraving for the city names. Our basis for comparison here is the excellent 2019 story on the vintage piece in Fratello by Michael Stockton.
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As for the movement, the Rado R862 appears to be based on the Powermatic 80 (ETA C07.111), which we (and other observers including WatchTime and Monochrome) surmise from the presence of a Nivachron hairspring and 80 hours of power reserve. This is the only occasion we can recall that this movement has appeared in manual-winding form, thus automatically making the Over-Pole limited edition a notable watch. You can view the movement to your heart’s content via the exhibition caseback, which is also a feature not present in the original. This is a numbered release, and this is indicated on the steel frame of the caseback. Finally, the new Captain Cook Over-Pole Limited Edition is fitted with a brown leather strap, but with a twist. It also comes with a brown pouch with a second beads-of-rice stainless steel bracelet, quickly interchangeable, thanks to the EasyClip system. At SG$3,600 (US$2,400), this represents excellent value.
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