Rado brings bronze to its ceramic range with great aplomb in the new HyperChrome Automatic Chronograph Limited Edition. The Lengnau brand, a pioneer in the use of ceramic, uses bronze accents for the first time in a watch that will be limited to 999 pieces.
It is a fascinating contrast – high-tech ceramic is one of the most modern materials used in watchmaking while bronze remains one of the world’s oldest alloys. The new model uses an imposing 45 mm wide matt black case made from scratch-resistant high-tech Monobloc ceramic. The matt black case forms a stark contrast with the shiny bronze inserts on the caseband and chronograph pushers. The material used is an aluminum bronze alloy (CuSn8) with hints of tin.
While the bronze will age with time and develop a well-worn patina, the ceramic should stay spotless and remain virtually ageless. The black ceramic bezel has an engraved tachymeter filled with white lacquer. It is fitted with an exhibition caseback that has an engraving of the limited edition number.
The black dial has a linear brushed finish and sports a three register layout and the applied rose gold numerals really stand out against this dark background. Time is indicated by rose gold-plated hands filled with white Super-LumiNova, rose gold is also used on the chronograph counter hands. A date window is placed at 4.30 o’ clock.
The watch is powered by the self-winding ETA 2894-2 chronograph movement. The 4 Hz movement has a power reserve of 42 hours and features a black oscillating rotor. The watch is paired with a brown vintage look leather strap with a stainless steel extendable folding clasp and polished black high-tech ceramic cover.
In person, the watch looks very modern and this mixture provides a fairly interesting dual-layer construction that distinguishes itself from any other watch in the brand’s collection. The watch is a limited edition of 999 and while the official price has yet to be confirmed, expect it to land in the $5,000 range when it’s released in June.