A Guide to Rado Watches

A Guide to Rado Watches

Who are Rado? 

Rado are a globally recognised Swiss watch brand founded by brothers Fritz, Ernst and Werner Schlup in 1917. They are globally recognised as a Swiss watch brand, famous for their innovative design and use of revolutionary materials to create some of the world’s most recognisable and durable watches. 

Rado specialises in high-tech ceramic watches, and has gone through one magnificent breakthrough to the next. They have had a long and proud history of innovation and drive, continually introducing the unexpected into Swiss watchmaking. 

Throughout history, the company has received 30 international design awards for their design, performance, pioneering spirit and innovation in the watch industry. 

What do Rado do? 

Unlike the mass manufacture of many other luxury watches, Rado watches are produced in a limited quantity each year. Only 500,000 are made per year, including all of their unique designs. They are also only available through limited retailers. 

Rado created the first scratch-resistant watch, the DiaSTar. Not only this, but in 2002, Rado produced the world's hardest watch, created with sapphires and diamonds. When it comes to continual development and innovation, Rado is one of the leaders in the luxury watches industry. This ethic of innovation led them to create the world’s first touch technology watch, which was even made of ceramic. 

Although the name ‘Rado’ is not as well known or talked about as brands such as Rolex, or TAG, they have still consistently led the international market in the areas of quality and innovation. 


Rado Ladies

What is Rado’s history? 

In 1917, brothers Fritz, Ernst and Werner Schlup decided to become watchmakers, a trade that impacted the future generations of their family. They began their business in a converted part of their parents’ home in the village of Lengnau, Switzerland. 

Through their ‘relentless energy’ and ‘uncanny abilities to spot new opportunities’, Schlup & Co got off to a promising start, even signing agreements with importers from around the world. By the end of WW2, the factory was one of the biggest producers of watch movements. This led the brothers to launch their own watch brand, Rado. 

During the 1970s, Rado flawlessly established themselves as the watchmakers that were ahead of their time. By experimenting with futuristic materials and cutting edge technology, Rado’s research and development team created blueprints for highly original timepieces. Their reputation as ‘Master of Minerals’ was consolidated in the 1980s with some of the most durable and luxurious timepieces.

The company’s first major success was with the Golden Horse collection from 1957. This was the first collection to come out under Rado’s name. After this, in 1958, the Green Horse collection was released. It was the first model to be advertised as water-resistant by Rado. 

What makes Rado stand out? 

Rado's name is synonymous with Swiss-made quality. They have always had the unique ability to mould and shape the watchmaking industry to their liking, always staying one step ahead. To this day, Rado continues to hold true to their ‘pioneering spirit’, which is in accord with their mission, 'If we can Imagine it, we can make it. And if we can make it, we will!’ 

What are the Rado designs?  

Innovation in design and materials has always been the driving force behind Rado’s success. The company has managed to keep colour consistency with all of their watches, which can be very difficult. A challenge with manufacturing ceramic products is that it is hard to achieve colour consistency, but Rado have managed to do it! Especially when it comes to their white or grey watches. 

’Design you can feel.’

Creativity is a huge part of Rado’s design process. The brand has collaborated with some of the world’s most visionary artists and designers such as Andy Warhol and Le Corbusier. This promotion of creativity links with Rado's innovative ethic, leading to award-winning designs and timepieces. 

What is the history of Rado watch movements?


Rado Watches


1957 - Golden Horse. This groundbreaking timepiece marked a new chapter for the Schlup family. After 40 years of continuous successes, the brothers embarked on their own watch brand. The Golden Horse was the first watch under the name ‘Rado’. 

1962 - Rado DiaSTar. The world’s first scratch proof watch. It was crafted from an ultra-resistant hard metal, which was an impressive technical innovation in the watch industry. It boasted a futuristic design approach which became a crucial strand of the brand’s DNA. 

1962 - Captain Cook. Rado’s first diving watch, aimed at doctors, engineers, athletes, deep sea divers and racing car drivers. Its USP and signature was a pivoting anchor that indicated when the watch needed to be serviced. This anchor became Rado’s logo, even becoming more important than the brand name itself!


Rado Watches


1975 - Elegance. A square and chunky model, featuring a larger, eight-sided aperture. The model was ahead of its time technically. 

1976 - Glissiere. This eye-catching model was a square timepiece, with boldly slanted edges and the time displayed on a black dial through a rounded aperture. Its edge-to-edge sapphire crystal and metalization are two elements that became synonymous with Rado design. 

1984 - Rado Anatom. The success of this watch was instantaneous. It was said to, ‘mould itself to the wrist for optimal wearer-comfort.’ Its Cylindrical sapphire was also a watchmaking first.


Rado Watches


1986 - Integral. This model revolutionised the watch industry with its use of scratch-resistant, high-tech, ceramic, a material more commonly used for ultra-high-speed aircraft.

2002 - Rado V10K. This watch was made of high-tech diamond, with a show-stopping strength of 10,000 Vickers, entering the Guinness World Records as the world’s hardest watch.

2011 - R5.5. This was a watch containing a high-tech material originally introduced in 1993, offering the sheen of a metal and the hardness of a high-tech ceramic. 

2021 - Le Corbusier. A collection of timepieces in nine, stunning, vivid colours, confirming Rado’s place at the forefront of watch design. 

What are Rado watches made of? 

Whether they are made from high quality, high-tech ceramic and diamonds, or conventional sapphire crystals, Rado has always placed an importance on comfort and durability with the materials of their watches. 

They also place a huge importance on the comfort of their customers. This is evident by the fact that a large part of the materials that they use are hypoallergenic and gentle to the skin. 

Rado continues to keep launching and improving on high-tech materials and maintaining the sleek and modern look of their designs.

Do Rado watches hold value? 

Due to higher demand and lower supply, Rado watches will continue to increase or hold in value. Rado watches are, and will continue to be a good investment due to their unmatched, high quality, Swiss-made, and innovative design. 

Rado watches at Deacons

Start your Rado Journey with our helpful and friendly team at Deacons! Visit our modern, Swindon-based showroom to view the range in person and see all options available to you. Enquire Here, or alternatively, email us at enquiries@deacons-jewellers.com to book a consultation and to talk with one of our experts.