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Rado’s Iconic DiaStar Gets Stripped Back to the Bone

Rado is famed for its innovative use of ceramics and its highly imaginative designs. That’s no surprise when the company slogan is “If we can imagine it, we can make it. And if we can make it, we will”. You know you’re going to get some wonderful creations from this Swiss watchmaker, and of all the watches it’s launched over the years, one of undeniable standouts has been the DiaStar. This futuristic watch showcased groundbreaking features and in 2022, to celebrate its 60th anniversary, Rado combined that iconic design with its mastery of uncommon materials. For the first time, the DiaStar was presented in a ceramic case. That evolution continues with its latest take on this timeless design, the Rado DiaStar Original Skeleton.

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Rado DiaStar Original Skeleton R12162153 | Image: Rado
Rado DiaStar Original Skeleton R12162153 | Image: Rado

The DiaStar made a splash for the simple reason that it looks like nothing else. Debuted in 1962, the watch was an instant hit and was among the first watches to feature a sapphire crystal. But the big story was the case, or more specifically, the bezel. Designed to be scratch-proof and forged from Tungsten Carbide, it was a wonderfully original design that was all about elegant curves.

But Tungsten Carbide is difficult to work with and heavy on the wrist, so this latest model is crafted from Ceramos. As well as being lighter, this bezel is more refined and contoured than previous models. The dark Ceramos bezel sets the tone for the watch and this colour palette is continued throughout the design. We love that it gives the graceful curves a more masculine character and sitting on the case is another distinctive feature – a square-faceted sapphire crystal that you’re unlikely to see elsewhere.

Rado DiaStar Original Skeleton R12162153 | Image: Rado
Rado DiaStar Original Skeleton R12162153 | Image: Rado

Of course, this is the first skeletonised version of the DiaStar so the dial is the real star of the show. It offers a great view of the movement beneath, Rado’s own Calibre R808 Automatic. Based on the well-known Powermatic 80 movement, it also boasts an 80hr power reserve and, on Rado’s version, has grey bridges to match the sombre tone of the case.

Contrasting with that dark look, the floating indices and hands are a vibrant gold, adding much-needed colour and making the watch more legible. And if you want to see even more of the movement? There’s a sapphire exhibition back.

Rado DiaStar Original Skeleton R12162153 | Image: Rado
Rado DiaStar Original Skeleton R12162153 | Image: Rado

For fans of the brand, there’s one last piece of this retro-inspired watch that can’t go unmentioned. The Rado logo, as expected, is a gold anchor that pivots with the wearer’s wrist movement, another unique touch on a watch already brimming with individuality.

Rado DiaStar Original Skeleton R12162153 | Image: Rado
Rado DiaStar Original Skeleton R12162153 | Image: Rado

Rado DiaStar Original Skeleton R12162153

Diameter: 38mm
Height: 11.9mm
Case: Polished Ceramos
Movement: Rado Calibre R808 Automatic
Bracelet: Stainless Steel
Water Resistance: 100M
Price: AUD $3,100

Rado DiaStar Original Skeleton R12162153 | Image: Rado
Rado DiaStar Original Skeleton R12162153 | Image: Rado
Rado DiaStar Original Skeleton R12162153 | Image: Rado
Rado DiaStar Original Skeleton R12162153 | Image: Rado


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Lee Smith
Contributor

Lee Smith

Lee Smith lives in Tynemouth, England. Having graduated with a BA(Hons) from Sheffield University (1996) he spent several years at a FTSE 100 software company. He left to pursue his love of literature and opened a bookstore. As well as exhibiting books at events around the UK, he also became manager of the annual Alnwick Bookfair. In 2016 Lee switched to his other passion - watches. He began retailing niche brands and launched his own microbrand. He then used his extensive knowledge of watches to write a popular blog. Since 2020 he's written about watches full time.