RADO True Round Open Heart

Since the launch of the Diastar, the world’s first scratchproof watch made from ultra-resilient tungsten carbide in 1962, Rado has become a byword for high-tech materials, especially high-tech ceramic. In tune with the latest trend for skeletonisation, Rado has issued a host of openworked models, ranging from golden oldies like the Captain Cook and Diastar to more contemporary models like the True Square Open Heart. Four models of the brand’s True Round high-ceramic collection are the next in line for treatment and roll into surgery for an open-heart operation. Unlike its predecessors, the surgery is far less invasive, resulting in a dial that has not compromised legibility in the name of skeletonisation. Four models, including a limited edition, represent the new True Round Open Heart sub-collection. All four models share a monobloc 50m water-resistant high-tech ceramic case with a diameter of 40mm and a thickness of 10.4mm.
Before we look at the watches, a brief word on high-tech ceramic. Lighter but harder than steel, high-tech ceramic is exceptionally resilient to scratches, is lightweight, and has a cool, silky texture that makes it very comfortable on the wrist. It is also a much more complicated material to produce, and as Robin points out in his in-depth article, a ceramic component takes at least two weeks to complete from start to finish. Ceramic can also be finished to a matte or mirror-like polish and will retain its impeccable lustre for years to come. If you’re interested, the weight of the True Round Open Heart is just 110.7 grams. Two of the non-limited models come in polished black or white high-tech ceramic cases, while the third is made of high-tech plasma ceramic. This is an even more complicated material to produce and is fired at temperatures of 20,000 ºC that alter its structure to create its liquid-metal sheen.
The Rado True Round Open Heart Limited Edition of 888 pieces also has a polished white high-tech ceramic case and bracelet but features a unique dichroic sapphire crystal over the dial. Dichroism is a term used in gemmology to describe the phenomenon of two colours emitted from different angles of a gemstone. The dichroic sapphire crystal over the dial changes colour under different lighting and viewing angles.
As far as skeletonised dials go, the Rado True Round Open Heart approach is less radical than the operations practised on the models mentioned in the first paragraph. This less invasive approach makes it easier to consult the time and might prove more attractive to those who are not big fans of skeletonised dials. Unlike the parallel bridges spanning the dial of the True Square, the Rado True Round Open Heart features a slightly off-centred figure eight cutout. Regarded as a symbol of infinity and a lucky number in China, the figure eight is supported by horizontal bridges and rests its top and bottom on the chapter ring.
To consult the time, the rose gold-coloured indices on the chapter ring and the tips of the hour and minute hands are treated with white Super-LumiNova. Compounding the sleek monochromatic look, the chapter ring matches the case colour. To draw the eye into the movement, the cutout areas on the dial are highlighted with rose gold-coloured bevels. The signature Rado moving anchor symbol hasn’t been left out and appears on the lower bridge. All four models have matching high-tech ceramic bracelets with a triple-folding titanium clasp.
The R734 automatic movement, with its sunray guilloché-style finishing and perlage, is visible on the dial side and also through the sapphire crystal on the titanium caseback. Based on the ETA Powermatic 80 calibre, this automatic movement has an anti-magnetic Nivachron hairspring and a beefy 80-hour power reserve thanks to the reduced frequency of 3Hz and a reworked kinetic chain.

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