Since its inception 100 years ago, Swiss watchmaker Rado has earned a reputation for material innovation and award-winning design. The brand was among the first to craft timepieces from zirconium oxide (known as “high-tech ceramic” in watch parlance), a lightweight, scratch-resistant alternative to more conventional substances like stainless steel and titanium. Beyond receiving more than 35 design awards, the company is also the creator of the Rado Star Prize, a competition for young designers. (Our editor-in-chief was on the award’s 2016 jury.) Through exposure to this community, Rado has forged partnerships with globally celebrated designers like Jasper Morrison and now Konstantin Grcic.
For his first foray into horology design, Grcic reimagined the Rado Ceramica, bringing freshness to a product that made its debut in 1990. He selected a matte case and bracelet and conceived a dial modeled after pilot’s watches, which he praised for their straightforward graphics and clean aesthetic. Detailed decisions in watch design, according to Grcic, play out in tiny ways that you can barely notice with the naked eye. For Rado, such precision in craftsmanship has proven successful for a century.