New Rado Sintra XXL Skeleton Chronometer ¶
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The latest addition to the Matt Baily lineup is Rado, a favourite brand among fashion conscious trend-setters who want avant-garde design and high-tech materials. A pioneer in the field of composites and ceramic watch cases, Rado has made a name for itself by innovating in a traditionally conservative Swiss watch market. One of the centrepieces of the Rado collection is the Sintra, a tonneau-shaped model available in a variety of ceramic colours with an integrated bracelet. And the flagship of the Sintra collection is the new XXL Skeleton Chronometer, which showcases a beautifully skeletonized automatic movement.
The centrepiece of the design is the COSC certified chronometer movement, an automatic winding ETA calibre that is modified exclusively for Rado. It is skeletonized in a very industrial fashion – the bridges and plates are carved away and finished with a brushed black PVD coating, which contrasts with the silvered finish of some of the moving parts. It’s a minimalist approach that emphasizes the mechanical nature of the movement; usually a skeleton watch is engraved and polished to show off the traditional workmanship, whereas this movement is made to look like a complex modern instrument. It’s spectacular to see in person, it looks like a Richard Mille (at about 1/100th the price). The watch has an exhibition caseback to show off the movement from the rear, and it is decorated just as nicely from behind as it is from the front.
The dial, such as it is, is mostly the movement with some small three-dimensional hour markers placed around the edge. These markers are continued by dashes added to the underside of the sapphire crystal. Hands are polished silver finish (a goldtone model is also available, with gold hands and gilded details in the movement). The round movement adds a nice design contrast to the tonneau case; like the Bell & Ross Instrument, the round shape within a square case really works to distinguish the style from other more traditional watches (and the rest of the Sintra lineup). The crystal is perfectly integrated into the case as well, for a slick and sleek look without any noticeable transitions, gaps, bezels or edges. There is something really appealing about the design; it’s very futuristic while remaining minimalist.
The Sintra comes in four sizes, small, large, extra large, and extra extra large. With integrated bracelets, all the models wear bigger than their dimensions would suggest. The Skeleton is only available in the extra extra large men’s size, which is 34mm wide and 44mm long, and it is an imposing timepiece on the wrist. The cuff-like design and tapered case melding into the link bracelet gives the watch a lot of presence, way more than any 34mm wide watch should have.
The case and bracelet are made of Rado’s ever-popular High Tech Ceramic, a very durable and scratch-resistant material. Nowadays ceramic has become pretty commonplace, but Rado was a pioneer in its use in watches – in the 1970s and 80s. Everyone else only got on the bandwagon in the last 10 years, after the introduction of the mega-hit Chanel J12. It has a deep black colour with a high polish finish that goes very well with the sleek appearance of the watch. It’s also a perfect contrast to the silver details and matt finish of the movement (ditto the goldtone model). The big advantage of ceramic is that you can expect years of service with nary a scratch or scuff on the case and bracelet (unless you go swimming in diamonds or start bashing in on granite countertops).
Generally I would consider myself a traditionalist when it comes to watch design. I like classic, timeless looks and vintage watches; the youngest watch in my personal collection is 30 years old. For the Sintra Skeleton, I am willing to make an exception. I think it is a spectacular design, and recall seeing it announced at Baselworld 2010 and immediately loving the style. In person it is even more impressive, enough to woo conservative buyers like myself away from more traditional fare.
We are pleased to be the latest Rado dealer in the Montreal area, and we have received a number of interesting models for men and women just in time for the holidays. Rado is a very distinctive brand that offers high quality, high tech Swiss watches that stand apart from the crowd. If you have any questions about Rado feel free to call us at 514 845 8878 or visit our contact page.