One hundred years. By most standards, it’s a significant amount of time—in the context of Swiss watchmaking, however, a century is considered more sophomore than senior.
It was in 2017 that Swatch Group-owned Rado turned 100. The humble family enterprise founded in Lengnau in 1917 as a watch parts supplier only began making its own timepieces in the 1950s, but what has followed since is an illustrious timeline of, as the brand calls them, milestones. “We are about celebrating our milestones and we like to keep doing new things,” says Toronto-based brand manager Céline Cano, seated at Notch8 inside the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver (where, coincidentally, a dressed-down Maya Rudolph is spotted casually chatting with a sales attendant at the onsite Gucci boutique). Whereas many luxury watch brands boast about their history (and for good reason), Rado—in Vancouver to exhibit at the 2018 Interior Design Show—chooses instead to focus on the future.
Known for experimenting with materials, Rado creates watches that are playful, textured offerings of entry-level luxury. A perfect example? The HyperChrome Automatic Chronograph, a limited-edition design encompassing an exciting combination of vintage and modern elements. The face is made of the brand’s signature high-tech ceramic, which is scuff-resistant (“You can throw it in your bag and it won’t get scratched—unless you have a diamond ring in there,” Cano jokes), lightweight, and hypoallergenic. The sides, meanwhile, are made of bronze, which will tarnish and change over time, resulting in a patina that is special to every individual wearer. Tied together with a soft brown leather strap, the HyperChrome is a perfectly unisex accessory.
Considering there are only 999 of these pieces available worldwide, to own one is to be part of an exclusive club of people who embrace the ways in which we change—and stay the same—as time goes forever on.