Rado Captain Cook LE First Impressions
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  1. #1
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    Rado Captain Cook LE First Impressions

    My newest acquisition is the 37mm Rado Captain Cook Limited Edition. The reference number is 01.763.0500.3.130, which is the leather strap model. I don't have any comments on the OEM strap though, as I immediately changed it out to a custom black vintage leather strap I had made by EKStraps (@rene.r), but the buckle is a unique shape and fits the aesthetic of the watch. My watch was purchased from Jomashop, who seem to be perpetually backordered, but only took about 3 weeks from order to delivery with free ground shipping.

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    I'm not an experienced watch reviewer by any means, but I have owned a lot of watches from many of the bigger brands from Hamilton and Seiko all the way up to Tudor, Omega, IWC, etc. Having said that, my first impression was how well the Rado stacks up with some of my higher end watches in terms of fit and finish. The case quality is good, with a basic full polished finish, but the dial and bezel are both very well done. The bezel is an interesting color and is hard to describe. I bought the Rado with the intent to wear it on black leather most of the time, to fill a hole in my collection, and wasn't sure how black leather would pair with either the dial or bezel. My best description of the bezel color would be a very dark platinum or anthracite, which to me pairs with black very well. The bezel is ceramic, and the indices are are a dull, darkish grey, which makes an interesting contrast with the dark bezel. It's not the most contrasty, readable pairing, and doesn't have any lume, but it looks really good and changes a lot with the light.

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    The dial on the limited edition is, as many of you know, the real selling point. It's usually referred to as brown, which it is (I think), but at times it looks anywhere from brown to grey to slightly purple. It's meant to evoke a tropical faded black dial, which I guess it does, but with the sunburst finish and unique color I think it's really quite different than any true tropical dial. The lume is of the faux variety, which I have no issue with. I think bright white lume would have looked pretty odd with the overall subdued color scheme of the watch. The true black dial version of the watch has more of a minty green lume, but I prefer the yellowed style on this watch. The dial is also domed, which combined with the domed sapphire crystal provides a ton of depth and interest.

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    My other concern when I ordered it, beyond the color, was the size. This is a 37.3mm watch (I measured 37.4mm), which is definitely on the small side for a diver, even on my 6.75" wrist. I'm still not entirely sold on it, but I think it works. I'm trying to be very objective about it and not decide it's a good size just because I like the aesthetics so much. It's just over 43mm lug-to-lug, which further adds to its diminutive size. Thickness according to Rado is 11.1mm, but I measured 11.75mm. It's still thin for a diver, especially one with a high domed bezel. Part of this is because, even though the bezel has a very high dome, it sits mostly down below the concave bezel. This also protects the edges of the dial and the bezel insert, but does seem to be a bit of a dust collector.

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    The details of this watch are also a huge part of it's charm. The rotating anchor logo with it's red background is fun and unique. It swivels better than I'd have expected and is usually facing down. The red numerals on the date wheel are another nice touch.

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    My only real nit to pick beyond the size potentially being 1 or 2mm small, is the inaccessibility of the crown. It's a signed, non-screw down crown, and it's a reasonable size. It's bigger than my Intra-matic or my Farer which are both fairly easy to wind and set, but it's also tucked partly under the bezel even when pulled all the way out. It's not terrible, but if you often let your watches wind down it can take a lot of turning to get to the correct am/pm time. The movement (a C07.611) is a derivative of the ETA 2824, which some have an issue with, but I don't mind at all. It has a solid caseback so you can't see it, and an 80 hour power reserve which is fairly impressive. It is a 21,600 frequency, but with the relatively short second hand I don't notice a lot of difference compared to my 28,800 watches.

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    Overall it's a great looking and distinctive watch that I'm hoping I bond with. Looking forward to any feedback on the size, and I'm happy to answer any questions people have about it, as I don't think it's very common around here.
    wtma, doggbiter, Fantasio and 27 others like this.

  2. #2
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    Re: Rado Captain Cook LE First Impressions

    Congrats! Lovely watch and it looks perfect on you.
    Stowa 1938 | Speedy Pro 311 | Omega SMPc | 66 Omega SM | 65 Omega Cosmic | 54 Omega SM | 72 Speedy Mark II | 69 Tissot T.12 | 70 Tissot Super T.12 | 70 Seiko 6139 | 71 Seiko Yachtman | 77 Seiko Pogue | 70s Seiko Bullhead | 69 Bulova SK | Ventus Mori | Helm Khuraburi

  3. #3
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    Re: Rado Captain Cook LE First Impressions

    Perfect size for a "vintage" diver. Looks great. Well done.

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    Member Vioviv's Avatar
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    Re: Rado Captain Cook LE First Impressions

    Excellent review, thank you... I have often paused on that Joma listing and wondered if it would come into stock ... Glad you got one, glad Joma came through for you! I absolutely love the watch and admire Rado for issuing a 37mm model, although I'm a bit baffled at the other models going up to 45mm. Anyway, wear it in good health!

  6. #5
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    Re: Rado Captain Cook LE First Impressions

    I agree on the rotating anchor, it's a detail that makes it distinct. A very classy watch. Congratulations.
    Would you say I have a plethora of watches?

  7. #6
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    Re: Rado Captain Cook LE First Impressions

    Great review and I own the same watch! My only complaint is I wish the actual number of the watch was on the back instead of 1 out of 1962

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    Beautiful watch.I've been checking out another Rado myself, the Hyperchrome Automatic R32091163. Congrats and enjoy!
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  9. #8
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    Re: Rado Captain Cook LE First Impressions

    I agree, didn't think anybody else would pick that particular nit though. I suppose it gets a little spendy, but plenty of microbrands individually number.

    Quote Originally Posted by mharris660 View Post
    Great review and I own the same watch! My only complaint is I wish the actual number of the watch was on the back instead of 1 out of 1962

  10. #9
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    Re: Rado Captain Cook LE First Impressions

    Very nice. Does anybody know what Hyperchrome means? The model line is all over the place.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tonystix View Post
    Beautiful watch.I've been checking out another Rado myself, the Hyperchrome Automatic R32091163. Congrats and enjoy!

  11. #10
    Member Chris Stark's Avatar
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    Re: Rado Captain Cook LE First Impressions

    Like it!
    "Hide not your talents, they for use were made. What's a sundial in the shade?" -Ben Franklin
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