Baselworld 2013 … The Rado novelties presented by CEO Matthias Breschan and Head of R&D Christian Verdon

What you will see, hear and discover here is quite futuristic. It is the begin of a new era of tactile-operated watches that will need no more crown to be set. Rado, as always, is ahead of time…

Rado is well known for its futuristic watches. The design of the watches and the materials used never are old-fashioned. Rado has no real competitor and a real stand-alone position. By continuously innovating ceramics Rado was able to create extremely hard surfaces and finally to color ceramics.

Today design-wise for Rado everything is possible but still with the blemish that the watches needed a crown to be manipulated and set. A new technology developed within Swatch Group for and with Rado will revolutionize design again and open up a new field of applications.

So if you feel already bored because I am presenting you a women’s watch that has nothing really special to offer you should still read this. This is only the beginning of a new era of watches. Applications for men´s watches are already in the pipeline and trust me these watches will astonish you soon. The Swatch Group has an immense developing and industrial power, so it is only a question of time until Rado will follow with quartz-multifunctional watches that can be operated only by touching the case and/or dial.

Let me now introduce you the science behind touch-sensitive timing presented in the Rado Esenza Ceramic Touch at Baselworld 2013:

Rado has introduced a breakthrough in timing technology with the launch of the new Rado Esenza Ceramic Touch. The Rado technical and materials teams worked with a team of watchmaking experts to ensure the touch sensitive technology was flawless – just like the design of the watch. Rado’s more than 25 years of expertise with ceramic was an immediate advantage as ceramic is a natural insulator. As ceramic does not conduct electricity it is an ideal material for a touch sensitive device. The quartz movement, made up of a number of essential components, includes two chips, which are loaded with the software that governs the watch. The movement sits neatly inside the high-tech ceramic case. Nestled between the movement and the monobloc ceramic case are four electrodes, positioned at 2, 4, 8 and 10 o’clock. When a fingertip influences the electrode through the ceramic case, it acts as a stray capacitor, modifying the frequency of an oscillating circuit. The detection of the movement of a fingertip in a certain sequence on the case instructs the chip to allow the motor to move the hands, thus allowing the time to be set and reset through touch alone. The stainless steel case back of the watch is also an essential component as it “connects” the watch to the body, which acts as a reference for the electronic circuit. For this reason – and due to the fact it has no crown – the Rado Esenza Ceramic Touch can and should be worn on the wrist during setting.

Guys this is the theory, but now I invite you to listen to Rado CEO Matthias Breschan (left) and Christian Verdon, who holds a PhD in Physics and is the Head of R&D at Rado.


The two gentlemen will present you the new Rado Esenza Ceramic Touch


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By watching my video you will then understand how the watch works

A guide to setting the Rado Esenza Ceramic Touch

1. Position the watch on the wrist

2. To activate the touch functions and put the watch into setting mode, touch the case at 8 o’clock for approx. 5 seconds then immediately slide your finger along the right hand side of the case. The watch gives a short ‘beep’.

3. To set the hours, slide your finger along the left hand side of the case in a clockwise direction to move forward and in an anti-clockwise direction to move back one hour.

4. To set the minutes slide your finger along the right hand side of the case in a clockwise direction to move forward and in an anti-clockwise direction to move back.

5. To move the minutes forward faster, maintain pressure on the case at 4 o’clock and at 2 o’clock to move the minutes backwards faster.

6. To exit setting mode touch the watch at 8 o’clock for at least 2 seconds. The watch emits two small ‘beeps’. Setting mode is now deactivated.











I hope this was interesting and now inspires your fantasy. Look at the huge portfolio of inventions the Swatch Group has recently also made with multifunctional quartz watches Can you then imagine the possibilities you now have with that tactile technology?


This is yet another Rado-novelty I want to present you:

The Rado DiaMaster RHW1 Limited Edition equipped with an movement made out of Aluminum

If this is Rado, then the Rado DiaMaster RHW1 Limited Edition is the epitome of the brand. The show-stopping stand out piece in a collection of pared-down design watches, the Rado DiaMaster RHW1 mixes the Rado business of high-tech materials with the pleasure of adding something new in the world of watchmaking – this time an unusual movement for a high-tech ceramic watch. Chosen for being twice as light as standard ceramic, Si3N4 TiN is a form of high-tech ceramic composite that Rado has researched and developed in its latest quest for innovation. Made by heating the mixed powders at 1800 degrees Celsius in an over pressure atmosphere of nitrogen, it is known for its superior wear-resistance. The ‘old bronze’ colour gives the watch case a rugged, lived-in appearance. This is a watch that seems to have a story or two to tell about where it has been. The choice of leather for the strap adds to the windswept and mysterious appeal of this undeniably cool and manly timepiece.

Hard as nails, light as a feather.

The materials may give this DiaMaster its look, but it is the movement that gives the watch its soul. Rado innovations are usually seen in the materials used for the outside of our watches – this DiaMaster also has a Rado innovation on the inside. Aluminum movements were used in pocket watches in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries because of their lightness. It was this past trend and focus on lightness that inspired Rado to use such a movement – the RHW1, which is exclusive to Rado – for the first time in an extremely light and high-tech wristwatch. As ever, the Rado designers have given this limited edition a modern twist to create a watch that oozes 21st century style.







Rado DiaMaster RHW1 Mechanical

Limited Edition of 2000 pieces
Ref: 510.0586.3.115


RHW1 (modified 16 1⁄2 ETA 6497-2), aluminum, manual winding, 17 jewels, 3 hands, no date, small second, 53 hour power reserve, movement exclusive to Rado


matt Si3N4 TiN high-tech ceramic
pressed-on old bronze coloured PVD coated titanium case back with sapphire crystal
Si3N4 TiN high-tech ceramic crown
curved sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating on both sides water-resistant to 10 bar (100m)
special engraving on case back: LIMITED EDITION N° XXXX/2000


black, applied Roman numerals at 3, 6 and 12 o‘clock
1N gold coloured flange
1N gold coloured applied anchor symbol
1N gold coloured applied Rado and mechanical RHW1 logos


1N gold coloured


black leather, 1N gold coloured PVD coated stainless steel folding clasp

Dimensions (WxLxH in mm): 

44.0 x 52.8 x 11.6





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  • Alex, thanks for presenting the Rado novelties!
    One question: The Rado DiaMaster RHW1 Mechanical, is it limited to 200 or 2000 pieces? The text is somehow unclear…

  • It is one thing to develop wonderful technology, but they also need good designs. Unfortunately, Rado designs have always left me stone cold. A little like Scandinavian furniture. Some people love it, but most do not.

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