Rado last revived the Captain Cook – its original vintage dive piece – five years ago. What began as a limited edition 37mm case release has since grown into an expansive catalog of watches, appearing in a wide range of dial colors, materials, and case sizes. In early April, Rado announced the release of the most impressive piece from the lineup yet – the Rado Over-Pole Worldtime. Let's review this watch and its top features.
Initially, the Over-Pole was a spinoff of the original Captain Cook watch released in the 1960s. It had the same water-resistance rating and case profile as its predecessor, and so does the new Captain Cook Over-Pole. In addition to a classic design, the 2022 Over-Pole is an affordable vintage-inspired timepiece that fits perfectly in this growing catalog. Part of the reason you will love the Over-Pole is Rado's progressive approach to watch design and materials. This watch revives a classic vintage piece with increased functionality and a vibe most connoisseurs will love. Still offered in a 37mm format, the watch also boasts of a sapphire crystal exhibition caseback and an 80-hour power reserve.
Captain Cook watch debuted in 2017, and its skin-diver-adjacent design, premium materials, and world-class movement thrilled many watch enthusiasts. Five years later, the whirling anchor logo, "kissing seahorse" engraving, and concave bezel continues to impress. The display caseback is set on a hand winder, and at the height of 10.3mm, the Over-Pole is impressively graceful. The watch is packaged in two strap options. Watch lovers that prefer a bold wrist presence will love the stainless steel bracelet with beads of rice and brightly polished center links. In addition to offering unique amenities like a secure two-button release and sharply engraved clasp, this bracelet makes the watch look period-correct and handsomely upscale. The other strap is a deep cocoa brown classic leather option with cream contrast stitching.
Like the rest of its features, the dial on the new Rado Over-Pole Worldtime is impressive. It has an intriguing gradient design that is black in the periphery and then transitions to grey in the center. Overall, the dial is an absolute departure from the new Over-Pole's design from the rest of the catalog. Almost all the elements are unique to this version, from the handsome diamond-shaped facets on the indices to the polished dauphine handset. The texture of the silver sunburst is heavily grained, and the degrade gradient is very stark, from pure black to silver, which greatly enhances the visual quality of the watch. Rado has also maintained several decorative features from the 1960 original, including the Over-Pole emblem printed at 6 o'clock in swoopy print and the red numerals in the date window at 3 o'clock. The contrast in the dial's gradient is designed to accentuate the curvature of this feature, but it also improves the legibility of the outer 24-hour scale. This scale is supposed to be used together with the rotating world time bezel, allowing you to use the watch as a quick reference for several time zones. Even more impressive, Rado achieves this without using the complex GMT complication.
Case and Bezel
The stainless steel case of this vintage-inspired watch is offered in a compact 37mm-wide that promises to sit gracefully on the wrist. Like its predecessors, its design features tapering attached lugs, a broad coin edge bezel that extends past the main case's edge, thin vertical case sides, a skin diver-style layout, and an unguarded pillbox crown. The broad bezel of the new Over-Pole sets it apart from other watches in the lineup. Where previous pieces have had a unidirectional bezel, this new model features a bidirectional layout with a glossy black ceramic insert. The insert has an inward slope that resembles a slope, but Rado fills the space with an engraved 24-city world time scale. Like its predecessors, however, the 2022 Over-Pole's bezel has an easy-to-grip serrated edge. This feature helps it maintain its vintage aesthetic while the watch as a whole is even more functional than previous Captain Cook models.
The new Captain Cook Over-Pole is powered by the ETA-based R862 hand wound movement. The R862 is basically a manually wound version of the Powermatic 80 movement used by Swatch Group brands. In terms of performance, it has a significant 80-hour power reserve, working at a 21,600 bph beat rate. The R862 also uses a Nivachron hairspring, with Rado claiming that the movement's internal accuracy is very superior.
World Time Display
The new Over-Pole uses a 12-hour movement. This means that its worldtime display works through a combination of faceted hour markers on the silver dial and the laser-engraved city-scale located on the ceramic bezel insert. The 24-hour markers can be found on the outside of the 12 applied hour markers on the silver dial. To use them, all you need to do is align your hour hand with your current time zone on the bezel. You should be able to see the time – in one-hour offsets – in any of the 24 time zones.
Rado has changed several of the 24 city names that originally appeared in the 1962 models. Nonetheless, the overall design of the caseback remains true to the 1960s visual themes. This is evident in the tightly packaged configuration and slim, clean typeface. The caseback features a sapphire display that allows you to see the decorated hand wound movement. Additionally, the water resistance rating for the Captain Cook Over-Pole remains a reasonable 100 meters.
Price and Availability
Currently, the new Over-Pole is exclusively sold at the HODINKEE Shop although its availability is bound to grow over time. Rado has only released 1,965 individually numbered watches for this iteration, with each selling at $2,400.
Since it reintroduced the Rado Captain Cook series to its catalog in 2017, Rado has continually produced impressive vintage-inspired dive pieces. Its latest release, the new Rado Over-Pole Worldtime, combines the classic look of the 1960 original with thoughtful, modern features and functionality. The result is a timeless and graceful watch with worldtime function that is well worth the investment.
Written by Lily Wordsmith
Read more posts by Lily Wordsmith