We look at Swiss watchmaker Rado as its annual emerging talent award makes its UK debut
If one of the tenets of design is a commitment to detail, then watch design takes that to a whole new level – as industrial designer Konstantin Grcic quickly realised when he was tasked with redesigning Rado’s classic ‘Ceramica’ watch. ‘ We’re talking about radiuses of 0.2 or 0.25mm,’ he said upon its release last year. ‘It’s very difficult to comprehend the difference, but it matters a lot.’ It is, of course, this very attention to detail – in both design and function – that has made the Swiss brand a go-to for both watch- and design-enthusiasts alike. The ‘Ceramica’ is a case in point. The brand’s first high-tech ceramic watch (Rado’s signature material is harder than metal, scratch-resistant and both light and comfortable to wear), with a completely integrated watch case and bracelet, it was groundbreaking upon its initial release in 1990: Grcic has described its design as ‘absolutely iconic and pure’. Now, his expert redesign – in which the case itself is subtly enlarged to become ‘visually distinguished’ from the bracelet – honours that legacy, while evolving the ‘Ceramica’ for a new generation of watch wearers. Find out more at rado.com
Rado has a long history of seeking inspiration from designers in fields as diverse as fashion, architecture and graphic design. Notable collaborations include Jasper Morrison’s ‘r5.5’ design in 2009 and this year’s limitededition Rado ‘True’ watches, of which interior designer Sam Amoia (above) was one of six renowned designers to apply his vision. ‘I wanted to create an innovative piece that reflects my aesthetic and personal design philosophy,’ Amoia said. His statement timepiece features a plasma high- tech ceramic case and what looks like a layer of silvery metallic slivers on the watchface to create an effect that has been compared to a ‘disco ball’. Another bold first for Rado.
AN EYE TO THE FUTURE
Established in 2008 to showcase and support the work of a new generation of creative talent, the annual Rado Star Prize offers unestablished designers a platform to show their work to experts from the design field and general public alike. Held in the context of larger design events, such as Paris Design Week or Design Prize Switzerland, the competition is awarded across Europe, Asia and the US, and is coming to the UK for the first time this year. Previous winners include a compact printer that ‘eats’ through the paper stack it sits on (above), chairs crafted from recycled plastic ( left) and a set of chairs designed to evoke the movement of a dancer’s choreography (right). ‘ We live and breathe fearless design,’ says Rado CEO Matthias Breschan, ‘and we want to promote this mindset in the next generation of creative minds’.
‘ We live and breathe fearless design and we want to promote this mindset in the next generation of creative minds through the Rado Star Prize’
Left and top Industrial designer Konstantin Grcic with his ‘Chair One’ and at work on his redesign of Rado’s iconic ‘Ceramica’ watch Above Interior designer Sam Amoia wearing his limited-edition take on the Rado ‘True’ watch, which has a face that has bee
Clockwise from above ‘Glow’ chairs by Kimberly Markel, RSP USA, 2017. ‘Stack’ printer by Mugi Yamamoto, RSP Switzerland, 2015. ‘The Once Liquid Plastic’ by Julien Manaira, RSP France, 2017. ‘Dancers’ chair by Aurélie Hoegy, RSP France, 2015