The stunningly-lit Burj Al Arab and a starry desert sky formed the backdrop for the launch of Swiss watch brand Rado's newest collection, named the HyperChrome Collection – an apt setting for the new watches and the customers that it is targeting.

Rado has been producing fine timepieces since 1957, although the company has been around since 1917, first producing watch movements alone. Throughout its history, Rado has pioneered the use of innovative technology to create cutting-edge materials to be used in watch manufacture. The HyperChrome collection continues the tradition of creative innovation in its design.

Past and future

Rado has been producing watches for over fifty years now. You can pick up decades old Rados and you'll be struck by how the pieces never seem outdated or unfashionable. This can be attributed to their constant affinity to technological advances which they try to incorporate in their pieces. In 1962, Rado launched the DiaStar Original watch with scratchproof hardmetal and there was no looking back. Rado engineers then discovered high-tech ceramics in 1986, a material which has been used in F1 racing and even the heat shield of space shuttles and has now become almost a trademark for the Rado brand. Rado also uses Ceramos (which was developed from the platinum coloured high-tech ceramic), high-tech diamond and high-tech lanthanum to create timepieces of unparalleled hardness and durability. Creating magic from metal seems to be what drives the engineers and designers at Rado.

New design

The HyperChrome Collection has a dual purpose it seems, the first to showcase Rado's continued pursuit of all things futuristic and the second, to draw in a younger customer towards the brand. Matthias Breschan, the CEO of Rado says that the brand's traditional customer was forty-plus, with a desire to own something tangible that does not age with time. With the HyperChrome Collection, the typical Rado loyalist will hopefully, according to the brand managers, find members from the younger generation for company.

In ceramic watch building, either a steel base is used on which the product is built, or the process follows a sandwich form. But this new collection features timepieces created using high-tech ceramic and hardened steel in a monocoque construction, definitely a first for the brand and the watch industry. The monocoque design was previously seen only in the manufacture of car bodies. With watches, the construction posed its own difficulties, especially in the production of the Chronograph pieces.

But Rado has surged ahead to create a one-piece high-tech ceramic case, with the lugs and surrounding components integrated seamlessly into this case to create a singular finished form. Mr Breschan urged that this is in keeping with the brand's commitment to creating stylistically pure and minimalist watches with futuristic materials and design.

The watches

Lovers of all things Rado would remember the Golden Horse family of watches launched by the brand a few decades ago. The style of these iconic pieces has been revisited in the HyperChrome Collection but the materials used are all completely modern. The watches from this collection combine high-tech ceramic, Ceramos and diamonds, with a hardness of 1250 Vickers. Available in black and pure white, the watches are classic in style and adhere to Rado's love of monochromes. Contrasting elements on either side of the case form a parenthesis of metallic-finished inserts, which match the dial detail. The 27-piece strong collection is set to cater to all customers with models that are sporty, classic and bejewelled. Here's a look at two of the HyperChrome watches which epitomise the essence of the collection:

Rado HyperChrome Automatic in white high-tech ceramic

This classic piece features a polished white high-tech ceramic case with a see-through case back and curved sapphire crystal. The bracelet is made of three rows of high-tech ceramic with a Titanium 3-fold buckle. The dial is white with twelve gold-coloured applied indexes and a moving anchor symbol. The inserts are stainless steel yellow PVD pieces. The movement has 38 hours of power reserve and the watch is water resistant up to 10 bar. This stylishly feminine watch dazzles in pure white with an unmistakable hint of gold from the metal inserts.

Rado HyperChrome Automatic Chronograph in black high-tech ceramic

This masculine timepiece carries a case made with black, polished high-tech ceramic along with a see-through case back and curved sapphire crystal. The dial is black with twelve rhodium-applied indexes and stainless steel pushers and case inserts. The bracelet is made of black high-tech ceramic with a Titanium buckle. The watch is water-resistant up to 10 bar and the movement has a power reserve of 48 hours. Perfect for the sporty individual.

The price of the collection starts at Rs 1,00,000.

At BaselWorld 2011, Rado had launched their Rado True Thinline, the world's thinnest ceramic watch, showcasing their creative prowess. With the technologically advanced HyperChrome collection being launched ahead of BaselWorld 2012, it is sure to stir up some anticipation around what new and exciting collection Rado will have to offer at the watch fair.

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