Rado & diamonds

Always had a fascination for Rado and their interesting ceramic designs, and all too easy to miss their more conventional models – such as this one, which caught my attention recently – slightly different, elegant – yes, automatic – surprising, with diamonds – Wow! and plus that something special – a look perhaps.

Rado Coupole model Automatic Ladies ‘Diamonds’ with deployment bracelet

This rather elegant Rado Coupole Automatic ‘Diamonds’ bracelet watch has a slightly different dial configuration than shown in their current range, but for me, it has been well received by my partner, it’s just what she wanted.
It’s that little bit different, not overly feminine – even with the diamonds are forever – and all that (though my Wife fortunately has never considered that essential) and it’s not the usual Quartz, but a very good Automatic, so, no fiddling around to change the battery, when the man in the house is not about.

Note – Two things my Wife never does – wash the car and change a watch battery – sensible girl!

Also, she likes the fact that at around 32mm diameter, it’s just the right size for the ‘today’ lady – the tiny dial older vintage models of yesteryear, so out of fashion now – or so she says!  This coming from someone who has a nice collection of vintage ladies watches! Or maybe she just says the right things at the right time!

This model has to be a NOS (new old stock) or at the least, VERY rarely worn, as I can find no signs at all of any wear – not that it’s that old, but still quite unbelievable and for me, a definite bargain!

A silvered dial, not MOP as current ones, but simple, simple – gold coloured main hands and a centre seconds sweep hand – and it shows just the time. It also features applied stud/diamond markers all the way round and as long as she’s wearing it, being automatic, it runs!

I read somewhere that the diamonds are just that – real diamonds – not large of course – each maybe around 0.038 carats – but there’s a good few of them.
The crystal is high quality Sapphire and the Rado signed Automatic movement has a Power Reserve of 38 hours, so you can take it off at night with no worries – it’ll still be ticking in the morning.

It is also noticeably a very, very smooth mechanism and in fact everything about this watch is smooth.  The stainless case finish is exceptional, smooth as silk as is the bracelet and I take my hat off to Rado, for the sheer quality of finish.

Rado Coupole “diamonds” exhibition back – ref 561.3862.4 in stainless dual colour.

The stainless steel case is 31.8mm in diameter, so as said, a nice sized watch and has a Water Resistance of 50m, which is better than many Ladies’ dress watches.  The bracelet is a beautifully finished stainless steel deployment type with integral gold/bronze tone PVD links I believe, which suits it well and adds a neat colour combination.

To cap it all, as said, I got myself a bit of a bargain, as I’ve recently seen a similar pre-owned one currently on sale (though single tone stainless only) for £1195 and higher. But I managed to pick this one up at auction for less than half that figure – so happy days.

Rado Ladies Coupole on MY wrist – perfect.

Another plus point for me is that it is such a good size – mid size they’d call it now or Uni-Sex (doesn’t that grate?), I can wear it too – my Wife’s wrists are just about the same as mine diameter wise.  However I have larger hands, so the nicely made folding deployment buckle with it’s neat built in extender, allows it to slip over my hand without any trouble at all – very neat.  And as it’s not too feminine, it looks really good.

So, in a way, Rado have almost over-shadowed their more conventional watches, with the fanfare introduction of the ceramic range, as if that’s all they did. And it certainly is not.

The Coupole being a fine example and I’m very pleased to have it.

A favourite 5 – Limited Edition

Seems as if Seiko has been around all my life and never let me down.  I seem to recall my first Seiko was bought maybe around 1961 and I’ve still got it.

And would you believe it, some 60 years later I’m still buying them.  And every so often I come across another Seiko that just has to be in my collection.

Seiko Sports 5 Limited Edition Automatic

And this one, surprisingly isn’t a “Sumo” Prospex, which seems to be all the rage with collectors. Instead, this is a Sports 5 from a few years back – a Limited Edition one, yes, but it looks good, it’s in great condition, has the newer 7S36 replacement movement – the 4R36A, so hacks and hand winds – so for me it’s a no brainer – I just have to have it.

So practical, useful and as accurate as I’ll ever need – with its 24 jewel automatic, Diashock movement and a good size, just makes this a great watch to own and wear – every day, period. Not sure why this is a Limited edition, but Seiko know something about clarity, colour and form – and this model shows it all off pretty much to perfection.

Seiko 24 jewel 4R36A Automatic movement

It has the clearest of dials to see at a glance. Large hands, great sweep seconds centre hand and a date and time window @3.  It’s also, as I said, a decent Automatic – just pick it up and it’s running smoothly and looking good.

A very solid construction, this one and with a very solid link bracelet (I prefer the strap as I’m no longer into diving – if ever) it is heavy.  But with the quality matching colour Hirsch leather strap, it feels great on the wrist. Diameter wise it’s around 40mm without crown, which, by the way does NOT screw-down.  However it says on the dial 10bar, so it’s not too shabby, but hardly a serious Diver if truth be told – but good enough for the recreational Diver in us all!

The night clarity is good, but not on a par with my old first series Orange Monster Seiko, which is a shame, as in daylight it is so good.

Seiko Sports 5 on the wrist – leather strap

As I say, I just had to have it, if just for the reason of this particular colour scheme and that wonderful contrast and clarity, which is quite brilliant.  An exhibition back shows the innards and the outer bezel is a one direction affair, which is as it should be and all in – this is a great addition to my collection of Divers and recreational Diver watches.

And the thing about these Sports 5 models is that they are VERY affordable – something some other Brands should take note of – well made, tough, practical, easy to see, properly luminous, hand winding, hacking automatic movement – I mean – what’s not to like!

I won this one at auction and paid not far off the new retail price and happy to do so.  The reason of course is not just that they are so affordable, it’s more the model/vintage that dictates the value – and I’d pay that price all day long.

Classic Ladies LeCoultre

Classic LeCoultre –

Original LeCoultre ladies fancy bezel – c1954

However, this model is NOT the more popular and later Rendez-vous, which has a rotating bezel with a dot marker – a tricky marketing feature, where the Lady moves the bezel around the dial, denoting the number of hours to the “Rendez-vous”.

This is the earlier fixed fancy wide bezel version of around 1954 and without jewels, in 14 carat gold vintage cased LeCoultre in original untouched condition.  Inside is a manual LeCoultre signed movement, a silver dial, though now with aged patina and I’ve fitted a newer leather strap, as the old one fell to pieces.  It would appear that the previous Lady owner wore this pretty constantly.

Why I purchased this model was simply that you don’t often find an older LeCoultre ladies watch in such truly original condition, which for me, makes this rather special.  Date wise this is from around 1954 and this particular model (different strap) is listed in the Thirty-Eighth edition Complete Guide Watches, Gilbert, Engle & Planes.

The unique button markers are an integral part of the case and are situated surround the small original acrylic crystal covered dial.  I also noted the winder is original – so often these are replacements with watches of this age. The watch also runs perfectly and keeps very good time and according to my Wife, is neat to wear and a nice size.

I may end up managing a sympathetic clean and polish, but don’t really want to spoil the look of age and obviously a well loved watch, so the final decision has to be my Wife’s – and I think she likes it just as it is.

As with many auctions, this one was bought at a hammer price well below the US estimate, so I’m happy with it – plus the fact – where do you get another one and doesn’t it look good on the wrist.