Rado Announces the DiaStar Original Skeleton

Last Updated: December 8, 2023Tags: ,

Upon the introduction of the inaugural DiaStar in 1962 by Rado, the horological community couldn’t help but pay attention. However, initially, individuals found it somewhat mysterious. In an age dominated by classic designs, the DiaStar boldly distinguished itself. Its distinctive design, unconventional materials, remarkable durability, and exceptional resistance represented a notable transformation for the watchmaking sector. Over time, its unique form cultivated a dedicated fan base that has steadfastly adhered to the icon and the brand.

In 2022, Rado marked the 60th anniversary of the DiaStar with a commemorative release, introducing new models that departed from the traditional tungsten carbide case – a defining feature of the watch. Instead, Rado opted for Rado Ceramos™, a material celebrated for its exceptional qualities such as durability, lightness, and scratch resistance, captivating enthusiasts globally. This refined Ceramos™ not only ensures unparalleled wearer comfort but also offers a distinctive tactile experience. The watch that sparked a design revolution decades ago has demonstrated its enduring relevance in the Rado evolution. The Master of Materials proudly presents an updated version of the DiaStar Original in yellow gold, a beloved model since its inaugural release in 1972. This fresh interpretation is distinguished as the first yellow-gold DiaStar Original featuring a Ceramos™ bezel.

The visual impact of the latest DiaStar Original Skeleton extends beyond its yellow-gold case. It showcases Rado’s acclaimed Art of Skeletonization, revealing the innovative anthracite-grey coated version of the R808 automatic calibre through the sapphire crystal, visible on both the front and back of the case. Creatively printed on the inside of the front crystal are the “Rado” and “DiaStar” logos. Rigorously tested in five different positions, the movement is equipped with a Nivachron™ balance hairspring, enhancing its resilience to the magnetic fields prevalent in our daily tech, such as mobile phones. With an impressive 80-hour power reserve, the R808 movement combines durability with functionality with a water resistance of up to 10 bar / 100 meters.

The dark dial, juxtaposing the case and bezel, showcases a white minute track and vibrant yellow-gold indexes that appear to hover, complementing the hour and minute hands coated in white Super-LumiNova®. This design choice ensures excellent visibility in any reading environment. The DiaStar Original Skeleton is presented with a polished and brushed yellow-gold PVD-coated stainless steel bracelet, delivering comfort and style, complete with a triple-fold clasp and Rado’s innovative EasyClip system.

Similar to the other timepieces within the revamped DiaStar Original series, this model in yellow-gold effectively channels the groundbreaking design essence of its renowned predecessor. Its sophisticated silhouette strikes a balance between robustness and graceful contours. Featuring a captivating skeletonized R808 movement, a heritage case, and a Ceramos™ bezel, it stands as a stunning embodiment of the visionary spirit that has consistently propelled Rado’s founders: “If we can envision it, we can bring it to life. And if we can create it, we will.” Indeed, we could. And we have.

DiaStar 1962 – Futuristic history

In the midst of the Post-War Boom, as prosperity surged globally, the watchmaking realm flourished, and Rado, then known as Schlup & Co., found itself amid competition. In response, the company embarked on a mission to craft a timepiece that would surpass, outshine, and outlast virtually every other watch in the market. It was the swinging Sixties, with the Beatles on the horizon, providing the ideal backdrop to launch Rado’s heartfelt quest to establish itself as the “Master of Materials.”

With this objective in mind, Rado’s engineers and designers focused on selecting materials for the case and watch crystal. The envisioned timepiece had to embody exceptional durability and aesthetic appeal while retaining these qualities practically indefinitely. It was an ambitious goal that Schlup & Co. was confident its engineers could achieve, echoing the company’s mantra: “If we can imagine it, we can make it. And if we can make it, we will!” The time had come to actualize that vision.

Operating under the Rado brand, they embarked on their noble endeavour: creating a scratch-proof watch constructed from an alloy of tungsten carbide known as hard metal. This robust material was housed in a shiny, highly resistant case, paired with a sapphire crystal glass nearly as rugged and durable as diamond. It’s crucial to note that during that era, many watch cases were made of gold or plated brass, with fragile glass of mineral or polymer origin, often adorned with delicate enamel or other embellishments susceptible to damage. The new hard metal case promised enduring longevity. On November 28, 1961, Rado officially patented hard metal alloy for watch-case manufacturing, pioneering the combination of hard metal and sapphire crystal in a genuinely distinctive timepiece with a bold new design – the birth of the DiaStar.

About the name DiaStar

Before Rado’s innovation, watches typically occupied their esteemed position solely through their aesthetics and functionality, at best. Rado was poised to revolutionize this narrative by asserting that durability and extreme resistance were crucial considerations for buyers. The dynamic and thrilling atmosphere of the Post-War world implied an additional element of danger and drama, suggesting that a genuinely purposeful watch had to outlast virtually anything. It needed to be as resilient as a diamond and radiate brilliance like a star for nearly an eternity, even after years of wear.

Crafted from an extraordinarily robust tungsten carbide alloy named hard metal – a pioneering move in the industry – the watch case exhibited exceptional durability and introduced a remarkable lustre. The case housed a sapphire crystal, a material recently gaining broader acceptance in watchmaking due to advancements in large-scale manufacturing techniques. Thanks to its diamond-like resistance and enduring shine, the sapphire crystal became the preferred watch glass choice. The name “DiaStar” naturally emerged from this fusion of words, and it has since remained the model’s evocative and distinctive identifier.

Learn more about the Rado Diastar.


Further Information

Reference number R12164153
Movement Rado calibre R808, automatic, 25 jewels, 3 hands, 80-hour power reserve, antimagnetic Nivachron™ hairspring, exceeds standard test requirements from 3 to 5 positions for higher accuracy, movement fully coated in anthracite
Case Polished yellow-gold coloured PVD coated Ceramos™ bezel
Polished yellow-gold coloured PVD coated stainless steel middle part
Yellow-gold coloured PVD coated stainless steel crown
Square faceted sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating inside
White printed Rado and DiaStar logos on sapphire crystal inside
Transparent case back
Water-resistant to 10 bar (100m)
Dimensions 38.0 x 45.0 x 11.9 (WxLxH in mm)
Dial Black annular dial with flying yellow-gold colour indexes with white Super-LumiNova®
White printed minute track
Gold coloured moving anchor symbol on red background
Bracelet Polished and brushed yellow-gold coloured PVD coated stainless steel
3-fold clasp
EasyClip system