High tech ceramics have played a central role in Rado’s approach to watchmaking for nearly three decades. Their unique surfaces can be metallic or matte and the ceramic can be processed in an ever expanding array of colours for the company’s watch cases and bracelet parts produced in Lengnau, Switzerland. High-tech ceramic watches produced by Rado start with ultrafine, high-purity zirconium oxide powder to which pigments are added to set its colour. These are then mixed with a polymer binder to produce the necessary ceramic feedstock for injection moulding under high pressure into a precision mould. After debinding and sintering, the high hardness of the lightweight ceramic material used (1250 Vickers) gives it its scratch resistance.
In 2011 Rado started producing its True Thinline ceramic watches with the cases of the quartz models measuring as little as 4.9 mm in thickness and powered by an ultra-thin movement of just 1 mm. The ground breaking ceramic cases required no stainless steel core, which not only gave True Thinline its extreme lightness and super slim silhouette, but it also paved the way for new design possibilities in the Rado collection. Examples of colours include charcoal black, snow white or metallic-look ‘plasma high-tech’, with extras available such as diamonds, mother of pearl, or rose gold coloured accents.
In May 2018 Rado, in partnership with the Grandi Giardini Italiani, introduced the True Thinline Leaf, which uses a polished green high-tech ceramic case and bracelet with a green mother-of-pearl dial and leaf structure printed on the back.
In July 2020, Rado produced a limited edition True Thinline Anima timepiece which features a matte olive green watch case. The name Anima refers to the openness of the watch’s skeleton mechanical movement. The olive green case is a mere 10.8 mm thick with a 40 mm x 44.8 mm diameter, and includes a sapphire exhibition caseback framed by a titanium ring with an engraving indicating the watch as a ‘Limited Edition One out of 2,020’. The watch’s bracelet is also made from the olive green high-tech ceramic with a titanium triple folding clasp.