Rado, based in Lengnau, Switzerland, is a pioneer in the use of Ceramic Injection Moulding for watch production. The company has further developed its use of high-tech ceramics with three further ceramic watches in the True family range.
The True Open Heart is produced in either matt or polished white zirconium oxide and is produced in a limited run of 500 individually marked pieces.
The multi-coloured True Colours collection features timepieces in three high ceramic colours; rich chocolate, navy blue and dark green. The 40 mm monobloc ceramic case fastens to the wrist with a matching Nato strap.
A further watch, the Rado True Thinline Skeleton is limited to an exclusive run of 99 watches and is engineered from polished black ceramic. It has a slim profile of just 7 mm.
Rado’s Ceramic Injection Moulded watches are manufactured from ultrafine, high purity zirconium oxide powder. Pigments are then added to the powder to set its colour. These are then mixed together with a polymer binder which acts as a moulding aid. The melted feedstock is injected under high pressure into a precision mould, which is designed to the final shape of the ceramic watch piece. The polymer binder is then removed using a chemical process and the pieces undergo sintering at 1450°C, during which they shrink by around 23%. The finished parts are fully dense and reach a hardness of 1250 Vickers.
Finally, critical dimensions are reworked with a diamond wheel. The pieces can then be polished, with a perfect high-gloss finish taking several days to achieve. Rado also applies a patented plasma carburising process to fully finished white ceramic pieces. Here CIM components are placed in a specially designed plasma furnace where the gases, activated by a plasma discharge at 20,000°C, trigger a chemical reaction that changes the composition of the surface of the ceramic. This results in a change of colour from white to a unique metallic grey.