The simple design clues of the 1957 model faithfully redefined Rado’s Golden Horse.
Most of us associate Rado replica with design-oriented watches and innovative materials (especially high-tech ceramics). Since the 1990s, minimalist lines, sleek silhouettes, and silky smooth ceramic cases and bracelets have become most of the brand’s product portfolio. Then, at the 2017 Basel World Watch and Jewellery Show, Rado made a very convincing reinterpretation of the 1962 Captain Cook model (with a 300m diving certificate), which surprised us. Captain Cook is not only a retro-style watch, but also a dive watch. These are two types of radar watches that not many of us would think of. Dating back to the brand’s slightly sketchy past, another golden old song was realized by the revival of a pocket watch called Golden Horse launched in 1957. 2019 was resurfaced with accurate vintage details, but with a modern automatic movement. Now there are four models in the Golden Horse 1957 limited edition series, and we have tried three of them.
The Rado brand as we know it today began in 1917 when the Schlup & Co. watchmaking workshop in Lengnau was run by the three brothers. Schlup & Co. has grown from an inconspicuous company to an important supplier of watch movements during World War II, and began selling watches under the Rado brand in the late 1950s. In 1957, 40 years after its founding, the Golden Horse series made its debut. It was both elegant and water-resistant, and had a variety of functions, with a strikingly colored dial and a stainless steel or gold-plated case.
The original “Golden Horse Award” was 37 mm in diameter. This was a surprisingly large case at the time. It was made of steel. This was a bold decision when gold had become the standard for men’s watches. Hakim El Kadiri, vice president of Rado, said that the existence of “novel” animals (the seahorse) and the gold-plated case of the Golden Horse may have targeted the Chinese market. In any case, from the case size to the smoked dial, from the golden seahorse on the dial to the date window with red numbers, the 2019 limited edition “Golden Horse” will be “original.” Correct details for other periods.
The diameter of the case of these three models is 37 mm (accurate to 36.5 mm), and the height is 10.8 mm. According to today’s standards, its case is small, but it echoes the retro style of the “Golden Horse Award”. The height is very slim, enough to be used as a dress watch, especially when the red dial is paired with a vintage black artificial alligator strap. Although it may be small for some people, the 44mm lug-to-lug size makes the watch larger than its display size. For people with larger wrists, steel bracelets have more wrist presence than black straps. With a vintage rice chain, this bracelet is strong and sturdy, and is a representative of the exquisite craftsmanship in its making.
The entire case and bracelet have been polished (keep the brushed strap, the center of the case back and the reverse side of the bracelet), so that the case and bracelet have bright reflections. This fake watch is water-resistant to 50 meters, enough to cope with daily wear and tear.
Another surprising detail that many of us have associated with top brands such as Moser is that the original 1957 “Golden Horse” model showed a smoky or gradient dial. The center of the dial is available in green, blue, red and black (not photographed). When it reaches the periphery, the center of the dial becomes lighter and gradually darkens (almost black). Although the dial is not like the flat dial on some earlier models, it is curved and protected by a thick box-shaped sapphire crystal to reproduce the feel of the original acrylic glass.
Unlike the original version, the same index, pointer and framed date window are used at 3 o’clock. The facets are clear, the sensitive hands and dauphine hands are polished and protruded for miles without the slightest luster. Two pairs of golden seahorses placed face to face and the words “Golden Horse” and the original font are located directly above 6 o’clock. The iconic anchor of the brand first appeared in 1962 and has now appeared in all automatic replica watches. The anchor point is placed directly below 12 o’clock, swinging back and forth around the central pivot that makes the watch move.
Although the date window is controversial, I must admit that I like the date window here. The date window is located at 3 o’clock and has a proper frame, so it doesn’t appear shy, and it can even copy the original red numbers. It will not hide or lurking in a stealth position, it is a fully functional date window, and its usefulness is not limited.
The case, bracelet and dial follow the “Golden Horse Award” design details originally designed in 1957, while the movement is the contemporary ETA C07.611 self-winding movement, with a strong 80-hour power reserve, essentially ETA 2824- Upgraded version of 2. The trade-offs for power reserve increase include reducing the traditional 28,800 vph frequency to 21,600 vph, thereby reducing the watch’s scale frequency. The closed bottom cover echoes the original skin and is decorated with three seahorses and three stars.
In the voluminous retro reenactment, the Golden Horse Award is the real deal. Modern adjustment features such as sapphire crystal and ETA self-winding movement have an 80-hour power reserve, making it an ideal everyday watch. Although the red dial model with a black leather strap may be a dress for many styles, the stainless steel bracelet is fun to wear.
Technical Specifications-RADO Traditional Golden Horse Limited Edition
Case: diameter 37mm x height 10.8mm-stainless steel-closed bottom case printed with 3 seahorses-50m waterproof
Dial: blue, green, red or black gradient dial-applied index-applied golden seahorse-12 o’clock position moving anchor-3 o’clock position with a framed date window with red numbers
Movement: ETA C07.611 automatic -21,600vph-80 hours power reserve-hours, minutes, seconds and date
Strap: Red dial model with black artificial alligator leather strap and steel pin buckle-green, blue and black models with integrated rice steel ball bracelet and triple folding clasp
Reference: 763.3930.4.135 red dial, black strap
763.3930.4.020 blue dial, stainless steel bracelet
763.3930.4.031 green dial, stainless steel bracelet