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Eye on the prize

Concierge takes a closer look at Swiss luxury watchmaker Rado to learn more about its collaborations with young designers and the Rado Star Prize.

Well known for its stylish good looks, Swiss watchmaker Rado is a market leader when it comes to design, drawing critical acclaim for its innovative timepieces the world over. And now it’s teaming up with young designers, offering them a platform to showcase their talent on an international stage.

Explaining the collaboration process and approach, Matthias Breschan, CEO of Rado, says: “Whenever we work on a collaboration, we prefer that the designer is not from the watch industry and, preferably, has never worked in the watch industry before.”

It was Rado’s search for designers that boast a unique quality in their work that led the watchmaker to Bethan Gray, an interior designer that works with furniture. This latest collaboration saw Gray’s signature work combining leather and studs incorporated into a timepiece. “If she makes a table, the side of it will be covered with leather and pinned by nails,” Breschan explains. “If you look at the watch [we made with Gray] you will see her signature design on the leather strap. And for the first time in the watch industry, we also did a marquetry on a stainless-steel dial.”

“This is the type of collaboration we love to do with designers”, he adds. Looking to emulate this success in the UAE, Rado has brought its Rado Star Prize to the emirates. Targeting up-and-coming designers, the competition calls for participants to submit their designs by May 15 to be able to get a chance of presenting them during Dubai Design Week in November, 2019.

“The five competition finalists will present their projects at Dubai Design Week. For us it’s important to find good talent that’s coming up with fresh ideas,” Breschan explains.The overall winner will receive AED20,000 in prize money and a Rado watch. An additional public winner will be chosen by exhibition visitors and will receive a Rado watch.“Our presence in the UAE is already quite strong,” Breschan adds. “Working with the young and creative minds here will only help us improve and increase our authenticity and credibility in the region.”

Material possessions

In a bid to attract a younger clientele, Rado has introduced new technologies to its watchmaking. Its monobloc construction allows Rado to create watches made entirely out of ceramic in a single mould, resulting in ultra-light timepieces with thin proportions. It’s also increasingly adding more pigments to its basic ceramic powder to produce a diverse-looking collection that appeals to a wide-ranging customer base. And, thanks to the strong nature of ceramic, the watches are long-lasting too. “Ceramic retains its beauty, even after 10, 20 or 30 years, with the watch looking the same as the very first day it was purchased,” Matthias Breschan, CEO of Rado, explains.

“It is incredible how far the watch industry has come. Who would have believed 40 years ago that we would be making watches out of ceramic or that it is possible to produce touch-controlled watches made from ceramic?“

Rado will continue to push the boundaries of design and challenge what is currently possible in the world of watchmaking.” Breschan adds: “We believe these are the things that make the brand unique and interesting.” 

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