The preponderance of commercial aviation in the mid-20th century called for a way to keep track of the time in multiple time zones at once, seeing as the crossing of those time zones was occurring at a much faster rate. As watchmakers all over the world were coming out with their own different takes on the now-mainstream worldtimer concept, Rado debuted the Over-Pole. Not long before the Swiss horologist had come out with its very first diver, the Captain Cook — whose case was repurposed for the Over-Pole — which began a rebranding of the company in a big way, switching to an anchor for its logo and prioritizing a forward-thinking mindset with both design and mechanics.
With a hand-wound mechanical movement and 80 hours of power reserve, Rado’s new Captain Cook Over-Pole takes the mid-century design language and gives the watch a contemporary functionality. The rotating concave ceramic bezel sits atop a 37mm stainless steel case, with cities that represent each of the 24 time zones laser-engraved onto its surface. The bezel can be adjusted to match up with your current time zone, showing other time zones of the world at a quick glance with the aid of the 24-hour markings along the minute track.
When the Captain Cook reissue debuted just five years ago, many speculated that the model would be a niche offering. However, in that time, Rado’s vintage-inspired release has become a fan favorite and the company’s flagship timepiece, completely reinventing the brand once again. Now, Rado is going back to the vintage well once again, but with clever updates like the aforementioned laser-engraved ceramic dial, the box sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating on both sides, and the state-of-the-art caliber R862 movement with a Nivachron hairspring for resistance to magnetic fields. The movement is also decorated with Geneva striping and blued screws and is visible through a sapphire caseback.
To commemorate the year the Captain Cook first came out, the new Captain Cook Over-Pole will be limited to just 1,962 pieces and is priced at $2,400. It’s currently available at the Hodinkee Shop exclusively for the next month, but following that, it will go on sale elsewhere.