Matthias Breschan, newly-appointed CEO, Rado, talks to Mitrajit Bhattacharya about the brand’s legacy of combining innovative designs and materials…
Thank you so much. My immediate priority is to fine-tune product development and put in place the roadmap for the next three years.
What has been your initial assessment of the brand?
Compared to others, Rado is a very different brand. Rado is an extremely established brand, with a strong foothold in Asia, particularly India. The last thing we should do is to make a second Hamilton out of Rado.
Since you have been part of Hamilton in the past and now are at the helm of affairs in Rado, what are the key differences that you have observed between these two brands that operate at almost similar price points?
Rado is more expensive, compared to Hamilton. I see Rado setting a new trend in the next few years. Rado is a relatively young brand vis-à-vis brands that date back to the 19th century and fall back on their rich heritage when it comes to movements and other components. Rado, right from the beginning has been a futuristic brand, experimenting with innovative designs and materials. If you look at our history, you would realise that in 1962 Rado introduced the first scratch-proof watch in the market, in 1986 came the first ceramic watch, in 1988 Rado launched the first DLC Watch, in the early 90s came the first platinum ceramic watch with titanium-carbide, in 2002 Rado came out with the first diamond watch, and in 2006 Rado introduced its first ceramic gold watch. In 2011 again we are presenting two innovations.
Can you take us through one of your most talked about watches, the V10K?
With a hardness of 10,000 Vickers, the V10K is the hardest watch in the world, as hard as a real diamond. It is the first and only watch to be made of high-tech diamonds.
Please do take us through some of the landmarks in terms of design as well?
Well, I would say that one of the big landmarks was certainly the V10K in 2002 that besides a totally new material also marked a futuristic design. One of the most recent milestones was the cooperation with Jasper Morrison on the 5.5 that was not only the first cooperation with a very famous designer but also a very unique timepiece.
What constitutes the design philosophy of Rado?
I think there are few players in the watch industry who can claim such a strong and unique brand identity. Rado has a very simple, pure, minimalistic, recognisable and yet difficult to copy design. This is exactly what we need to ensure in the future too.
What’s the story in terms of 2011?
We are presenting two novelties that very well represent our unique combination of innovative designs and materials. The first product is the Rado True Thinline, which is the thinnest ceramic watch in the world. The watch comes in two versions, quartz and automatic. The quartz version is in two sizes and the thickness of the watch is less than 5 millimetres. Of course, when you produce a ceramic watch that is so thin, it’s a big technological challenge because though ceramic is very hard, it is also fragile. The other product is the Rado D-Star. This is a sporty, chic and modern timepiece that delivers at every level. Combining high-tech ceramics with rubber, Rado has chosen two materials to reflect sport and design. Using a high-tech material for a sharp faceted ellipse case and for the clasp, Rado proves once again its undisputed knowledge of material and leadership in the high-tech industry.