The Golden Horse holds an interesting place in the history books of Rado. Launched in 1957, the collection is one of the first few to be featured under brand – but it is simply more than that.
One of the more interesting – and bold – things about the Golden Horse was the construction of the watch. Timepieces in the past are made of precious metal, as they are often passed down to the next generations as heirloom. Rado took an entirely different approach with this, with the Golden Horse cased in stainless steel. That set it apart from the rest of the competitors, and henceforth making it a fashion statement at that point in time.
Rado Tradition Golden Horse Limited Edition
This year, Rado thought that it will be a great idea to bring back one of its classics – in the form of the Golden Horse. And we think that it might prove to be a great addition to the growing Tradition collection.
The Case, Dial, and Hands
The Golden Horse follows the original variant as far as possible. This means that it is an almost faithful replication of the 1957 version, sans a few alterations to make it more suitable for the current era.
Cased in a 37mm nondescript stainless steel case, the watch is paired with a curved sunburst dial that has a red and black gradient. We love the different shades of the dial, as we think it accentuates the classic feel of the watch. The contrasting touch of an outstanding dial and a simple case works really well here – it is complimentary and it lets the star of the show (in this case, the dial) shines brilliantly.
This is further reinforced with the other elements on the watch. This includes the use of the classic “Golden Horse” emblem and fonts, sword hands, as well as the red Rado anchor logo (which is, incidentally, now a mainstay for all automatic Rado watches). The date window at the 3 o’clock position also features red numerals, and the whole package is rounded up with a domed sapphire crystal. The entire combination works very well, and it really brings out the DNA of the original timepiece.
The Movement: ETA C07.611
Powering the new Captain Cook is the ETA C07. It is a self-winding movement, with a decent power reserve of around 80 hours. This is similar to the Rado Captain Cook Automatic that we have reviewed not too long back ago.
The watch is fitted with a closed caseback, with the engraved Golden Horse motif. Due to the nature of the caseback, we are unable to ascertain the level of finishing for this piece. We reckon that the finishing should be of industrial standard, and nothing too extravagant for its price point.
The Competitive Landscape
The Rado Tradition Golden Horse Limited Edition is priced at S$2,410, and it is limited to a production run of 1957 pieces to commemorate the inception of the collection. This piece is fitted with a printed calf leather strap with crocodile patterns – which draws its inspiration from leather straps of the yesteryear.
There is also another variant available, with a black dial and fitted with a stainless steel bracelet. It is also limited to a production run of 1957 pieces. This is priced at S$2,550.
When it comes to competitors of the Golden Horse, there are a few vintage-inspired pieces that are worth a look as well.
The first one is the Tissot Heritage Antimagnétique, which was based on their timepiece from 1943. It was a mass-produced wristwatch that offered protection against magnetic fields, which was a marvel back in those days. The Heritage Antimagnétique is a rather stunning timepiece, and it has an exhibition caseback that showcases the watch’s commendable finishing. Priced at S$1,510, the watch is limited to a production run of 3,333 examples.
Next up, we have another compelling piece from a Swatch Group brethren: Longines Flagship Heritage 60th Anniversary. This piece was produced to commemorate the 60th birthday of the Flagship collection, and it is perhaps one of the most stunning re-editions that came out of the St. Imier manufacturer. The 40mm watch is available in stainless steel (1957 pieces) and gold (60 pieces), and it is priced at S$3,040 and S$11,930 respectively.
Finally, we have the Railmaster from Omega. The watch has a rich history of precision railroad instruments, and it was interestingly also used by the Royal Air Force with an antimagnetic steel case. The 40mm watch is a reminiscent of those on the original models delivered to Hatch Co. in 1956. In addition, the lollipop seconds hand with faux-aged lume and dagger hour markers also reinforce its vintage appeal. The leather strap variant is priced at US$4,900 (approximately S$6,798), and it has a premium for the fact that it is fitted with an in-house Master Co-Axial movement. It is a great option, and one that offers something different as compared to the rest.
The Tradition Golden Horse is a great timepiece. What we like is the brand’s commitment to remain as faithful to the original as possible, and that includes its 37mm case size. We like how its appropriately sized as a dress watch for the gentlemen; any bigger and we think that the watch might not have looked as good.
The smaller case size also makes it rather light and comfortable on the wrist as well. The leather strap is also soft and supple, which helps to make the wearing experience a rather enjoyable one.
Overall, the Rado is beautiful watch with a rather decent value proposition. The red dial might not appeal to all, but it is certainly something that is unique and different from the rest of the crowd. For someone who is looking for a decent re-issue to add into their collection, the Tradition Golden Horse Limited Edition is surely worth a consideration.