Icons of watchmaking history no.16: Rado DiaStar

Icons of watchmaking history no.16: Rado DiaStar

In our Icons of Watchmaking series, horological expert Gisbert L. Brunner presents classic watches with a cult status. This week, we look at the unusual DiaStar by Rado.

Because a top-quality gold watch is easily scratched, in the early 1960s, the then-head of Rado issued orders for his staff to conduct experiments with ‘hard metals’ in the hope of creating a scratch-proof watch. However, it was soon clear that contemporary case designs would not produce the desired result, even with new materials.

After many trials and tribulations, in 1962 Rado celebrated a special world premiere: the first scratch-proof watch, christened the ‘DiaStar’ - the name of the new timepiece originating from the concept of a ‘diamond star’. It suffered initially a cool reception in the market due to its unfamiliar, oval design.

Icons of watchmaking history no.16: Rado DiaStar

That said, the sale of the 1.5-millionth DiaStar in 1987 was proof of the ultimate success of this unusual watch. Those who want one of the first types of watches can still ask for the ‘original’, as the DiaStar is still very much part of Rado’s product line.

Next week is dedicated to royalty, as we induct the Rolex Datejust into the halls of watchmaking fame.

Icons of watchmaking history -

No. 1: Audemars Piguet Royal Oak

No. 2: Breitling Navitimer

No. 3: Bvlgari-Bvlgari by Bvlgari

No. 4: Cartier Santos

No. 5: Chronoswiss Regulator

No. 6: Heuer Carrera

No. 7: Hublot Classique

No. 8: IWC Portuguese

No. 9: Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso

No. 10: Lange & Söhne Lange 1

No. 11: Nomos Tangente

No. 12: Omega Speedmaster Professional

No. 13: Panerai Luminor Marina

No. 14: Patek Philippe Nautilus

No. 15: Porsche Design P‘6530 Chronograph

Text: Gisbert L. Brunner
Photo: Rado

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