Rado is a Swiss manufacturer of watches, with headquarters in Lengnau, Switzerland. It is noted for its use of scratch-proof materials, a field in which it is considered a pioneer. Today the company produces about half a million watches a year with a staff of about 300 in total.
Formed in 1917 as Schlup & Co., Rado initially produced watch movements only. In 1957 the company launched its first collection of watches under the Rado brand. In 1962 the Rado Diastar, the world’s first scratch-proof watch, was launched. It has been in production ever since, now sold as DiaStar The Original.
In 1983 Rado became part of the SMH group which was renamed in 1998 as the Swatch Group. Rado’s sister brands within the Group include Omega, Breguet, Hamilton, Longines and Tissot.
RADO differs from the traditional Swiss watch makers in that it leans towards innovative uses of high tech materials in distinct design. RADO has focused on pioneering the use of a number of materials that are unique within the watch making industry, such as e.g. hardmetal(tungsten- and titanium-carbide), ceramics, lanthanum and sapphire crystal.
In 2004 the RADO vision was realized with the introduction of the V10K. Coating the watch with high tech diamonds made the V10K the hardest watch on Earth, realized by the Guinness Book of World Records.
The newer RADO watches are also distinct from the traditional Swiss watch industry in that their aesthetic is unique. Market reaction tends to be mixed to such a strong aesthetic, with many who appreciate the unique and distinct RADO look and those who do not.
During their time, RADO has received more than 20 elite international design awards, from the RED DOT Award to the iF Design Award, for both their product and most recently, their collaboration with Jasper Morrison for an innovative watch box that mimics the shape of the human wrist.