How Is The Material Master Made?

As an early batch of Swiss watch brands entering the Chinese market, in the hearts of the Chinese people, RADO Swiss Rado (RADO) represents a reliable quality from Switzerland. As the ‘Master of Materials’ in watchmaking, Radar is known for its high-tech ceramic watches. In April this year, the Watch House came to Switzerland as one of the first five media invited to visit its ceramic factory in China.

 From Beijing, a few hours later we arrived in Paris on time, from Paris to Geneva and then a car to Neuchâtel. With excitement, holding the true purpose of revealing the material master, we started this journey.

 It takes more than 2 hours drive from Geneva airport to our hotel
 
 Switzerland in April is the season of spring. The road was full of yellow cauliflowers, which were very gratifying one after another, attracting the attention of all of us. In this picturesque place, many watchmaking brands are bred, including the famous radar watch. Radar’s headquarters is located in the town of Bill, Linor, and the first Comadur material factory we are going to visit is located in another clock town, Lloc, and the beautiful Neuchatel is just in Linno and Lloc in the middle. Therefore, on this radar trip, the brand thoughtfully arranged our stay at the Palafitte Hotel in Neuchatel. Neuchâtel is located in the northwestern part of Switzerland. It belongs to the French-speaking area and is located on the northwestern shore of Lake Neuchâtel. Some cities are on the slopes of Chaumont and some are on the beach.

We were arranged to stay at the Hotel Palafitte, facing Lake Neuchatel, with snowy mountains in the distance

 In a city with a population of only tens of thousands, the watch industry became the center of the city. Watchmaking factories, parts factories, and watchmaking brand headquarters are always busy. The next day, we drove to the Comadur material factory, a material factory affiliated with the SWATCH GROUP, which provides ceramics, mirrors and other watch manufacturing materials for major watch brands.

Comadur material factory tour

 Comadur material factory is located under two mountains

 Comadur Material Factory

Comadur factory interior

 For people who are familiar with the watchmaking industry, it should not be the first time that ceramics has been used in watches. Many brands now use ceramics in their cases and bezels. But when it comes to ceramic watches, the first thing people think of is definitely a radar watch. It can be said that the radar watch has long been deeply imprinted with the ‘ceramic material’ in the brand’s genes and the public’s memory.

The radar table headquarters also displays ceramic models
 
 Why ‘ceramics’ has become an indelible part of the radar brand’s genes, maybe everyone does not use me to explain more. Radar, ‘Master of Materials’
Materials),
Over the past three decades, high-tech ceramics, plasma high-tech ceramics, Ceramos ™ cermets, colored high-tech ceramics … radar meters have played an extremely important role in the field of ceramic materials, and they have invested in the research and development of ceramic materials. A lot of time and energy. Let ceramic, a material that is fragile in our impression and has nothing to do with solidity, has become a new synonym for lightness and wear resistance in the watchmaking industry.

 Hard metal material used in radar case

 In the material factory, we saw how ceramics are injection molded, fired, and specially processed and polished into a solid watch case and bracelet part. But because the factory couldn’t take pictures, I used the description to try to restore the production process of a complete high-tech ceramic watch part.

  First of all, we need to know that the high-tech ceramics of RADO are made of ultra-fine ceramic powders (including zirconia, alumina and silicon carbide). The ceramic powder is then mixed with the binder, then solidified and pulverized into granules. The granules will be re-melted in a press and injected into a mold of the corresponding shape under high pressure, so that the desired Shape, take out the molded part from the mold after cooling. Through the injection molding process, various complex shapes can be precisely created. The adhesive is then removed chemically. The formed part is then sintered in a 1450 ° high temperature furnace. In this process,
 The powder particles fuse together to form a sturdy, high-density part that is about 23% smaller in volume.
At this point, the part has obtained the final dimensions and mechanical characteristics (such as hardness and stiffness), and it needs to be finely processed with diamond tools to obtain specific and strict dimensions that meet the requirements of assembly. Afterwards, the part needs to be polished, brushed or matt treated to obtain the desired effect. Rigorous quality inspection is essential, and the staff will manually inspect each ceramic component under a microscope to ensure product quality.

 Through the introduction of the person in charge of the R & D department of the Rado brand, we learned that the manufacturing process of high-tech ceramics is extremely complex and requires a lot of labor, so it is not surprising that its price is higher than that of stainless steel; its lightness and wear resistance The excellent characteristics of hypoallergenicity are now widely recognized in the watch industry. Many high-end brands use ceramics to create watches, and RADO has become one of the first brands to use this material for watch manufacturing.

 Today, radar watches have once again taken ceramic watches to a new level,
 In particular, we learned about the innovative material Ceramos ™ cermet that the brand has been promoting in recent years.
As its name implies, Ceramos ™ cermet is a combination of about 90% high-tech ceramics and about 10% metal alloys. It combines the outstanding characteristics of high-tech ceramics and metals-light, wear-resistant, comfortable to wear, and emits a unique luster. Long-lasting, easy to fade. It is worth mentioning that the Ceramos ™ cermet has the advantage of being easier to shape, which opens up unprecedented possibilities in design. It can be used not only to make square watches, but also to create oval, round or D- A polyhedral watch in the Star case. During the visit, we learned that
 
Due to the complex composition of Ceramos ™ cermets, the production process requires multiple production steps. Many steps take longer than ordinary high-tech ceramics. It is an excellent pioneer composite material.

 As an expert in technology and materials, in addition to its expertise in high-tech ceramic materials, the Comadur factory has also done a lot of exploration around the hardness, accuracy and miniaturization of artificial ruby ​​and artificial sapphire. These special materials are becoming more and more popular in the manufacture of watches because they give them new aesthetic and functional qualities.

 It is precisely because of the brand’s outstanding contributions in the material of watchmaking that the radar watch has ushered in a glorious day. After a morning visit to the material factory, we drove to the small town of Linno. The radar table headquarters is located in front of a beautiful mountain here.

Rado visits Rado headquarters

Scenery around Radar Headquarters

 Radar Headquarters

 We all know the origin of Swiss watchmaking, which is actually related to the local cold climate. In winter, due to the season, people cannot cultivate and have no source of income. In order to increase their income, farmers use their spare time in winter to make parts and assemble clocks. To this day, Swiss watchmaking has become a world-renowned quality guarantee precisely because they still retain the rare ‘artisan spirit’. We met the ‘craftsmen’ behind the radar table at the radar table headquarters.

 

 Watchmaker doing dial assembly

Watchmaker checking the quality of the case
 
 In each position, a professional watchmaker is operating, from the assembly of the dial and hands to the complete loading of the case movement and bracelet. Every part cannot be separated from carefulness and patience. The brand’s warranty card is also produced by Swiss Radar headquarters, and after the production is completed, it is sent to the world with the product.

 Packaging radar models for shipment

Laser Engraving Product Number Machine

 In addition to these professional watchmakers, modern watchmaking cannot be separated from high-tech intervention. Unlike traditional manual workshops, there must be many high-tech machines involved in the production of modern radar tables. Among them, the laser engraving numbering machine for each radar table is also an indispensable part. The people of the radar watch brand say that it is precisely because of the number that each radar watch is unique in the world. Therefore, it can’t go wrong and is running every day without rest.

 The staff is showing us the process of laser engraving

New Product Overview

 From the launch of the brand’s signature hard-wearing watch DiaStar in 1962, to 20
 Century 80
The era pioneered the introduction of high-tech ceramic materials into the watchmaking industry, first creating a one-piece high-tech ceramic case, and applying touch technology to high-tech ceramic watches. Innovative materials and pioneering designs are the brand DNA of the radar watch, and the title of the material master is not a vanity. In this year’s new model, radar combines materials with innovation and retro, and brought us unexpected surprises. (Secretly spoiler some for everyone)

Some RADO Swiss Radar 2019 new watches

One of my favorites is this Captain Cook, who will meet you in June.

 New Radar Captain
Captain Cook’s 42mm automatic mechanical watch series retains the extraordinary elements that made the prototype watch launched in 1962 a huge success, and uses RADO Swiss radar watch’s popular iconic material to build, set the radar watch landmark breakthrough The elements are all in one, giving the watch its endless charm while possessing the characteristics of the prototype watch.

 With its iconic style and durability as the cornerstones, it is determined to use the advantages of material masters. Radar is committed to creating time-tested and beautiful timepiece masterpieces. On the road of exploration, invention and innovation in the field of watches Never stop and move forward.

 In a city with a population of only tens of thousands, this place faces the calm lake and the backside of the long mountains. It is precisely because of a group of people who really love clocks and love to keep researching and breaking through in materials. Ruyu is very hard and has a reliable quality radar meter.

  Mr. Matthias Breschan, Global CEO of Rado, said, ‘Material may be a bright spot for radar, but it is the most important for the clock itself. It represents whether a watch can stand the test of time , Whether they can be friends forever. ‘