For this year, Rado has reissued its oversized r5.5 collection of chronographs in an even bigger case that draws even more attention to its owner. Renamed as r5.5 XXL Chronograph (ref. 541.0390.3.011,) this new variation is still powered by a “Swiss Made” quartz movement and features the same sort of “frosted plastic”-like finish of ceramic elements.
Made entirely in black or “platinum matt” ceramic, the case still sports the signature rectangular shape with gently rounded corners.
The case lacks the customary horns at its sides so that the ceramic bracelet looks like an organic part of the body. The lack of lugs also allowed the relatively large case (it measures just 40.50 mm wide, but is relatively long at just a hair over 49 millimeters) to sit more comfortably on a normal wrist. However, if your interest in quartz watches is dictated primarily by their normally exceptionally thin cases, you may be a bit disappointed by its impressive thickness of more than 13 millimeters.
Luckily, featuring the sort of “organic” design that was so popular among car manufacturers just a few years ago, the gadget is so smooth and round in all the right places that it probably won’t cause any significant discomfort even for those preferring shirts with relatively narrow cuffs.
By the way, speaking of movements, this particular model is said to be animated by the well-known Caliber ETA 251.262 chronograph movement. First introduced about 13 years ago, the mechanism is still popular among second-tier brands: besides Rado, it is also used by brands like Certina and Eterna, although their chronographs that are usually offered in a lot more affordable stainless steel are about three times less expensive than this model.
What I am trying to say here is that here you pay for the material the case and the signature “ultra-flat” bracelet is fashioned from, although the mechanism is still decent for a quartz.
While the better part of the currently available watches comes with high-gloss ceramic components, the Rado r5.5 XXL features more subdued, matte-finished surfaces that make you remember the ultra-luxury Lamborghini Reventon supercar with its stealthy black and grey color scheme.
As you can see in the photos, both versions have their dials coming in matching colors. However, the chronograph hands are painted differently (they are white on the black dial and bright yellow on the “platinum matt” version) in order to increase the chrono’s legibility.
While the original Rado r5.5 that was presented two years ago was positioned as a “unisex” model, the new, bigger version is more masculine. It must be a very interesting accessory to wear if you are into this kind of style.
See also: Rado True Thinline Ultra-Thin
Rado r5.5 XXL Chronograph (ref. 541.0390.3.011) specification
Price: $3500 (MSRP)
Movement: Quartz, Caliber ETA 251.262, Swiss Made
Movement decoration: Gold-plated
Functions: Hours, minutes, 1/10 seconds chronograph with three totalizers (60 seconds, 60 minutes, 12 hours,) split-seconds chronograph, date
Dimensions: 40.50 mm x 49.00 mm
Case height: 10.30 mm
Dial: Black or Platinum Matt (pictured)
Water resistance: 30 meters
Strap: Ceramic bracelet in matching color
Crystal: Sapphire, antireflective