The new Rado D-Star Basel Special 2011 automatic watch was officially introduced last month during the Baselworld 2011 international trade show.
Planned to be produced only in 1111 pieces, this limited edition watch is a tribute to the 1962 Rado DiaStar timekeeper.
It is, of course, just a “tribute”, not a re-issue although the new gadget, too, features that easily recognizable ovoid shape of its case and there is some visual similarity (however passing it is) between their dials. Traditionally for the brand, they are relatively clean, and easy to read. Also, there is that usual “cheapness” to it that characterizes almost all their model regardless of how expensive they really are.
Their interest in the historic timepiece seems to be well justified. The 1962 Rado DiaStar was the first wrist watch in the world that was made in scratch-resistant ceramic. While its core was done in usual stainless steel that ensured the device’s better structural integrity, the outer shell was produced in titanium carbide that made it more scratch-resistant (something that was important for a person in search of a casual wristwatch that would withstand years of daily wear and inevitable abuse) and also provided the watch with a certain “metallic” shine, which was great since for many years ceramic pieces looked like they were crafted from polished plastic.
Of course, since then the brand has evolved and is now mostly associated with glossy black ceramic cases, so the new watch is also black: both the case and the rubber strap.
It is, however, not glossy, but features a matte surface which is, too, great: the way the material is treated provides it with that stealthy look, which is so popular right now. It also makes the piece look more expensive thanks to its silky surface that is usually associated with really posh cars and pieces of hand-made furniture.
Its dial features a standard chronograph layout with a small seconds indicator at 3 o’clock, 12-hour chronograph counter at 6 o’clock and the 30-minute chrono totalizer at 9 o’clock. The small date aperture is neatly placed between 4 and 5 o’clock.
Thanks to the chosen color scheme, the face of the time measuring device looks extremely contrast with its polished hands and hour markers standing clearly again the pitch black background. Even the hair-thin needle-shaped indicators on all three sub-dials are easily readable. Same goes to the bright red central chronograph hand.
The fact that the hour and minute hands feature thick layers of Superluminova compound gives the Basel Special 2011 an extra point in the “legibility” department of this small review.
As usual, the Swiss watchmaker didn’t say a word neither about the timekeeper’s size, nor about the movement that ticks inside. However, it is known that the movement is self-winding. Probably, some blank caliber from ETA S.A.
As for the price, Rado plans to sell this limited edition model at approximately €4000. Taking into consideration its technical specifications and materials used to make, I could tell that the price is not that high. It is, in fact, quite attractive.
WWR preliminary verdict
Build quality: 5/5
Value for money: 4.5/5
Rado D-Star Basel Special 2011 automatic watch specification
Movement: Automatic, Swiss Made
Movement decoration: No data
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, chronograph, date
Power reserve: No data
Case material: Black ceramic
Bezel material: Black ceramic
Case shape: Oval
Bezel shape: Oval
Case size: No data
Lug width: No data
Case height: No data
Numerals: No data
Water resistance: No data
Strap: Black rubber strap
Case back: No data