While there is certainly no shortage of dive watches on the market today there has been a gradual trend towards larger, thicker, and heavier divers that boast completely unnecessary water resistance depths. Few owners, if any, will take their watch below 200m let alone the 3000m or more that many high end Swiss brands are designing their watches to withstand. The appeal of the depth race is one that completely evades me, possibly because of my pedestrian sized wrist.
Thankfully, not every new model to market follows this “bigger is better” trend and in late December Rado announced their new D-Star 200, a dive watch line that has both a three-hand and a chronograph model. As one might assume from the name, water resistance is a completely practical 200m. This restrained approach towards the D-Star 200’s depth rating has paid dividends in its case size. The three-hand D-Star 200 measures just 42 x 12.5 mm (46 mm lug to lug) making it large enough to have a good weight and wrist presence but thin enough to fit under a cuff.
The D-Star 200 combines a hidden lug design with styling cues from vintage dress watches and the complete effect, in either three-hand or chronograph, is beautiful. Rado is part of the Swatch group and has fitted this new range with sapphire crystals, automatic movements, and ceramic bezel inserts. The three-hander will come in five variations and will be powered by an ETA 2824-2 which has been decorated by Rado. The chronograph is powered by the ETA A05.H31 movement which incorporates small seconds and a maximum measure of 30 minutes supported by a respectable 54 hour power reserve. The chrono D-Star 200 has a larger case which measures 44 x 15.7 mm but only 48.2 mm lug to lug.
Rado has definitely assembled an excellent package which combines elegant styling with up to date materials and technology in a size factor that will suit almost any wrist and many styles. We love a good dress diver and Rado appears to have that formula on lock-down with the D-Star 200. Pricing has not yet been announced and it will be difficult to predict what it will be as Rado doesn’t have anything similar to the D-Star 200 in their current line up. It is likely that the D-Star will be priced well above the Certina DS Action diver which is another nicely designed Swatch Group diver announced in 2011.