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Three scratch-proof Rado watches with very unusual dial materials
Brand: Rado
Model:Balboa V
Case: Rose gold-tone Tungsten-Carbide bezel, stainless steel screw-back
Crystal:Sapphire with 9 square facets
Movement:ETA 2798

Description: This is a Rado Balboa model with a subtle rose gold-tone tungsten-carbide case and a dial made of opalescent material. It is similar to Balboas and Diastars of the 1960s-1970s, with a faceted sapphire crystal, date display at 3:00, but the dial of this is very uncommon. The anchor logo is a fixed version rarely used on automatics and more often seen on early Rado Quartz watches. Opalized ammolite - photo source unknownThe material of the dial has yet to be positively identified though discussions at the EOT Rado Forum and with mineral experts seem to suggest it is opalized ammolite (at right), a fossilized shell similar to mother-of-pearl. This particular dial shows characteristics similar to Opal and to Fire Agate, though these materials are much more difficult to slice thin for use as watch dials. Please see the photographs below, which show this dial, cased & uncased, with a variety of light sources and angles.

Another 1970s Balboa with a mineral dial, most likely black granite, is described here.

The case shows almost no wear and the back has only minor scratches. The movement is running smoothly but its service history is unknown. Overall condition of this watch is 90% or better. Bracelet shown in images is not original.

Photos: Click for larger images

Rado Balboa VCase back of BalboaBalboa movement & case backBalboa dial uncased

Balboa dial detailBalboa dial detailBalboa dial in strong natural lightBalboa dial under faceted crystal

This watch is not available for sale.

Note: More specific information pertaining to the manufacture/issue date of this watch is welcome. Please e-mail me.

Text and images (c)2009 C. Bradley Jacobs,
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