RADO Watches

Brand: Rado
Model: 56-H B
Ref.: n/a
Issued: Ca. 1962-64
Case: 18k yellow gold with screw-back
Bracelet: n/a
Movement:  A. Schild automatic Cal. 1701, 30 Jewels

This is an early-1960s example of a Rado 56-H chronometer. This watch has a typical Rado case in the style of contemporary watches, such as the Golden Horse, but where those watches have a sea-horse emblem on the case back, the 56-H generally has a medallion featuring an image of a shooting star above the earth (sadly, missing from this example). The significance of the model name and the image is described in my article on early Rado chronometers, found elsewhere on this site (coming soon). As a flagship model, the 56-H was mainly produced in gold, but this generation of the line also has been seen in cases of stainless steel (also pictured below) and in gold plate with a steel back.

Previously published accounts* of this model indicate that between 1957 and 1972 Rado created 911 wrist chronometers using A. Schild automatic movements exclusively. The specific designation of this model is 56-H B, indicating it is the second-generation, using an AS movement with date.

The case shows very little wear; the dial appears to be original and nearly 100%. The 30mm dial is silver with 18k gold markers and anchor symbol. The crown should be signed with block letter R. Unfortunately, the original crown and chronometer certificate are not present with this watch.

Photos: Click for larger images

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*Click here to see an excerpt about a similar Rado from Fritz Von Osterhausen's book Wristwatch Chronometers (Callwey Verlag, Munich, 1996). Also, Rado promotional material for the 56-H line and other early Rado chronometers can be viewed here.

This watch is not available for sale.

Note: More specific information pertaining to the manufacture/issue date of this and other 56-H watches is welcome. Also, I am always seeking 56-H watches and parts--including boxes and paperwork.  I have a personal mission to preserve these watches, especially those which have been removed from their gold cases. 
Please e-mail 
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you have 56-H information or material. 

 Text and images © C. Bradley Jacobs, WatchCarefully.com

Brand: Rado
Model: Chronometer
Ref.: 11821
Issued: Ca. 1969
Case: Stainless steel
Bracelet: Single-model variant of Jubilee style
Movement:  AS 1858, 25j, gilt, numbered and chronometer rated

Photo courtesy rado_jp



Presented here is a steel Rado chronometer from the period 1968-1972. This model is the first chronometer issued by Rado after their 56-H series, which was first produced in 1956. Early 56-H models were only issued in 18k gold cases, the second series (a.k.a. 56-HB) has been seen with cases of 18k gold, gold-plate, or stainless steel. The present watch, Ref. 11821 (known only as Chronometer) was issued only in steel, and was the last chronometer model with a traditional watch case and shape (as opposed to oval Diastars of Tungsten-Carbide) until a Japan-only Golden Horse chronometer was issued in 2008.

This watch features a distinctive case which is larger than that of most Golden Horse (and related) models of the same period. It has 20mm lugs which are cut straight across, rather than rounded to the radius of the bezel. A slight bevel to the lugs is matched by beveled edges of the OEM bracelet, not pictured on this watch but shown in the catalogue image below and in photos generously provided by noted Rado collector and instagram user rado_jp.

In addition to the large, solid case, the 31mm dial has additional features which bring the Rado chronometer into a more modern age than its predecessors. Thick rectangular hands and markers replace the more delicate pointed ones of the 56-H, and the applied script Chronometer label adds to the bold, masculine presence. Aficionados of vintage Mido watches will recognize the script as the one also used on some Commander and Ocean Star models from that brand. Around the time this chronometer was produced, Rado and Mido both joined ASUAG, the predecessor to SMH and today’s Swatch Group. It seems likely they shared some suppliers. Rado did carry-over one design element from the 56-H into the 11821 Chronometer: a simple 5-pointed star is printed on the dial below the center post. The box-style crystal exhibits the small embossed anchor logo in the center as did many of the period.

Another modern element of this watch is not obvious to the observer. In an effort to provide some robust protection of the movement, the winding stem benefits from a pair of small o-rings, which create a seal in the case tube, presumably increasing water and dust resistance (see image below).

Production figures for this model are unknown; a request for information has been made to Rado Watch Co, and I intend to update this article as more data becomes available. Please check back. For now, the assumption that Fritz von Osterhausen's published figure of 911 Rado chronometer wristwatches made 1957-1972 is assumed to be correct, and that it includes this line in addition to the 56-H models. An informal accumulation of information from examples of this reference seen on the web, and in the hands of EOT Rado Forum members, shows that the case numbers fall within the range ofG.33350044 to G.33350635 (the watch pictured herein). This suggests that 600 or more cases of this type were made, but it is unknown whether they were all built into watches and whether all those watches were Ref. 11821 chronometers. Very similar cases have been seen on other models such as the Jetliner 333 and some Day-Night and LITENITE models. Examination of their case numbers will be made as opportunities arise. Two Jetliner 333s have been shown to have case numbers in a different range (eg, G.4481640). If you have information on these watches, including the significance of the G in the case numbering, please This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


A gallery of promotional materials related to early Rado chronometers, including this model, can be viewed by clicking here.

Photos: Click for larger

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Bracelet and advertising images courtesy rado_jp:

JP bracelet 2 JP bracelet 3

Advert from a ~1970 Japanese importer's catalogue:

Photo courtesy Rado Watch Company

 Text and images © C. Bradley Jacobs, WatchCarefully.com unless otherwise indicated


Brand: Rado
Model: Murano
Ref.: 11974
Issued: 1972
Case: Stainless steel with bezel of red Murano glass
Bracelet: S-K, stainless steel
Movement:  ETA 2789, 17j, gilt


This is an uncommon Rado Murano with steel case and bezel insert made of glass from Murano, Italy. Via e-mail, Rado in Lengnau, Switzerland indicated that 10,000 Murano watches--red, green and blue glass versions--were produced beginning in 1972, though few seem to survive intact today. A second reference number (11976) was assigned to a version with gold-plated bezel. This distinctive model appears to be part of a large series of watches produced by Rado which are named for famous places whose names begin with the letter M (see also Manhattan, Mannheim, Miami, Manchester, etc.); it is also an excellent example of Rado's penchant for using non-traditional case materials.

Production from 1972 – 1979
Number of pieces: approx. 10,000
11974 (625.3050.4 after 1972): blue / red / green with white bezel (stainless steel); CHF 350.
11976 (625.3051.4 after 1972): blue / red / green with yellow bezel (gold-plated); CHF 455.

Another reference number has been seen—625.3048.4 with blue glass insert—but not confirmed. More information on this is available in the Rado Discussion Forum at www.EquationofTime.com.

Also, a Murano case with a dial marked Rado Laser Beam (a name used by Tressa during this period) has been seen but not authenticated.

Dimensions are as follow:
Case width--
without crown 36.2mm
with crown 39.2mm
Case length--38.2mm

Photos: Click for larger

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A Japanese advert (somewhat amusingly in black-and-white):

Photo courtesy Rado Watch Company

 Text and images © C. Bradley Jacobs, WatchCarefully.com


RADO Advertising & Promotional Pages

Early Rado 56-H, Ref. 11670 (ca. 1957-1961)
Print ads, brochures and an image from a Japanese importer's catalogue

www.watchcarefully.com www.watchcarefully.com www.watchcarefully.com www.watchcarefully.com www.watchcarefully.com www.watchcarefully.com www.watchcarefully.com   

Second series 56-H B (ca. 1962-1969)
Product brochures and ephemera

www.watchcarefully.com  www.watchcarefully.com www.watchcarefully.com www.watchcarefully.com www.watchcarefully.com www.watchcarefully.com www.watchcarefully.com 

Chronometer Ref. 11821 (Ca. 1968-1972)
A page from a Japanese importer's catalogue, with detail of the chronometer

 www.watchcarefully.com www.watchcarefully.com 

Other Rado Chronometers:
Japanese print advertisements for Diastar Chronometers

www.watchcarefully.com www.watchcarefully.com

This reference page is a service of WatchCarefully.com.

Some images have been borrowed from the Internet--if you own the image in question, please contact me for proper credit.
If you have read this far, you must be a fan of vintage Rado watches. I invite you to visit and participate in the EOT Rado Discussion Forum.
Also, I'll be publishing a new article on Rado Chronometers soon, check back to learn more. 


Brand: Rado

Model: Quartz 150m diver

Ref. 738.9502.4

Case: Stainless steel with screw-back and rotating bezel

Bracelet: n/a

Movement: ETA 952.111, 7-jewel quartz

Description: This is a thin dive watch with asymmetrical case, probably made sometime in the 1980s. The blue dial has a waffle pattern with applied Rado logo and luminous markers.

The bracelet pictured is not original to the watch and was added for purposes of photography.

Photos: Click for larger images

www.watchcarefully.com Photo by the author Photo by the author Photo by the author Photo by the author www.watchcarefully.com  Photo by the author  

This watch has been sold.

Any details or production information about this model are welcome. Please contact me.

Text and images © C. Bradley Jacobs, WatchCarefully.com


RADO Jetliner - Ref. 11735

Brand: Rado
Ref.: 11735
Issued: 1964-1967, 5,000 pieces
Case: Stainless steel with bayonet back
Crystal: Acrylic
Bracelet: Jubilee-style with Rado clasp
Movement: A Schild 1789 (base 1700/01), 25 jewels, gilt rotor

Description: This is one of the more decorative models Rado offered in the middle 1960s, with styling cues that suggest the optimism of the 1950s, but chunkier markers and a larger size case and dial than most of its contemporaries (eg. Green Horse Daymaster). The case shape, futuristic script on the dial, and the dauphine hands are reminiscent of the 1950s, but the 36mm case, 30mm dia lthe bold markers and fancy bezel differentiate this from all other Rado watches of the same shape.

The present example has a steel case with bayonet back (marked with reference and patent numbers), and the bracelet has a Rado-signed clasp and fitted end-pieces. The anchor logo rotates properly, though there is some discoloration to the dial and a bit of wear along the edges of the fluted bezel.


Jetliner 1


Jetliner 2

 Jetliner 3

Rado Ref.11735

 Jetliner 5

 Jetliner 6

 Jetliner 7

 Jetliner clasp

 Jetliner timer

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