Brand: Rado
Model: 56-H B
Ref.: n/a
Issued: Ca. 1965
Case: Stainless steel with screw-back and shooting star medallion
Bracelet: n/a
Movement:  A. Schild automatic Cal. 1701, 25 Jewels


Description:
This is a mid-1960s example of a Rado 56-H chronometer, and the only one I have seen with silver markers and dial in a steel case. Other examples have been seen in 18k or gold-plated cases with gold or silver dial featuring gold markers. A gallery of promotional materials related to early Rado chronometers can be viewed by clicking here. To date, no evidence of promotional materials or print advertising for the steel version shown here has surfaced—please e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you have information to share.

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 has an image of a shooting star above the earth. The significance of the model name and the celestial imagery is described in my article on early Rado chronometers, found elsewhere on this site (coming soon).

Published accounts* of this model line 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 uses the second-generation AS movement with date. This example may be among the earliest Rado chronometers delivered to the USA. The brand's introduction to the American market took place in 1965 (with the Manhattan model taking center stage) and this watch, with markings of "undajusted" and the import code UOR, was certainly intended for export from Switzerland to the United States.

The case shows very little wear; the dial appears to be original and nearly 100%. Unlike the 30mm dial of the gold versions, this watch appears to have a dial of 27-28mm, and fits in a standard Rado case of the era. The movement's prior service history is unknown but it was completely overhauled at RGM in December 2008, is working perfectly and remains in nearly NOS condition. Crown is signed withblock letter R. Unfortunately, the original chronometer certificate is not present with this watch.

Photos: Click for larger images

Rado 56-H Chronometer Rado 56-H Chronometer Rado 56-H Chronometer dial close-up Rado 56-H Chronometer case back & movement – Photo: R. Baugh Rado 56-H Chronometer profile & signed crown 

 Rado 56-H case back logo Rado 56-H inside case back – Photo: R. Baugh Rado 56-H movement markings incl. chronometer # - Photo: R. Baugh A. Schild Cal. 1701 Chronometer movement – Photo: R. Baugh

*Click here to see an excerpt in German about a similar Rado from Fritz Von Osterhausen's book Wristwatch Chronometers (Callwey Verlag, Munich, 1996). The same information in English is shown here (Schiffer Publishing, Atglen, PA, 1997).

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, including 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

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