Trend Report by Lidewij Edelkoort
Rado is the Master of Modern Alchemy
RADO HYPERCHROME AUTOMATIC DIAMOND RM 26,060
RADO HYPERCHROME PLASMA HI-TECH CERAMIC AUTOMATIC RM 13,200
RADO HYPERCHROME TACHYMETER AUTOMATIC CHRONOGRAPH RM 17,730
Lidewij Edelkoort has identified Rado’s high-tech ceramic plasma as a perfect example of Modern Alchemy, a sweeping and significant trend described in a high-profile report by the renowned international trend forecaster.
An intuitive thinker, publisher and trend consultant, Lidewij Edelkoort has proven to be a far-sighted and perceptive interpreter of a world caught up in revolutionary change. In Modern Alchemy – The Plasma Principle, an extract from one of her latest trend reports, she notes: “The dominant creative drive of our times is without doubt the transformation of matter.
The world of design is witnessing a revolution concerning its material component, which is scientific, chemical and alchemic all at once.” While conducting her research, Lidewij Edelkoort discovered Rado’s plasma—and was quick to identify high-tech ceramic and the process that creates it as an illuminating example of Modern Alchemy.
In fact, one can easily see evidence of Modern Alchemy at work in Rado’s historical commitment to continuous innovation in materials and design.
Alchemy is an old idea that has come to dominate creative transformation in today’s diverse design world: interior designers create new hybrid objects; textile designers gather and layer materials to give them a sublime character; food designers transform traditional ingredients into new substances.
A winner of multiple prizes in contemporary design, Rado’s most recent alchemical process begins with ceramic, a material that has accompanied mankind for thousands of years.
In the hands of the Swiss watchmaker we see this precious material “transformed under our eyes into a unique and mysterious material that shines without sparkle, that glows without light, that emanates from within. A true contemporary material nobody has ever witnessed or experienced before.” (Lidewij Edelkoort)
Rado Plasma: unique, versatile, timeless. Plasma high-tech ceramic is the result of a patented process used by Rado. Under blistering temperatures in a plasma oven, the molecular structure of white high-tech ceramic is altered by a chemical reaction that changes the ceramic from white to metallic.
The resulting material looks like metal without involving any metal at all. Rado watches made with plasma high-tech ceramic combine the appeal of a metallic look with all the benefits of high-tech ceramic.
Enchanted by the transformative effect of Rado’s Modern Alchemy, Lidewij Edelkoort personally directed the shooting of magical mood pictures featuring Rado’s new plasma high-tech ceramic HyperChrome models. Exhibiting a warmer shine than metals such as stainless steel, plasma works with all skin tones and clothing colours.
As the design trend expert puts it: “Situated between grey and taupe, between metal and ceramic, between day and night, the watches adapt themselves to all circumstances, travelling through time and space.” Rado’s new HyperChrome Automatic Diamond watch in plasma high-tech ceramic is the little black dress of watches – the perfect match for any woman looking for a stylish accessory to suit all occasions and outfits.
About Lidewij Edelkoort
Trend Union Lidewij Edelkoort is one of the world’s most famous trend forecasters. With Trend Union, her Paris-based company with offices in New York and Tokyo, Edelkoort creates trend books two or more years in advance that are used by strategists and designers at international brands.
More than ten years ago, Time Magazine named her one of the 25 most influential fashion experts. From 1999 until 2008 she served as chairwoman of the renowned Design Academy in Eindhoven, Netherlands.
In 2012 she received the Netherlands’ most prestigious cultural accolade, the Prins Bernhard Cultuurprijs. Lidewij Edelkoort has recently been named Dean of Hybrid Design Studies at the New School/Parsons in New York and Paris; she will take up her new appointment in the Fall of 2015.
Rado is a globally recognised brand, famous for innovative design and its use of revolutionary materials to create some of the world’s most durable watches. Ever since its beginnings in Lengnau, Switzerland, Rado has been a pioneer, with the brand philosophy “if we can imagine it, we can make it” still holding true today.
Rado: Master of materials
Plasma High-Tech Ceramic – Modern alchemy
Imagine what would happen if you could take a piece of white ceramic and transform it, magically, into a gleaming watch case that looked like metal.
Now imagine you could do it without using any metal. Sounds impossible. Rado didn’t just imagine it: we did it.
Eye-catching plasma high-tech ceramic timepieces begin their lives white. Using modern and advanced material technology, Rado has taken finished white ceramic components and subjected them to plasma treatment.
During this process, the molecular composition of the surface of the ceramic is changed by gases activated by a plasma discharge at 20,000ºC in a specially-designed oven. The ceramic itself reaches a temperature of 900ºC; its colour changes and a unique, warm grey metallic shine emerges.
As the plasma carburising process changes the chemical composition of the surface but does not alter its structure, it does not affect the properties of the ceramic, which maintains the same hardness, scratch-resistance, lightness and hypoallergenic benefits as white and black high-tech ceramic.
And, although the colour is only altered on the surface, it will not fade over time and maintains its high- tech glow.
Scintillatingly scientific and super stylish, the brilliant warm grey metallic shine of plasma high-tech ceramic may look like metal, but there is no metal involved at all.
Achieved through this patented process first used by Rado, plasma high-tech ceramic is 100% ceramic, 100% innovative and 100% Rado.
Plasma Ceramic can be found in many of Rado’s most famous collections, including the Rado HyperChrome and Rado DiaMaster.