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Thread: Sot(modern)C

  1. #1

    Sot(modern)C

    I did one of these back in 2015 (?) but the modern portion of the collection has changed a fair bit since then. The vintage collection has too, but that is due to shrinkage. I posted this one over at the Rado forum a few months back and I'll share it here with a few modificcations and some edits.

    I think I will try to keep this roughly in order of acquisition.


    My modern collection starts in 2010. Some of you may remember my pink/ copper coloured Diastar 18 Magic. Back then not many of them had been seen, so it was considered quite desirable in certain circles. I regularly received offers to purchase, some quite high, but always refused. Then one day a fellow on the forum who I had completed numerous transactions back and forth with offered a trade for one of three pretty unusual Rados. I settled on Peter's Diastar XL. The perceived value of the two was so far apart I felt compelled to raise it with Peter. His response was that the XL was too big for him and he had seen the Diastar Magic in a dealers window in 1974, not bought it and still dreamt about it. Fair enough we did the trade. Though it was made in 2002, when I received it in November 2010 it still had 11 months on the warranty. Peter had bought it new.


    40 Years of Diastar XL. This really uncommon Diastar is still one of my top three Diastars. With it's matte blue dial and natural ruby anchor disc it is such an understated beauty... for a Diastar.


    40YDSLEb by Hank Blanc, on Flickr


    It was a revelation. The solid feel of a well made modern watch, let alone an oversized Diastar was something else, as was the relatively carefree attitude one can adopt. I treat my vintage watches with much more care than I do my modern ones, despite the price difference.


    Mrs. K and I went to Chicago to celebrate my 50th birthday. We had a gas and I came home with the "Starliner" Centrix, my first new mechanical since my grade 12 graduation. This was my first ever experience in an AD and I really enjoyed it. I was treated very well by New York Jewellers but I was a little overwhelmed by the choices available and did not know what to buy. Mrs. K settled on the Centrix which had only just come out. This would be August of 2011, so no modern watches joined my collection for nearly a year.


    P9231480 by Hank Blanc, on Flickr


    Controversial amongst Radoistes as probably the only known non-mineral auto since 1962 to not have the rotating anchor, I like the starkness the absence of it provides. The Centrix model was never supposed to be offered as an automatic and was only made available as such at the very last moment, which is likely why the anchor is absent. It was also Rado's first design to adopt their new big dial philosophy.


    The Centrix is a lifelong keeper for me, but when Rado introduced the D-Star later that year, I bit. I had wanted a black ceramic and one that was loosely based on the Diastar was the one for me. I have always viewed it as a modern Balboa, with the beveled case edges and the Balboa Great style hands, rather than Rado's claim that it is the Diastar re-imagined. I pre-ordered this without ever having seen it in real life and I took delivery of it on Christmas Eve, 2011. It was also my first ever watch at 42mm and I admit I was a bit nervous that it might be too big, but it was not.


    P4070478 by Hank Blanc, on Flickr


    Calm ensued. I'm good. Nothing modern for 2012. It seems I might be satisfied with my new watches. Then I find a wonderful New Original model for Mrs. K. on Ashford's 12 Days of Christmas sale. It's a Christmas gift and riciculously cheap for an automatic Diastar. She insists on reciprocating. I'm fine, I say. I'm good, I really don't need... No go. She won't take no for an answer. Alright, I like this...


    P2270057 by Hank Blanc, on Flickr


    Eterna Soleure moonphase chronometer. More hands and features than any other watch I've ever owned. Also the biggest watch I've owned up to this point.


    Annndddd... the floodgates open...
    Last edited by Henry Krinkle; Oct 11, 2017 at 04:55 PM.
    Solve all your doubts through question mode.

  2. #2
    What a stellar group! I'll admit to some bias since I have the same D-Star, but I'm not sure I've seen the blue 40 Years before. The other two, of course, I've seen regularly.

  3. #3
    Beautiful pieces, but that Diastar 40 years is really impressive.

  4. Likes Henry Krinkle liked this post
  5. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by mlcor View Post
    What a stellar group! I'll admit to some bias since I have the same D-Star, but I'm not sure I've seen the blue 40 Years before. The other two, of course, I've seen regularly.
    Quote Originally Posted by CFR View Post
    Beautiful pieces, but that Diastar 40 years is really impressive.
    Rado went all out for the 40th Anniversary of the Diastar. They released a regular sized chronometer LE, a boxed set of five LEs including the Accustar with a hybrid movement and they introduced the Extra Large Diastar. The 40 Years of is a scaled up piece with some lovely little details in the hands and markers. As I already wrote, the matte dial keeps it from being too in your face (for a Diastar) while the ruby disc has a deep rich glow. Rado built 300 of these and not very many other Diastar XLs before the redesign.
    Last edited by Henry Krinkle; Oct 12, 2017 at 06:00 PM.
    Solve all your doubts through question mode.

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  7. #5
    I had a really good show and sold a lot of paintings. Time to treat myself. My admiration for the starkness of the Centrix got me looking beyond not only Rado, but Switzerland. I ordered and started an 8 month wait. 8 MONTHS!

    Somewhere around here I sold a couple of nice pieces and ended up with a tidy little sum for the Rado world. As has often happened to me in this hobby I immediately found a really nice piece.

    P1250191 by Hank Blanc, on Flickr

    While there are twice as many Diastar 40s as there are 40 Years of Diastars, the DS 40 is generally considered the ultimate Diastar. Mine came from Japan and not only included every single box, book, paper, polishing cloth, wallet and COSC certificate but also every last shred of packing plastic, the original sales reciept and the ADs business card.
    A few years on from this I will kill the movement, but have it replaced by Rado and have the paperwork to prove the provenance of the new chronometer movement, but that is a different story.



    All the while vintage acquisitions are continuing unabated. In fact they are accelerating, but this does not alleviate the anticipation or the impatience I have over that wait. 8 MONTHS!

    I had bought Mrs. K not 1, but 2 New Originals, which is what Rado named the redesigned Diastar and I admit it: I had lug envy.

    Out of the blue a friend at the Rado forum offers me his XL New Original, ridiculously cheap.

    P3190232 by Hank Blanc, on Flickr

    Lug envy- cured.

    Finally. Between ordering and delivery the logo changed but I managed to get one of the last old logo KSs ever made.

    aP1011109 by Hank Blanc, on Flickr

    What a perfect little watch. More perfect than I thought...too perfect. It took me months to love this watch and it is still too perfect. I do love it, but there is a sound reason I have never stepped up to Nomos. At the really cheap price of the Antea when I bought it, I can afford to ignore it for great lengths of time.
    Last edited by Henry Krinkle; Oct 12, 2017 at 07:36 PM.
    Solve all your doubts through question mode.

  8. #6
    In hindsight, if one looks closely one can see what's going to happen.



    TRAGEDY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



    A steel link pin right up by the lugs failed and the watch plunged roughly 8 feet to the concrete floor. I watched it fall and nearly got my foot under it. Not quite, though. I was surprisingly calm. Me to Mrs K: "You should come see what happened."

    The D-Star was still under warranty, but ceramics are strictly excluded. Trying can't hurt. It took me two weeks to get them to accept that maybe the only relevant part of this was the steel link pin. Fortunately I had that photo I posted where one can see that the last set of links is no longer properly fitted in comparison to the lugs.

    In the meantime Rado introduces there first injection molded ceramioc case and releases a predominantly steel version as a Limted Edition to celebrate.

    I say to Mrs. K that if Rado won't fix the D-Star maybe...

    So Swatch Group Canada emails me that they have received my D-Star and it generally takes three days to a week to assess. They add that seeing as the broken ceramic isn't under warranty it might be a bit longer. Less than 15 minutes later I get another email. "We will replace the case, the crystal, the stem, the bracelet, the gaskets and the hands. We will repair and regulate the movement and then pressure test the watch." They saved the black steel case back, which pleased me to no end as the pre-order case back is significantly different from subsequent versions. I have it back in my hands in three weeks. It took that long because all the ceramic had to come from Switzerland.

    I am so happy that now I say I should get that watch as a thank you. I phone New York Jewllers in Chicago. They have oone. Only a portion of my painting sales goes towards watches. I save enough for my taxes and then half of what is left goes to watches, or vacations, or what have you. I have no watch fund at this time, but manage to order the watch two weeks later without having a show up. Motivation can be a powerful tool.

    P2200576a by Hank Blanc, on Flickr

    The Hyperchrome Golden Horse chronmeter. My favourite watch.
    Last edited by Henry Krinkle; Oct 12, 2017 at 07:34 PM.
    Solve all your doubts through question mode.

  9. #7


    Remind me never to go near a concrete floor with my D-Star! Yikes.

    I like the old Stowa logo better, too. Although mine doesn't have a logo at all.

    Also, I will end up waiting at least a year for my RGM. Just sayin.

    Also, still love the Golden Horse, what a beauty.

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  11. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by mlcor View Post


    Remind me never to go near a concrete floor with my D-Star! Yikes.

    I like the old Stowa logo better, too. Although mine doesn't have a logo at all.

    Also, I will end up waiting at least a year for my RGM. Just sayin.

    Also, still love the Golden Horse, what a beauty.

    Sure. Hey, mlcor! Stay away from concrete floors with your D-Star!

    I've now it had it far longer post break than pre, about five or six years I think with no further trouble. I think it was some kind of design flaw. It happened right up by the lugs, where the last links flare out so maybe it was exerting uneven pressure onto the steel pin which wore out.. I had kind of noticed it before it broke. I have not seen anythign remotely like that after the rebuild.

    I am not at all surprised that it will take at least a year for yoru RGM.
    Solve all your doubts through question mode.

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  13. #9
    Porous Membrane skywatch's Avatar
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    All three of my Stowas have the old Logo. I share your feelings about it. I guess I don't have the same problem with over-perfect, though, as my Antea caused me to get a Nomos almost immediately, back in 2011.

    I love your Rado addiction. It helps me live vicariously through the funk. Gotta have that funk.
    Too many watches, not enough wrists.

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  15. #10
    Apparently, I like things that are flawed more than ones that are perfect. I thought I'd be in line for a Nomos too. I will admit that the Ahoi Atlantic has an outside chance in my collection, except I think it might be too big for me.


    I do have a lot of Rados, and more too come in the Modern collection to.
    Solve all your doubts through question mode.

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