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Thread: Lucky 14

  1. #1

    Lucky 14

    Today Brian asked me if my 14 Diastars were different and I said mostly and promised to post them altogether . So here they are.

    P8133031 by Hank Blanc, on Flickr

    Diastar. This is the unnumbered debut from the first few months of 1962. It was quickly replaced with the Diastar 1 as the first Diastar has a serious design flaw. The lug holes are drilled right into the tungsten and are easily chipped. My Diastar is not chipped and while better examples of this watch exist ( see Scott's) this is my favourite project watch and took me years to build.

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    When the Diastar 1 and 2 were introduced Rado also introduced the faceted sapphire crystals we all now expect. They did however have a bunch of flat ones lying around. Rado are legendary for not leaving anything behind in the parts box, so cheaper versions of the Diastar 1 and 2 were offered. These were sold on Rado branded leather and had flat crystals. For more money one could upgrade to an NSA bracelet. Here is a Diastar 2/1 with flat crystal. The dial with Swarofsky crystals almost certainly dates between 1966 and 1968, when the Diastar 9 replaced the 2.Both the "0" and the 2/1 contain A Schild 1700/01 movements. When Rado joined the ASUAG they initiated a switch from A Schild to ETA.



    Brand new to me Diastar 1, circa 1972 or so.

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    Diastar 1/E Chronometer, circa 1972 or so. Both these Diastar 1s carry the ultra strong ETA 2783. Rado does not know how many 1/E chronometers they made but from 1957 until 2000 Rado produced no more than 900 chronometers, assuming they used every movement they had approved.


    aP1010395 by Hank Blanc, on Flickr

    Diastar 8/1 tigereye

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    While this is not the definitive Diastar shape this is one of Rados definitive watches- the Diastar 10. Between 1968 and 1972 Rado built 2000 of these monsters. A smaller womens version, the Diastar 11, was also produced.

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    A ten I no longer own with one of Mrs. Ks Diastar 11s. She has three.

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    The NCC 505 was such a successful model for Rado that they made a tungsten version, the Diastar 515. The edges on this watch are so sharp one can fray one's cuffs. It dates from the mid-seventies.

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    Another cuff frayer from roughly the same time- The Diastar 14

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    Thanks to Scott, it no longer looks like this

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    Around 1972 Rado figured out how to coat tungsten with materials as scratch resistant as the tungsten itself. The Diatsar 13 G(old) was the first coloured Diastar. It was quickly followed by a riot of colours. I have seen a Diastar 18 Magic ad from 1973 that shows this exact watch, so I say it's from 1973. Diastar 18 Magic

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    Diastar 55 from the late seventies or very early eighties. The dial is made of slices of onyx and a slice of tigereye fused together. The case was borrowed form the Asian market Balboa DeLuxe. The clear "jewels" are Swarofskys but the dark ones appear to be genuine garnet.

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    Pre-1983 Diastar 62. Ridiculously extreme and unique case. The flat surfaces and the sides are gold tone while the rest of the case is regular tungsten.



    Diastar 40 LE chronometer form 2002. Rado made three individual LEs and a boxed set of another 6 to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Diastar. At 600 pieces this is the most common, though the watch itself is anything but common. The blued hands and blue lume on the pure white dial make it a standout.



    40 Years of Diastar LE. This is Rado's first extra large Diastar and was limited to 300 pieces. If you were going to ask, the answer is this is my favourite Diastar of all. From 1957 until sometime in the early seventies Rado used the same synthetic ruby that is used for watch jewels to make the anchor discs. After that it was replaced with anodized aluminum. The 40 Years has a natural ruby disc as a nod to the past.



    Rado New Original XL, 2008. Mid 2000s Rado presented an updated Diastar model with screw down crown, crown guards and giant lugs.



    50 Years of Diastar, regular size, LE from 2012. Currently a favourite and getting heavy rotation.

    P1014863 by Hank Blanc, on Flickr

    Rado labelled the very first D-Star, of which mine is one, as Diastars. After the first year they changed their minds and it is no longer regarded as one.

    Sometime around 2005 Rado renamed the Diastar the Original as they had begun using Diastar in a generic sense. My Centrix bears the Diastar logo on it's caseback but for my pruposes if it isn't a tungsten case it isn't a Diastar and I will not include it here.

    I have had a number of other Diastars including a beautiful tigereye 8/1 that i never wore. My wife has more than six Diastars herself including a Diastar 3 which is the first womens model, numerous Diastar 11s and a Diastar 19 Magic that matches my 18.
    Last edited by Henry Krinkle; Oct 27, 2021 at 07:34 PM.

  2. #2
    Big Member Chase's Avatar
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    Superb collection. Thanks for posting them all together.

    I'm with you on the 40th being the top shelf piece, though I really like those cuff frayers as well.
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  4. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Chase View Post
    Superb collection. Thanks for posting them all together.

    I'm with you on the 40th being the top shelf piece, though I really like those cuff frayers as well.
    Thanks Chase. The 40th is such a lovely understated piece. I mean that in relation to other Diastars. The 14 doesn't get much wear, but the 515 is in pretty heavy rotation.

  5. #4
    Amazing collection, HK! I love your passion for DiaStars, and I really appreciate you sharing them with us.


    ~Sherry.
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  7. #5
    Moderator scottjc's Avatar
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    Amazing collection of iconic watches Henry.
    I don't know about my DS"0" being better than yours but I'll take the compliment gratefully.
    I must say that I've never noticed the DS55's similarity to the Deluxe before, another example of parts bin raiding, eh?
    I really must get around to doing a SOTC showing my 13 Diastars, 12 Balboas and bunch of Steelers.
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  9. #6
    Those are amazing Rados!!!

    luv them very much and your amazing photographs really enhance the appeal of these legendary beauty... hope i can score one someday! thanks for the inspiration Henry!

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  11. #7
    MWC is that my watch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Henry Krinkle View Post
    Today Brian asked me if my 14 Diastars were different and I said mostly and promised to post them altogether . So here they are.

    Diastar. This is the unnumbered debut from the first few months of 1962. It was quickly replaced with the Diastar 1 as the first Diastar has a serious design flaw. The lug holes are drilled right into the tungsten and are easily chipped. My Diastar is not chipped and while better examples of this watch exist ( see Scott's) this is my favourite project watch and took me years to build.



    When the Diastar 1 and 2 were introduced Rado also introduced the faceted sapphire crystals we all now expect. They did however have a bunch of flat ones lying around. Rado are legendary for not leaving anything behind in the parts box, so cheaper versions of the Diastar 1 and 2 were offered. These were sold on Rado branded leather and had flat crystals. For more money one could upgrade to an NSA bracelet. Here is a Diastar 2/1 with flat crystal. The dial with Swarofsky crystals almost certainly dates between 1966 and 1968, when the Diastar 9 replaced the 2.Both the "0" and the 2/1 contain A Schild 1700/01 movements. When Rado joined the ASUAG they initiated a switch from A Schild to ETA.



    Brand new to me Diastar 1, circa 1972 or so.



    Diastar 1/E Chronometer, circa 1972 or so. Both these Diastar 1s carry the ultra strong ETA 2783. Rado does not know how many 1/E chronometers they made but from 1957 until 2000 Rado produced no more than 900 chronometers, assuming they used every movement they had approved.



    While this is not the definitive Diastar shape this is one of Rados definitive watches- the Diastar 10. Between 1968 and 1972 Rado built 2000 of these monsters. A smaller womens version, the Diastar 11, was also produced.



    The NCC 515 was such a successful model for Rado that they made a tungsten version, the Diastar 515. The edges on this watch are so sharp one can fray one's cuffs. It dates from the mid-seventies.



    Another cuff frayer from roughly the same time- The Diastar 14



    Around 1972 Rado figured out how to coat tungsten with materials as scratch resistant as the tungsten itself. The Diatsar 13 G(old) was the first coloured Diastar. It was quickly followed by a riot of colours. I have seen a Diastar 18 Magic ad from 1973 that shows this exact watch, so I say it's from 1973. Diastar 18 Magic



    Diastar 55 from the late seventies or very early eighties. The dial is made of slices of onyx and a slice of tigereye fused together. The case was borrowed form the Asian market Balboa DeLuxe. The clear "jewels" are Swarofskys but the dark ones appear to be genuine garnet.



    Pre-1983 Diastar 62. Ridiculously extreme and unique case. The flat surfaces and the sides are gold tone while the rest of the case is regular tungsten.



    Diastar 40 LE chronometer form 2002. Rado made three individual LEs and a boxed set of another 6 to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Diastar. At 600 pieces this is the most common, though the watch itself is anything but common. The blued hands and blue lume on the pure white dial make it a standout.



    40 Years of Diastar LE. This is Rado's first extra large Diastar and was limited to 300 pieces. If you were going to ask, the answer is this is my favourite Diastar of all. From 1957 until sometime in the early seventies Rado used the same synthetic ruby that is used for watch jewels to make the anchor discs. After that it was replaced with anodized aluminum. The 40 Years has a natural ruby disc as a nod to the past.



    Rado New Original XL, 2008. Mid 2000s Rado presented an updated Diastar model with screw down crown, crown guards and giant lugs.



    50 Years of Diastar, regular size, LE from 2012. Currently a favourite and getting heavy rotation.

    P1014863 by Hank Blanc, on Flickr

    Rado labelled the very first D-Star, of which mine is one, as Diastars. After the first year they changed their minds and it is no longer regarded as one.

    Sometime around 2005 Rado renamed the Diastar the Original as they had begun using Diastar in a generic sense. My Centrix bears the Diastar logo on it's caseback but for my pruposes if it isn't a tungsten case it isn't a Diastar and I will not include it here.

    I have had a number of other Diastars including a beautiful tigereye 8/1 that i never wore. My wife has more than six Diastars herself including a Diastar 3 which is the first womens model, numerous Diastar 11s and a Diastar 19 Magic that matches my 18.
    great photo's stunning as always some wonderful Rado's there

    venus, passion's rockets ,sets afire gentle hearts that music doth inspire,
    through the joys of dance and last play
    leading them to love the sweetest way.

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  13. #8
    MWC is that my watch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by scottjc View Post
    I really must get around to doing a SOTC showing my 13 Diastars, 12 Balboas and bunch of Steelers.
    think that would be wonderful if you could

    venus, passion's rockets ,sets afire gentle hearts that music doth inspire,
    through the joys of dance and last play
    leading them to love the sweetest way.

    https://emgwatches.com/
    http://www.instagram.com/iyonk_strap/
    Blanchy Talks Watches

  14. #9
    Missing manual. BlackNomad's Avatar
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    Beautiful collection!

    "Happiness is not a state to arrive at, but a manner of travelling." Margaret Lee Runbeck.

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  16. #10
    Thanks for posting your collection of Diastars, Henry! For a collection that shares a common name, there is a remarkable variety among the different models.

    I had forgotten that the Diastar name wasn't associated with a single case shape. The variety among the "standard" case is surprising. The use of a faceted crystal dramatically changed the look, but the colored cases seem even more extreme. It's hard to imagine the Diastar 62 and 40 share so much in common.

    Based on that sampling alone, I am actually surprised that your Diastar collection only has 14 pieces.

    As always, a beautiful and informative post. Thanks, Henry!

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