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Thread: Recovery of some EOT Forum references, info and data?

  1. #11
    Good job Slade!

    I have linked this in the Rado resource thread, so we can always find going forward.
    Solve all your doubts through question mode.

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  3. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2022
    New Zealand



    Rado has been an actor on the Swiss watch-making scene since 1917 and an innovative, unconventional brand since at least 1957. From a movement and component manufacturer to a designer of iconic timepieces, from a family workshop to a global brand: This is the story of Rado.

    By Davy Locatell

    A family affair (1917 – 1929)

    The boom in the Swiss watchmaking sector at the beginning of the 20th century encouraged a large number of entrepreneurs to try their luck. Among them, the Schlup brothers: Friedrich (1883 – 1951), Ernst (1887 – 1958), and Werner (1895 – 1970), who paved the way for Rado in 1917 with the founding of a company named Schlup & Co.

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    First known advertising of Schlüp & Co (1923).

    Name:  First known advertising featuring the brand “Rado” (1929).png
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    First known advertising featuring the brand “Rado” (1929).

    Located in their parents’ home in the village of Lengnau halfway between the watchmaking centres of Biel/Bi-enne and Grenchen, the three brothers’ first workshop was dedicated to the production of hand-wound anchor movements.

    This decision was influenced by the growth of the watchmaking industry, notably in terms of exports, with the sales of movements making foreign markets a veritable cash cow. The founding siblings took the wise step of establishing numerous commercial relationships overseas, primarily with the United States, at a very early stage.

    In 1923, the first known advertisement for Schlup & Co. gives us an idea of the manufacturer’s expertise. The factory specialized in adapting its movements, whether private label or stamped with the company’s own names, to the specific needs of its customers.

    The favorable economic situation of the company’s first few years suddenly gave way to a period of financial crisis, which hit the whole of the global economy over the course of the 1920s. This dealt a harsh blow to the brothers’ young company, which only had around a dozen employees at this time.

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    Lengnau, Switzerland, in 1917.

    To face this new challenge, Schlup & Co. turned to a two-pronged strategy: making movements as well as finished watches. The finished watches sometimes featured the brand name Rado on parts of the movement.

    What’s in a name?

    Registered in 1928, the “Rado” brand name most likely comes from Esperanto, although no archive can formally attest to this. In this would-be international language of the time, the word “Rado” means “wheel”, one of the most important components in any mechanical watch movement. The gear wheel was one of the essential elements produced at the Schlup & Co. factory in Lengnau.

    Paving the way for a true watch-making brand (1930 – 1957)

    Over the course of the 1930s, the strategy established by the brothers made it possible to reinforce links with a large section of their commercial network on the other side of the Atlantic.

    The new dimension entered into by Schlup & Co. can also be seen in the transformation of its structures: It became a limited company in 1937, followed by the opening of a branch in New York.

    The successes enjoyed by the manufacturer from 1941 onward – at that time, the company boasted over 200 employees – paved the way for the construction of a real factory in Lengnau in 1948.

    In the days after the Second World War, the growth of the factory was slowed significantly by competition primarily from the United States. At the same time, the company was faced with an evolving market that demanded ever more automatic, rather than hand-wound, movements. These profound changes forced the company to abandon the production of movements in favor of focusing on manufacturing something more profitable: finished watches.

    This major turning point came in 1953 with the launch of small vol
    umes, first under the Rado Exacto brand, and then, in 1956, also under the name Exacto.

    Initially associated with the Rado brand, the term “Exacto” was only used on watches from the Schlup & Co. workshops in 1956. However, it turned out that the Exacto brand could not be used globally: In the United States, a brand with the name “Exacto” was already owned by a watchmaker based in New York, and several other countries rejected its registration – forcing the Schlup brothers to abandon it. The success of these initial watch collections, despite the branding problems, reassured the managers of the company with regard to their strategy.

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    An early watch bearing the Rado name, circa 1930s.

    Name:  Certificate of brand name registration for Rado (1928).png
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    Certificate of brand name registration for Rado (1928).

    A brand marching to its own beat (1957 - 1985)

    Based on the success of the first product launches, management decided to rely on the Rado brand name for their watch brand, as the name had been synonymous with Swiss-made quality in numerous countries for three decades.

    Launched in 1957 under the motto “If we can imagine it, we can make it. And if we can make it, we will!”, Rado’s collections quickly began to stand out from the watchmaking crowd. In 1962, the brand’s hunger for innovation led to the birth of the Rado DiaStar, marketed as the world’s first scratchproof watch. In what may have been a watch industry first, the DiaStar was crafted from hardmetal, offering superior scratch resistance and an innovative design approach that would later become an essential strand of the Rado brand DNA.

    With each successive collection building on this innovative style, it is hardly surprising that Rado would become an icon of innovation and watchmaking design thanks to its important research and development work, mainly in terms of shapes and materials.

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    The Rado building contrasted with the Schlup brothers' early workshop.

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    Glimpses of
    Rado's premises and marketing from the 1950s.

    At the heart of Swatch Group (1986 - 2017)

    During the reorganization of the Swiss watchmaking industry orchestrated by Nicolas G. Hayek, Rado became part of the Swatch Group (known as SMH at the time) in 1986. From then on, the brand was able to draw on expertise from within the whole Swatch Group, which buttressed its research into original materials and designs.

    This increase in access to cutting-edge technologies, the best engineering and design departments, and the most high-performance materials offered Rado an ideal framework for quenching its thirst for innovation. It was Rado’s mastery of high-tech ceramic in particular that led to the creation of new iconic designs: the Integral, the brand’s first watch to make use of high-tech ceramic; the Ceramica, the first Rado watch to use black high-tech ceramic for both the case and bracelet; and the Coupole, the brand’s first foray into pure white high-tech ceramic – to name just a few.

    With the same momentum, from the start of the 1990s, Rado created its first watch made from a titanium carbide-based composite, combining lightness, hardness, and stiffnessin a sensually curved shape: the Sintra. A decade later, the brand presented the Rado V10K, which featured perhaps the world’s hardest watchcase thanks to a coating made from synthetic monocrystalline diamond.
    Today, true to its innovative culture, Rado is writing a new chapter in Swiss-made watchmaking history by developing and mastering colored high-tech ceramic. Rado’s craftsmanship pays homage to a century of creativity and expertise while also opening new doors for the Swiss-made watches of tomorrow.

  4. #13
    Join Date
    Jul 2022
    New Zealand
    Quote Originally Posted by Henry Krinkle View Post
    Before the site went down I had tried OCR scanning this, but I did not get good results. I've got a newer program for that, so I guess I should try this again.
    I copied the PDF text and images across, so it's readable in this forum post now.

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