The Swiss watch manufacturer Rado combines modern and traditional design in the D-Star 200. These diving watches are water resistant to 200 m (20 bar, 656 ft) and are available as three-hand models and chronographs with automatic movements.
The 2012 Rado D-Star 200 is a diving watch with plenty of retro charm. It's clear that it is the direct descendant of the 2011 D-Star, the updated version of the scratch-resistant Rado classic DiaStar 1 from the 1960s. Like its sister model, the D-Star 200 has a relatively wide, oval bezel that expands past the lugs like a shield. However, unlike its predecessors, Rado decided against using carbide or ceramic for the D-Star 200. Instead, they went with classic stainless steel, with a gold PVD coating on certain models.
The "200" in the name comes from the fact that this watch is water resistant to 200 m (20 bar or 656 ft). To guarantee performance, the Rado D-Star 200 has a screw-down stainless steel and sapphire glass case back and a screw-down safety crown, among other features. Its unidirectional bezel and hands and indices are generously coated in luminous material, leaving no doubt that the D-Star 200 is a proper diving watch.
Rado offered this watch in a three-hand version and as a chronograph. Both were outfitted with automatic ETA movements and a cyclops lens over the date display . As opposed to Rolex watches, Rado didn't apply the lens to the crystal but rather integrated it into the sapphire glass so that it sat almost flush with the surface. Rado also didn't shy away from ceramic entirely. The Swiss manufacturer went with the versatile material for both the bezel inlay and the middle links of the three-piece link stainless steel bracelet, lending the watches an elegant bicolor finish. These watches come with blue, gray, or black dials with subtle sunbursts, and the design is purposely kept to the basics. Numerals were discarded in favor of applied hour markings, providing great readability.
|D-Star 200||D-Star 200 Chronograph|
|Price (approx.)||1,700 USD||2,200 USD|
|Caliber||ETA 2824-2||ETA A05.H31|
|Size||42 mm||44 mm|
|Water resistance||200 m (20 bar, 656 ft)||200 m (20 bar, 656 ft)|
The ETA 2824-2 ticks away inside the 42-mm case of the three-hand model. This provides the watch with a date display at 3 o'clock and a 38-hour power reserve. Expect prices starting around 1,500 USD for a pre-owned D-Star 200 with a stainless steel and ceramic bracelet in good condition. A comparable never-worn model will cost you about 1,700 USD. If you prefer rubber straps to stainless steel bracelets, you will need over 1,700 USD. The version with yellow-gold plating on the stainless steel case and bracelet parts as well as the hands and indices is a bit more expensive and costs 1,800 USD.
At 44 mm, the case of the D-Star 200 Chronograph is 2 mm larger than its sister model. It also uses a different movement: Rado opted for a modified ETA A05.H31 caliber with a 54-hour power reserve. This movement also lends the watch its small seconds dial and 30-minute counter on subdials at 3 and 9 o'clock, respectively. The date window has been pushed to 6 o'clock, giving the watch a pleasant symmetry. To set the date, the D-Star 200 Chronograph has a small pusher sunken into the case at 10 o'clock. The date springs forward one day with each push of the button.
Plan to spend around 2,200 USD for a never-worn D-Star 200 Chronograph with a black dial, matching black bezel, and stainless steel bracelet with black ceramic middle links. The variant with gold-plated stainless steel goes for about 2,300 USD. You'll need to spend a bit more for a never-worn model with a gray dial and stainless steel bracelet. Prices for this version start at slightly under 2,500 USD.