Exceptionally strong, lightweight and scratch resistant, the ceramic material has physical properties that lend themselves favorably to adventurous lifestyles. Last year we saw ceramic pioneers Rado take the material one step further, launching the Captain Cook High-Tech Plasma Ceramic, in which the ceramic is forged at 20,000°C to give the surface a unique chandelier with an understated presence. This year, Rado has expanded its HTC collection with the addition of the Captain Cook High-Tech Ceramic Diver, bringing the same plasma treatment to the brand’s very first ISO 6425 certified diver’s watches.
While balancing the utilitarian function of a diver’s watch with such contemporary aesthetics is something only Rado can pull off, we felt that showcasing its prowess for work and play rested on its attachment. on the wrist of Sydney-based ocean photographer Piers Haskard. At just 25 years old, Piers has spent the better part of two decades surfing, diving and filming in the area around Shelly Beach – the little piece of northern beach heaven that includes Bower’s surf break and the water reserve of Cabbage Tree Bay.
“It’s one of the most incredible blends of ocean environments on the East Coast – a rolling right hand bend, a shallow marine sanctuary teeming with everything from reef sharks to huge blue gropers, and a rocky shoreline. which even on an average day might look like something out of the Mediterranean. I’m very lucky he was never more than a hundred yards from my house.
After first picking up the now old GoPro Hero 2 as a teenager, a new underwater perspective for Piers was unlocked almost instantly. The surfboard was soon replaced by a pair of flippers and a weight belt, and every expedition into the deep blue became a mission to snap the coolest shots of friends and brothers on the waves below.
Since we started following Haskard two years ago, he has consolidated his ownership of underwater visuals in Sydney and has since branched out into advertising, hotel artwork commissions, operations professional drones, while running his online gallery and print shop, and soon, more travel. As his passion has evolved into payday, capturing content is only a fraction of his daily routine, and managing his time effectively is key to running his business effectively. It’s an adjustment that a young surfer with a camera never had to worry about – but meetings and deadlines now fill the calendar – and sunrise shots (his favorite time of day) require fast execution.
“Time flies…because I’m in the zone and still having fun. I think I spent a good 4 hours over two days capturing these moments – in fact, I know I did.
“Because I spend so much of my life staring at screens – above and below ocean level – I was hesitant to introduce a watch, preferring to use dives as a time to relax and focus on my work.However, as my time has become more valuable, monitoring it has become essential, and the handsome Rado Captain Cook High-Tech Ceramic Diver provides all the readability and capability I need, without any of the technology that I do not have.
“What surprised me the most with this diver was the appearance of the material, the lume and also the comfort. The treated ceramic has a natural shine and plays with the sunlight coming from above, which which makes it impossible not to gaze beneath the waves. I was blown away by the blue lume on the unidirectional bezel and indexes, which almost seem to float above the dial – even on overcast days, it shows clearly in the depths, keeping me at all times through time with just a glance through the bulging crystal.
“With less than ideal weather conditions over the past few months, I was concerned about wearability as I was switching between wetsuits. I run a thicker ‘four-three’ on cooler days and a “three-four” on warmer days, and sometimes a vest, so the ability to adjust the rubber strap on the go was a hit for me – it had to be as comfortable as not wearing a watch .
Of course, incorporating the watch into his daily routine wasn’t all we asked Piers to do, we also asked him to photograph it, while putting it through its paces.
“The shooting of the watch was difficult. The lighting is completely different underwater than above – reflecting, refracting, with underwater visibility impaired by the clouds above. Focusing on such a small subject with such a broad goal, while battling against currents and waves, and keeping track of the people around and above me proved to be one of my biggest challenges. so far, but I’m thrilled with the results.
Limited to 10 meters by its AquaTech camera housing, depth is always on Haskard’s mind, and he joked that it was nice not to worry about the HTC Diver’s ruggedness or diving capabilities. Ironically though, his lasting impressions were how the watch complemented his lifestyle out of the water, appearing smaller than 43mm, and sporting a captivating sunray blue dial even the casual observer couldn’t get enough of.
“I loved the black rubber, but I kept coming back to the blue dial and the ceramic strap, maybe because it feels sturdier to me, and I’m a big believer in having the right tools to get the job done, to both in my hands – and now, on my wrist.
There are 6 Captain Cook HTC Diver models available: