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Help with Identifying Vintage Rado Diastar

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  • Help with Identifying Vintage Rado Diastar

    Hi there! First timer here but a long-time fan of Rado. Last year, I purchased this vintage Rado Diastar at a vintage shop in my country and it had an unusual red dial with diamond indices. To make it more unusual, the crown features the letter "R" instead of the anchor that the Diastar is known to have (I wasn't able to take a picture of the crown since it was difficult to capture it). I also wasn't able to take a picture of the movement, but I was told that it featured an A Schild movement which, to my guess, dates this back to the 1960's. I'll be attaching the pictures that I have.

    One interesting thing to note is that on the side of the case, there's a serial number which says "17949". As far as the bracelet goes, I'm not really sure if it's legit at all so I included it here for further verification. Sorry if it lacks some clarity since I'm only using a Samsung S5 with my loupe lens as the zoom (gotta improvise right hahaha)

    Hope these help and hopefully I can get more info on this.

  • #2
    Welcome!
    I'm not the expert here on early Diastars, but this appears authentic and quite early, to me. The number on the case is probably not helpful in dating the watch; Rado used case numbering (or their case MFG companies did) which has not been deciphered. But the fact this has the style of caseback it does, and there is no steel chassis (the spring bars seem to connect directly to the tungsten-carbide bezel) suggest to me this is an early one.

    I do think the bracelet is an Asian copy, rather than an authentic NSA bracelet.

    Please share any clear/close photos of the dial, caseback markings, and movement that you can, they will help a lot in identification/authentication.
    Brad

    Comment


    • #3
      Hi!


      Congrats on a rare and interesting DiaStar of the first generation!

      The dial looks black to me on the pic, not red.


      DS 0 17946 d.jpg

      If itīs actually red, Iīm sure itīs refinished. If it looks used and old and has just dark red reflections, itīs possible that it
      had been black originally and bleeched out with the time by sun/UV-rays. A better pic would help.

      Sure is, that itīs a DiaStar of the first generation, probably from 1962.
      At that time, Rado still used up the old "R"-signed crowns. Find some info here.
      The case is the first generation case with the large tungstencarbide-shield and the holes to fix the springbars for the
      band/bracelet inner that TC-shield.
      The dial has still the asymmetrical date window, I assume an AS 1701 inside.
      Itīs the first one I see with Svarowski crystals(no diamonds, sorry) as markers at 1, 2, 4, 5, 7, 8, 10 and 11 instead of
      the usual small bars as on the 12, 6 and 9.


      DS 0 17946 e.jpg

      The bayonet case back is also matching that time, itīs the 2nd generation with embossed seahorses-logo and patent-numbers
      for the case back and the moving anchor-logo.

      DS 0 17946 a.jpg
      The 17946 is the reference number IMHO, not a case number. I recall having seen that already, just one time in all these years,
      but missed to add it to my register and so it has fallen in oblivion.
      I think, this reference number had been used on a few early DiaStars in the beginning and was given up later.

      I agree with Brad about the bracelet, itīs surely one of those Fareast-copies and not very old, to see from the engraved
      "The Original" on the clasp.
      Attached Files
      Last edited by mike184; 06-17-2019, 07:35 PM.
      Best regards, Mike
      vintage-rado.de

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by mike184 View Post


        DS 0 17946 a.jpg
        The 17946 is the reference number IMHO, not a case number. I recall having seen that already, just one time in all these years,
        but missed to add it to my register and so it has fallen in oblivion.
        I think, this reference number had been used on a few early DiaStars in the beginning and was given up later.
        Hi Mike, just checked all 3 of my early Diastars, 2 x 0's and 1xDS1 all 3 have numbers in that position and all numbers are different. The earliest '0' with sword hands and 'R' crown is 10395, my earliest DS1 is 18255 and the real surprise is my later '0' which is 112552, even more interesting is the bayonet back that has the large seahorse stamp but no pat pending (photo), another example of Rado using up the old stock, in any case I think it more likely these are case numbers.

        20190618_104443.jpg
        Last edited by Tim.; 06-17-2019, 08:54 PM.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Tim. View Post

          Hi Mike, just checked all 3 of my early Diastars, 2 x 0's and 1xDS1 all 3 have numbers in that position and all numbers are different, so I think it more likely they are case numbers.
          Thatīs interesting. Can you tell me the numbers?
          I will have a look on the "0"-case i own inner the next days.
          Best regards, Mike
          vintage-rado.de

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by mike184 View Post

            Thatīs interesting. Can you tell me the numbers?
            I will have a look on the "0"-case i own inner the next days.
            Hi Mike, updated the previous post with all the info.

            Comment


            • #7
              Hey everyone!

              I'd just like to say I appreciate everyone's input on this and it really warms my heart that not only do I have a special one here, but also, the helpfulness of the people here really make me feel more welcome.

              I've attached these pictures as to help you guys further track this bad boy out. Hope these help! As for the crown, I do worry about it seeing as I have to replace it since it doesn't wind well anymore (there are times I'd wind it up a few times and the watch would just stop all of us sudden, so I have to 'shake' it like a Seiko 7s26 movement). I have a local watchmaker who has a spare anchor crown but seeing how rare the crown is, could it be possible to just switch out the stem in order to keep the crown? Also, are bracelets for this kind of model still available?

              Thank you once again for all of your inputs

              Comment


              • #8
                DS 0 17946 d.jpg
                If itīs actually red, Iīm sure itīs refinished. If it looks used and old and has just dark red reflections, itīs possible that it
                had been black originally and bleeched out with the time by sun/UV-rays. A better pic would help.

                Sure is, that itīs a DiaStar of the first generation, probably from 1962.
                At that time, Rado still used up the old "R"-signed crowns. Find some info here.
                The case is the first generation case with the large tungstencarbide-shield and the holes to fix the springbars for the
                band/bracelet inner that TC-shield.
                The dial has still the asymmetrical date window, I assume an AS 1701 inside.
                Itīs the first one I see with Svarowski crystals(no diamonds, sorry) as markers at 1, 2, 4, 5, 7, 8, 10 and 11 instead of
                the usual small bars as on the 12, 6 and 9.
                I could somewhat confirm that it is a 1701 movement as when I bought it, I had the caseback opened and was initially alarmed at the number since I was expecting an ETA and I wasn't really aware that an A. Schild movement made its way into the Diastar.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by dapper.horology View Post
                  Hey everyone!

                  I'd just like to say I appreciate everyone's input on this and it really warms my heart that not only do I have a special one here, but also, the helpfulness of the people here really make me feel more welcome.

                  I've attached these pictures as to help you guys further track this bad boy out. Hope these help! As for the crown, I do worry about it seeing as I have to replace it since it doesn't wind well anymore (there are times I'd wind it up a few times and the watch would just stop all of us sudden, so I have to 'shake' it like a Seiko 7s26 movement). I have a local watchmaker who has a spare anchor crown but seeing how rare the crown is, could it be possible to just switch out the stem in order to keep the crown? Also, are bracelets for this kind of model still available?

                  Thank you once again for all of your inputs
                  Provided the crown will unscrew there shouldn't be any problem replacing the stem and using the same crown. This model wasn't sold on a bracelet, straps only, so no problem there. If you want to go all the way you'll need to look out for a Rado buckle from the 60's. Like this.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by dapper.horology View Post
                    DS 0 17946 d.jpg


                    I could somewhat confirm that it is a 1701 movement as when I bought it, I had the caseback opened and was initially alarmed at the number since I was expecting an ETA and I wasn't really aware that an A. Schild movement made its way into the Diastar.
                    These AS-movements are excellent - as a former movement-factory, Schlup & Co/Rado bought them in parts and did the finishing, assembling, adjusting in house. That explains why their quality is almost much higher than in watches of other brands.

                    To the crown - I would keep the original "R"-crown, that shouldnīt be a problem.

                    fetch?photoid=579979.jpg
                    The dial is actually red - never seen before in that colour and with the Swarowski-crystals.
                    The date-window is also red, not silver and the "Swiss Made" is not rounded.
                    Iīm sure, the dial was refinished with a dark red colour. It originally had been silver with a silver/chromed date window.
                    At 1,2,4,5,7,8,10,11, the luminous dots were replaced by Swarowsky-crystals.
                    "Rado" and "Swiss Made" are printed new, not even in best quality, the "DiaStar" is an emblem.
                    This is how it looked before (except the "Officially Certified Chronometre"):

                    0 DS 1 Chronometer AS 1713 a.jpg

                    Best regards, Mike
                    vintage-rado.de

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Tim. View Post

                      Hi Mike, just checked all 3 of my early Diastars, 2 x 0's and 1xDS1 all 3 have numbers in that position and all numbers are different. The earliest '0' with sword hands and 'R' crown is 10395, my earliest DS1 is 18255 and the real surprise is my later '0' which is 112552, even more interesting is the bayonet back that has the large seahorse stamp but no pat pending (photo), another example of Rado using up the old stock, in any case I think it more likely these are case numbers.

                      20190618_104443.jpg
                      Thanks, Tim!

                      So it actually seem to be case production numbers.
                      My 1st generation DS case wears the 18034.
                      Best regards, Mike
                      vintage-rado.de

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by mike184 View Post

                        These AS-movements are excellent - as a former movement-factory, Schlup & Co/Rado bought them in parts and did the finishing, assembling, adjusting in house. That explains why their quality is almost much higher than in watches of other brands.

                        To the crown - I would keep the original "R"-crown, that shouldnīt be a problem.

                        fetch?photoid=579979.jpg
                        The dial is actually red - never seen before in that colour and with the Swarowski-crystals.
                        The date-window is also red, not silver and the "Swiss Made" is not rounded.
                        Iīm sure, the dial was refinished with a dark red colour. It originally had been silver with a silver/chromed date window.
                        At 1,2,4,5,7,8,10,11, the luminous dots were replaced by Swarowsky-crystals.
                        "Rado" and "Swiss Made" are printed new, not even in best quality, the "DiaStar" is an emblem.
                        This is how it looked before (except the "Officially Certified Chronometre"):

                        0 DS 1 Chronometer AS 1713 a.jpg
                        So wait, does this mean my watch is a frankenwatch?

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by dapper.horology View Post

                          So wait, does this mean my watch is a frankenwatch?
                          Hi!


                          Not a Frankenwatch in sense of a watch cobbled together with parts of different watches.
                          But the dial is definitely not original, itīs refinished.
                          So itīs not 100 % authentic. Sorry.
                          Best regards, Mike
                          vintage-rado.de

                          Comment

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