The Power of Time: Celebrating Rado’s 40th Anniversary Edition of the Iconic Anatom

An exclusive conversation with Adrian Bosshard, the CEO of Rado.

Rado’s 40th Anniversary edition special Anatom timepiece

We’re sitting in the second pavilion of the India Art Fair 2024, the hallowed space for the most intriguing and pathbreaking artworks from across the country. A fitting set-up, no doubt, as the global CEO of Swiss watchmaking label Rado has made a special visit to india to launch Rado’s 40th anniversary of the Anatom watch—a pathbreaking, scratch-resistant timepiece that was released in 1983, which took the shape of the wrist and made a statement for all those who chose to wear it… This watch used the same materials as the Rado DiaStar that was released in 1962, and the Anatom celebrated a resilient hardmetal case with a sleek, flat, ergonomic watch that plays with geometry and futuristic design.

In an exclusive conversation with The Word., Adrian Bosshard spoke about the joy of celebrating Swiss watchmaking, the latest trends in watches, Rado’s legacy of pushing the boundaries, and what are Adrain’s own secrets to making the most of his time.

Global CEO of Rado Mr. Adrian Bosshard and Simran Chandhoke, Brand Manager, RADO-min.

The Word.: If you could go back in time, what time would it be?

Adrian Bosshard: “I have the feeling that I grew up in the nicest time, because in before I began working in the watch industry, I was a professional motorcyclist. And if you go back in time, you’ll see that there were no motorcycles… So if I could, I’d probably just go back by 20 years to have some motorcycle races with my idols.”

TW.:  What does timeless mean to you? 

AB: “Timeless, for me, is an art that is appreciated by every generation, and remains so in the future, too. A good example is Swiss-French architect Le Corbusier, who was a timeless architect…you may like or not like him. And, also, there is art and design that are appreciated by very young people and even by older people. So, for me, timeless is something that real visionaries can create.”

TW.: Rado’s iconic Anatom watch completes 40 years this year. Do take us through its journey and what makes it so special?

AB: “The very philosophy of unique timepieces was initiated in 1962 by Rado, with the launch of the DiaStar original—the first fully scratch-resistant timepiece in an oval shape. It was a revolution and a huge success… Rado was previously creating rectangular and square watches. And in 1983, the first Anatom watch was launched, which was like second skin on the wrist. It fits perfectly even on every size of wrists, from thin to on big, with the perfect anatomic shape. The watch turned out to be a huge success, globally.

In 2020, when I began my journey as the CEO by Rado, I saw the Anatom, and I wanted to revive it with the same timeless design and with the most modern material and high-tech ceramic. Last December [in 2023], we did the pre-launch at the art fair in Miami and here, at the India Art Fair 2024, we did the global launch of the new Anatom in New Delhi. I’m very proud of the new Anatom because it’s a product inspired by the newest technology of watchmaking. And for the first-time-ever, the new Anatom features a textured rubber strap, lending it a slightly sportier feel. It hugs the wrist for extra comfort.”

The 40th Anniversary special Anatom was launch in India.

TW.: What inspired you to do the global launch in New Delhi?

AB: “In India, Rado is the strongest brands in our price segments. India is our biggest market, globally, and the Indian customers love Rado due to the unique design and our material strengths. And so, we were delighted to do the global launch of the new Anatom in New Delhi, to also appreciate the importance of India to the customers.  

Globally, Rado sells a ration of 50-50 in men’s and women’s segments. In India, we sell around 70 percent to men and 30 percent to ladies. And while we are aware that women are deeply invested in jewellery, we are seeing more and more ladies appreciating Swiss watches, especially the unique design of Rado. We want to attract more female customers in India, and so we decided that along with [actor] Hrithik Roshan as our brand ambassador, we need to have a lady testimonial who fits the brand. We are very proud to have collaborated with [actor] Katrina Kaif, who is a great person, very passionate about our brand, and very charming.”

TW.: Who is the Rado wearer? 

AB: “Today, the Rado wearer is a customer who doesn’t want to wear a common watch. They want something unique on the wrist to underline their individualism, to wear a piece of art in terms of design and materials. They are clearly a wearer who doesn’t want to have a standard watch, but who wants a watch for their whole life, not just for a short time.”

The Anatom hugs the wrist for extra comfort, and is completely scratch-free.

TW.: And what are the special colours and materials that you have used in the new Anatom watch?

AB: “So we created a limited-edition of only 40 Anatom pieces with baguette diamonds, to celebrate the watch’s 40th anniversary. But they are already sold out before the launch. The additional collection comes in three references, with a dial in cognac-colour, blue, and green. These are not just standard colours, they’re unique.” 

TW.: What are the biggest trends in watches at the moment? 

AB: “We are seeing that more and more customers don’t want fashion brands…last year, the Swiss watch industry made record sales, ever, . despite a challenging geopolitical environment, inflation, etc. Rado also achieved a top year in India last year, due to the fact that the customer are searching for security in strong, established brand with a lot of experience.” 

TW.: Are there any colours or shapes that are the biggest trend, right now? 

AB: “Since a couple of years, we have seen a strong focus on green dials. Also blue is also being highly appreciated. Especially in India, two tone watches are much coveted, especially in the category of ladies’ watches, such as the combination of ceramic black with rose gold or yellow gold. Diamonds are also aways a woman’s friend.” 


TW.: What watch are you wearing today? 

AB: “Usually, I am faced with the challenge of which watch to wear. But today it was easy for me…on my left wrist I’m wearing the Anatom, and on the right wrist I, I’m wearing a Captain Cook. The second one is a diving watch with a turning vessel, in high-tech, plasma ceramic. I enjoy big, sporty watches that represents my appreciation for sport.” 

TW.: You’ve been on such a busy schedule. What is your secret to time management? 

AB: “My secret to time management is to take out the time for this who share the same passion with me. Today, at the launch of the Anatom at the India Art Fair, we have reached out to people who are passionated about art and watches, and I’m limiting my appointments with them. By sharing my time with people who have similar passions, I am always able to handle my days and my schedules.” 

TW.: How do Rado watches speak to art?

AB: “Rado’s vision, since its foundation, has always been that ‘If we can imagine it, we can make it’. And thanks to this vision, all the engineers and watchmaker have always pushed themselves to conquer new boundaries, with design and material. We don’t want to create timepieces like all the others; we want to do almost ‘paint’ timepieces, with high tech materials and unique shapes, whose proportions and design codes are different. Our former watchmakers and designers did this in an exemplary way with the DiaStar original and the Anatom…and the ambition of today is exactly the same. Every Rado timepiece is an artwork like the art you see on the walls. But we are still linked with the roots of our past; we will not reinvent the Rado DNA. We remain loyal to the DNA that brought us this amazing success, globally.” 

TW.: And what is the future of watches?

AB: “It has been proven through the last 10 years that even despite the the smart watches revolution, a Swiss watch will be never replaced. A Swiss watch is timeless and will remain always appreciated. And I’m further, fully convinced about that after a record year in 2023 for the entire Swiss watch industry. The future is very bright because more and more customers are appreciating the art of Swiss watchmaking, and they appreciating the unique design of our timepieces.

TW.: What is the age group of the Rado watch wearer?

AB: “While we do have some younger customers, our most frequent  customers are 25 and older. Rado being in the luxury segment, often, people start collecting the timepiece when they get their first salary or embark upon a new chapter in their lives.

A watch is a statement, to yourself and to others. And once you see the technology, the artwork behind the watch, it becomes like a jewellery piece that will remain with you for decades.”

Blue dials have emerged as a major global trend, especially in India.

TW.: What is your earliest memory of a watch? 

AB: “My father was also very passionate about watches, and when I was a very small kid, I requested him for a watch. But my wrist was too small to wear my father’s watch, and so, when I turned 14, I received my first watch from him. It was a Certina watch, a brand I took care of for many years before joining Rado and the Swatch group. At 20, I got an Omega watch from my father, and when I had 29-years-old, I got my first Rado watch as marriage gift.” 

TW.: What is the future of Rado in India?

AB: “Today, we have a huge demand for Rado across India, and globally. So, we will ramp up our distribution across the country. Currently, we already have already 32 beautiful Rado boutiques, and our aim is to distribute our brand to even more boutiques to give the best possible customer journey. This would mean offering a truly qualitative, premium environment through our interiors and professional advisors in Rado branded stores. We consider this the best platform to transfer an emotional and a rational message to the customers.”