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A Rado watch is more than an instrument to read time, it's a statement: Adrian Bosshard

The CEO of Rado, a century-old watch-maker, talks about company's legacy, its market in India and more

Samidha Jain
Published: Dec 4, 2023 01:36:06 PM IST
Updated: Dec 4, 2023 02:13:48 PM IST

A Rado watch is more than an instrument to read time, it's a statement: Adrian BosshardAdrain Bosshard, CEO of Rado

'If we can imagine it, we can make it. And if we can make it, we will,’ is what 106-year-old watchmaking company Rado swears by. With a number of famous, luxury watches under its name, Rado manufactures watches such as Captain Cook, and Green Horse to name a few, which are considered a legacy to be passed on among generations of families.

Before joining Rado in 2020, Adrian Bosshard, current CEO of the company,  served as CEO of Certina for 17 years, one of the company’s sister brands at the Swatch Group. Since 2008, he has also been CEO of the Union Glashütte, another watch brand. In conversation with Forbes India, Bosshard talks about the company’s legacy, its market in India, the appointment of Katrina Kaif as the company’s new ambassador and more. Edited excerpts:

Q. Can you share some insights into Rado's journey in the watchmaking industry and how the brand has evolved over the years?
Rado has never slowed down in its research and development efforts. Thanks to this attitude, we were able to re-launch the Captain Cook family in recent years that has its roots in the early sixties. This very innovative and sporty product line in the Rado collection is getting a lot of attention worldwide and attracts young customers. In 2023, we launched our new skeletonised movement generation with the Rado calibre R808, which has received a lot of attention from watch enthusiasts. I believe that Rado is without a doubt distinctive in terms of iconic design and innovative materials.

Also read: On why a smartwatch will never be competition to Swiss watches: Rado global CEO Adrian Bosshard

Q. How do you view the Indian market in the context of the global watch industry, and what potential do you see for further growth?
Many Indians purchased Rado watches overseas already in the middle of the last century. Identifying the need early on, Rado started building service centres in India in the early eighties. In 2003 we started to distribute our watches through the Swatch Group subsidiary in the Indian market. We thought that India is a market that is definitely growing very fast and it was here that the customers were discovering the beauty of Swiss watches and the uniqueness of our brand.

Q. What are some of the specific strategies or initiatives that Rado is implementing to enhance its presence in the Indian market?
Our main goal is to have a qualitative top level distribution network across India that provides customers with a first-class shopping experience where they can feel and understand the Rado difference. With our long-standing brand ambassador Hrithik Roshan and our new addition to the Rado ambassador family Katrina Kaif, we have a very strong presence and commitment in the Indian market.

Also read: Storyboard | Society is more conscious and responsible: Hrithik Roshan on new rules of engagement with brands

Q. In a world which is getting more and more technology savvy by the day, switching to smartphones for all their needs, what steps does a legacy company like Rado has taken to stay in the game?
A Rado watch is much more than an instrument to read the time. It is a statement and for many customers has an emotional link to important moments in their life. A smart watch however is comparable with an electronic consumption good with a very short lifecycle.

Also read: Luxury watch market in India: A story of transformation

Q. RADO has a reputation for innovation in materials and design. Could you elaborate on the brand's commitment to pushing the boundaries of innovation in watchmaking?
There have been many milestones since Rado was founded in 1917. Let me highlight a few: 1962 first scratchproof watch with the introduction of hard metal in the watch industry, 1986 the introduction of high-tech ceramic followed by plasma high-tech ceramic and coloured high-tech ceramic. Our vision remains unchanged since the early days of the company and has earned the reputation as Master of Materials: “If we can imagine it, we can make it. And if we can make it, we will”.

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