|18k yellow gold with screw-back
|A. Schild automatic Cal. 1701, 30 Jewels
Description: This is an early-1960s example of a Rado 56-H chronometer. This watch has a typical Rado case of 34mm diameter in the style of contemporary watches, such as the Golden Horse, but where those watches have a sea-horse emblem on the case back, the 56-H generally has a medallion featuring an image of a shooting star above the earth (sadly, missing from this example). The significance of the model name and the image is described inmy article on early Rado chronometers. As a flagship model, the 56-H was mainly produced in gold, but this generation of the line also has been seen in cases of stainless steel (also pictured below) and in gold plate with a steel back.
Previously published accounts* of this model indicate that between 1957 and 1972 Rado created 911 wrist chronometers using A. Schild automatic movements exclusively. The specific designation of this model is 56-H B, indicating it is the second-generation, using an AS movement with date.
The case shows very little wear; the dial appears to be original and nearly 100%. The 30mm dial is silver with 18k gold markers and anchor symbol. The crown should be signed with block letter R. Unfortunately, the original crown and chronometer certificate are not present with this watch.
Photos: Click for larger images
*Click here to see an excerpt about a similar Rado from Fritz Von Osterhausen's book Wristwatch Chronometers (Callwey Verlag, Munich, 1996). Also, Rado promotional material for the 56-H line and other early Rado chronometers can be viewed here.
Note: More specific information pertaining to the manufacture/issue date of this and other 56-H watches is welcome. Also, I am always seeking 56-H watches and parts--including boxes and paperwork. I have a personal mission to preserve these watches, especially those which have been removed from their gold cases.
Text and images © C. Bradley Jacobs, WatchCarefully.com