Rado picks another British winner in Cameron Norrie

Cameron Norrie

The past decade has seen British tennis living its best life. Most fans wondered if we would ever see the 1977 success of Virginia Wade repeated on Wimbledon’s famed Centre Court.

Then came Andy Murray’s 2013 Men’s singles win and at last the tide began to turn.

When Murray lifted the silver gilt cup – the first British man since Fred Perry in 1936 to do so – sitting snugly on his wrist was his trusty Rado HyperChrome automatic chronograph.

A young Andy Murray was winning tournaments wearing a Rado before casual tennis fans had heard of him.

Today we are used to seeing Rafael Nadal in his Richard Mille, Roger Federer in his Rolex, Serena Williams in her Audemars Piguet and Naomi Osaka in her TAG Heuer, but nine years ago, Rado’s tennis connections had been less publicised and the relationship between Murray and the Swiss brand perhaps less commercially exploited.

However, Rado has been involved in tennis sponsorship for more than two decades and, according to the brand’s CEO Adrian Bosshard, for very good reasons. “Tennis and watchmaking have a lot in common,” he says.

“The passion for precision for one is equally important in both areas and can make all the difference. Another thing we have in common is the determination to be the best in what we are doing.”

While many brands compete for the already big names in sport, Rado has always favoured the testudinal role in the Hare and Tortoise fable, preferring the slow and steady, long-term approach to ambassadorship.

If Cameron Norrie wins Wimbledon on Sunday, he will be splashed across mainstream and social media worldwide wearing his Rado Captain Cook High-Tech Ceramic Diver.

“We launched the Tennis YoungStar programme many years ago to identify young players with potential,” says Mr Bosshard.

Aiming to identify emerging talent, Rado’s aim was to identify players with the potential “to make it all the way to the top and to support them when they need it the most.”

Current Australian Open Women’s singles champion Ashleigh Barty is one super talent that Rado noticed early on and has partnered with ever since – right through to her surprise retirement from the game earlier this year.

“Rado is not interested in short-term relationships,” says Mr Bosshard. “We want to grow together with our ambassadors. We signed Ash Barty as a Rado YoungStar at the beginning of her career, celebrated her biggest successes with her and continue our partnership with her in the new phase of her life.”

Norrie on the cover of the June edition of WatchPro.

Now, with Rado ambassador Cameron Norrie as the talk of London, Mr Bosshard says that the entire Rado team is sharing in the excitement of the up-coming semi-finals game.

Mr Norrie reached a career-best Grand Slam performance earlier this week when he beat David Goffin 3-6 7-5 2-6 6-3 7-5 in an epic quarter-final match and secured a final-four showdown against Novak Djokovic this Friday.

With obvious pride, Mr Bosshard says: “Our fingers are crossed for Friday’s match! Cameron shares the attitude of the Rado team members: passion, determination and hard work and always has time for his fans and partners. He is a great guy and a pleasure to work with.”

Mr Norrie, it seems, agrees, the sportsman saying that the partnership is, “pretty easy-going. We have a good relationship, and I appreciate the support. I feel like they’re on my team. I’m also a fan of watches, and it’s a pleasure to be associated with a Swiss watchmaker everyone knows.’

And if Mr Norrie does go all the way, what can we expect to see on his wrist after Sunday’s final?

“Cameron wears the Captain Cook High-Tech Ceramic Diver,” confirms Bosshard, pointing out that the model is a perfect choice for a tennis hero as it is “the sport icon of the Rado collection”.

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