PRESS RELEASE 26 May
Czapek & Cie unveils a special model and starts a new chapter in its history. The Antarctique is a stainless-steel everyday timepiece with a strong character.
Czapek & Cie was revived in 2015 and they are known for doing classics well. Their first collection of timekeepers – to mark the renaissance of the brand – is called ‘Quai des Bergues’. These pieces evoke the heritage and prestigious history of the company, without being heavy or old-fashioned. My favourite is the Quai des Bergues No.33bis, an astonishing and elegant piece that recalls the generous round shape of pocket watches with its classic gold case. It has a Grand Feu white enamel dial made by the master artisan of the manufacturing partner Donze Cadrans in Le Locle. The whole design and wearability make this watch timeless.
In the past years Czapek included some more sporty timepieces, like the Faubourg de Cracovie chronographs, especially the Black Knight model. This May the brand releases the Antarctique, their most ‘casual’ watch so far. As Xavier de Roquemaurel (CEO of Czapek & Cie) says – ‘the message from our friends and shareholders was clear: To make a watch that exudes a feeling of preciousness, but could also be worn and admired every day…even at the end of the Earth’.
The new Antarctique – the name was inspired by the Sixth Continent – is a 40.5-millimeter three-hander. Thin but edgy, the stainless steel case is integrated with an original double so-called ‘trompe l’oeil’ curve (a design to create an optical illusion of depth). It is rounded off by an ergonomic brushed integrated bracelet, whose links mesh to form a highly polished ‘C’ for Czapek.
As Czapek has developed a quick-change system, an additional strap is provided, you can choose from an elegant calf bracelet or a sportier-looking rubber strap. The latter could be good for some water sports; the watch is water resistant (up to 120m).
The dial was designed and manufactured by Metalem, a Czapek & Cie cooperation partner, using a unique lamé technique, invented by them 30 years ago and revamped today for this project. This technique consists of creating a series of traits on the dial with a comb. This surface lends the colours more depth and starker reflections. The hands design is reminiscent of a sword, sporty and easy-to-read, and so are the indexes.
The watch beats with the powerful, 30-millimeter SXH5.01 automatic calibre, conceived exclusively by Czapek’s concepteur, Daniel Martinez.
At the root is a free-sprung balance wheel with variable inertia provided by four gold masselotte weights, which enables the highest level of precision tuning for a mechanical watch. The off-centre micro-rotor was manufactured in La-Chaux-de-Fonds out of a very special ‘fully recycled’ 18-kt gold supplied by AGOSI. The SXH5.01 runs at a fast 28,800 vph.
The Antarctique is available in different versions. The Terre Adélie will be made in a limited edition of 99 pieces. It is a tribute to the French explorer Jules Dumont d’Urville who named an Antarctica island after his wife, Adèle, during his daring expedition to the continent in 1840. It comes in four colours: Deep Blue, Secret Alloy, Black Ink and Burgundy. The Orion Nebula, a special edition with hand-varnished dial, will be produced in 10 pieces only.
Source: press release. Photo credits: Czapek & Cie.
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