“Better a diamond with a flaw than a pebble without.” – Confucius

Cross if you dare – Czapek & Cie’s Antarctique Passage de Drake

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Czapek Antarctique Passage de Drake

Following the success of its Antarctique Terre Adélie collection in May Czapek & Cie. just launched the Antarctique Passage de Drake watch line. We previewed the new pieces in Geneva. 

UPDATE – 10 December: The 40 pieces of the Antarctique Passage de Drake “Roaring Forties” limited edition, officially launched 8 December at 11am CET have been sold out. The other dial colours – Ice White, Deep Blue, Black Ink – part of the Antarctique Passage de Drake current collection are still available. 

This spring Czapek & Cie. presented their most ‘casual’ watch so far. The friends of the brand received it very well – the online subscriptions for the 99 Czapek Antarctique Terre Adélie timepieces opened on May 26th and by mid-June all of them were reserved. 

The new Antarctique Passage de Drake is a 40.5-millimeter three-hander. The watch was inspired by an (imaginary) expedition to the icy southern continent and the Drake Passage, which is a 1000 km wide, deep waterway between Cape Horn in South America and the South Shetland Islands in Antarctica. The passage is named after the 16th century English explorer Sir Francis Drake. 

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. 

Its new dial features atypical trapezoid motif whose three-dimensional stamped surface creates a play of shadows across the dial. The new models are available with four different dials: Ice White, Deep Blue, Black Ink and a limited edition “Roaring Forties” grey. 

As the CEO of Czapek & Cie. Xavier de Roquemaurel explains, sometimes challenges can lead to great results – “This unique dial design is called the Stairway to Eternity’ and was actually our initial concept dial for the Antarctique, as we were looking for a signature dial design that would be very different from anything else, but it was such a lengthy process to perfect that we launched with another dial, based on a forgotten workmanship technique, the combed ‘lamé’ dials. We finally discovered the perfect motif when our designer accidentally enlarged the trapezoids by 50% without realizing it, and it looked amazing. That’s the beauty of mistakes!”

The watch beats with the powerful, 30-millimeter SXH5.01 automatic calibre, conceived exclusively by Czapek’s concepteur, Daniel Martinez. Since May the company has been continually making improvements to this caliber to enhance its precision, performance, and aesthetic. These upgrades will apply to both the 99 pieces of the Antarctique Terre Adélie collection and the Antarctique Passage de Drake timepieces. 


When Xavier de Roquemaurel, Harry Guhl and Sébastien Follonier re-established the watchmaking manufacture under the Czapek name in 2012, they chose a rather unusual way in the luxury industry to finance the development: find investors through an equity crowd-funding campaign. The campaign successfully raised over CHF 2 million by watch connoisseurs. 

Czapek & Cie considers the human side of the business very important – the suppliers, partners, its 200+ shareholders and fine watch lovers are on the journey together with the brand. These ‘rare people’ are part of the human adventure of Czapek. 

The collection will be available for sale at Czapek & Cie official retailers, at Czapek’s Geneva boutique and online at czapek.com. Deliveries are scheduled to start in March 2021. With a production limited to only one watch per day, Czapek will offer its online customers the possibility to choose and book the production date of their watch. If you would learn more about this latest collections, follow the brand’s dedicated ‘watchmaking diary’ here.

Photo credits: Czapek & Cie., Loupiosity.com
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