Czapek & Cie presented new models in its popular Antarctique collection in Geneva, both in the 40,5mm and in the Antarctique S (38,5mm) lines.
In Spring 2020 Czapek & Cie started a new chapter in its history by unveiling a special model. The Antarctique is a stainless-steel everyday timepiece with a strong character. Following its success, the Antarctique had quite a few variations and some special editions like the Antarctique Orion Nebula – all received again very well by the friends of the brand.
About a year ago the Antarctique S found new fans with the smaller, even more compact 38,5mm model with ‘glacier blue’ or ‘salmon’ dials. The S line is slightly more elegant with a smaller crown and little less edgy case sides but stayed true to the original design idea.
As we might guess from its name the new model reveals the beauty of the movement ticking inside. To create a skeleton watch could have many challenges – in this case Czapek presented a purpose-built movement, the new SXH7, which is an evolution of the popular SXH5 calibre. The aim was to have the maximum visual impact on both sides of the watch while keeping the functionality and also the legibility of the dial.
As Xavier de Roquemaurel CEO explained, the movement designers turned part of the calibre upside down in the case and skeletonized the main plate. The decision raised a number of technical challenges, the first one being having to completely reverse the escapement. The oscillating mass had to be engraved on both sides and the crown mechanism, now visible to the naked eye, had to be reworked entirely. The seconds hand could no longer be connected by a bridge to the centre, so space was made at 4:30 for a small seconds dial. The solution was to use a sapphire crystal ring for the seconds. It is discreetly attached to the larger sapphire ring carrying the hours and minutes.
The Antarctique Révélation has a limited yearly production of 100 pieces. It is now available to order at the brand’s official international retailers, the Czapek boutique in Geneva and on czapek.com. Deliveries will start in January 2025.
Antarctique Titanium Dark Sector
The 40.5mm titanium timepiece is interesting already at the first sight – understated, monochrome but clever design. A traditional minute track has been placed around the edge of an anthracite grey brass dial with a velouté finish. It surrounds a double row of lightly arched parallel segments that are interrupted at each hour marker. So one of the main visual elements of the Dark Sector becomes the void between each sector.
The name is inspired by the Dark Sector Laboratory and telescope at the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station. (The Dark Sector is an area at this station with a 10-metre telescope, which surveys galaxy clusters and measures cosmic microwave background radiation.)
The watch runs on the above-mentioned Czapek automatic calibre SXH5. The Antarctique Titanium Dark Sector comes in a limited yearly production of 100 pieces.
The Antarctique S has a very wearable and sleek 38.5mm case. Xavier shared – ‘The smaller size of the Antarctique S is an open door to creativity. It allows us to play with both our feminine and masculine sides without restriction and, for these dials, we opened our creative team to more players than usual, allowing inspirations to come from farther away. One of these players is my wife, whose passion for textiles and fashion led her to Japanese culture, where traditional fabrics and the lotus flower have inspired a new dial design.’
The ‘Sashiko’ models are experimenting with fabric patterns. Sashiko is a traditional Japanese embroidery style – it literally means ‘little stabs’ – which dates back to the Edo period (1615 – 1868). Xavier’s wife, Marie-Alix decided to go for a three-dimensional stamped pattern, based on a stylised lotus flower.
It has a pink and an azure blue version – the pink appears to alternate between a pure, almost sugary tone and a soft hint of mauve, while the blue dial changes from the clear colour of a springtime sky to the greyer tone of autumn. Both have a velvet-brushed ring around them, to contrast the pattern. The Sashiko is a limited edition of 198 pieces, 99 per dial colour.
The ‘Carte des Nuages’ (Map of the Clouds) has a very dreamy dial – the ‘clouds’ are different hues of the white or grey mother-of-pearl. A pair of ‘Antarctique-cut’ diamonds mark the 12 and princess-cut diamonds are set at the 11 other hours.
Six fine guilloché grid lines on the dial give the illusion of a map. The technique requires exceptional skills, since the wafer-thin discs of mother-of-pearl used for these dials are rarely guillochéd due to their fragility.
The timepiece is a limited edition of 100 pieces – 50 pieces for the misty white and 50 pieces for the stormy grey mother-of-pearl dial.
Collective Shop is the official watch retailer for Collective Horology. Czapek collaborated with the shop to create an exclusive version – the Czapek Antarctique Lanikai P.04 for Collective. You can discover the timepiece here.
Photo credits: Loupiosity.com
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