As far as I’m concerned, when Czapek & Cie launched the Antarctique last year, they really arrived. Sure, they’d been building some lovely watches for a good half a decade, but their sports luxe contender was by far their finest to date.
Yet rather than rely on the same, pared-back look and beautiful guilloche dials as previously, for 2021 the Swiss watchmaker has instead gone the other way and introduced a phenomenal sporting complication like we’ve rarely seen before. Say hello to the Czapek & Cie Antarctique Rattrapante.
The Rattrapante itself is one of the holy trinity of high complications alongside sonneries and perpetual calendars. It allows for the timing of multiple events by literally splitting the second hand at the press of a button like a chronograph on steroids so it’s not hard to see why it’s so prestigious. In the new Antarctique, it’s clearer than ever as the movement is fully visible from the dial side.
That means we can see the whole SHX6 calibre front and back and the movement, created with a little help from the specialists at Chronode, it’s a beauty. The dual column wheels – one for the base chronograph mechanism, one for the rattrapante – divide the movement in two halves top and bottom, both with horizontal clutches for the enhanced aesthetics.
At the centre is the tripod bridge, a focal point that holds down the patented satellite minute train and patent-pending rattrapante. Because going for a ‘standard’ mechanism would be far too easy. Otherwise you have the chronograph minutes at 4 o’clock and running seconds at 7 o’clock, the only interruptions to the otherwise unobstructed movement.
Honestly, stills don’t do this thing justice. Sure, it’s an impressive layout, but it’s only when you see the chronograph running, switching to the rattrapante and then coming back together that you realise why this is considered one of the most complex functions in watchmaking.
Otherwise, the new watch keeps the streamlined feel of the Antarctique with a 42.5mm stainless steel case, Czapek’s signature C-link bracelet and pushers almost flush to the case for a similar silhouette to the time-only models.
The Antarctique is limited to 77 pieces which is a good amount for a watch of this stature and will set you back £44,600. If last year’s Antarctique was Czapek & Cie arriving, this is them storming out ahead of the pack.
Price & Specs:
Model: Czapek & Cie Antarctique Rattrapante
Case/Dial: 42.5mm diameter x 15.3mm height, stainless steel case, skeletonised dial
Water resistance: 120m (12 bar)
Movement: Calibre SXH6, automatic split-second monopusher chronograph, 49 jewels, 292 parts
Frequency: 28,800 vph (4 Hz)
Power reserve: 60h
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, chronograph minutes at 4:30, small seconds at 7:30, split-second pusher at 10:30
Strap: Stainless steel bracelet
Price/availability: £44,600, limited edition of 77 pieces
More details at Czapek & Cie.