Until recently, Czapek & Cie was defined by their modern take on classical haute horology, whether that’s impressive salmon and blue guilloche dials (a personal favourite) or a GMT with a high complication twist.
With their most recent entry into their canon, Czapek are now taking on the big guns with their own version of the often-imitated yet ever lusted-after sports luxe timepiece, the Antarctique.
After all the intensity of Czapek & Cie’s previous timepieces, be that finishing or mechanics, it’s a breath of fresh air to see something as modern and wearable as the Antarctique.
As you’d expect from the company it keeps – the likes of Lange’s Odysseus and the original Royal Oak – the case 40.5mm case is fully steel and built to withstand substantial daily knocks. It’s also water resistant to 120m, not enough for a serious diver but perfect for potential splashes and dampness from daily wear.
It also files into rank with a cool integrated bracelet, complete with novel, polished, geometric links between the polished. Apparently they’re meant to look like a C for Czapek; I’ll let you decide whether they do for yourself.
The sporty-elegance case shape is paired with a tone-on-tone grey dial that, rather than metal, uses a unique lamé technique that has a particularly lovely texture. Opting for minimal indexes over numerals, the only break in the dial is the date window. I’d like to see a non-date option to really hammer home the uninterrupted grey, but it certainly doesn’t detract from the svelte look of the Antarctique.
The time-only watch is powered by the SXH5.01 automatic caliber, designed for Czapek & Cie by collaborator Daniel Martinez, and it’s a stunner. The 56-hour power reserve is all the more impressive given that it’s powered by a microrotor, ye the microrotor itself is moreso. Offset to give a good view of the skeletonised movement, it’s made of 100% recycled gold.
Don’t let the name fool you, this isn’t an explorer’s watch. The name actually comes from the travels of a Czapek & Cie shareholder, and besides this isn’t a watch you want to intentionally take into the wilderness; it’s limited to 99 pieces. Still, if you did, you wouldn’t find it wanting, in either looks or practicality.
Price & Specs:
Model: Antarctique Terre Adélie
Case/Dial: 40.5mm diameter x 10.6mm height, stainless steel, hand-decorated lamé dial
Water Resistance: 120m (12 bar)
Movement: Calibre SXH5, in house, automatic, 28 jewels
Power Reserve: 56h
Frequency: 28,800 vph (4 Hz)
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, date at 6 o’clock
Strap: Stainless steel bracelet with Czapek exclusive “Easy Release” system with additional calf leather or rubber strap
Price: CHF 18,000 or $18,900 (US duties incl.), limited edition of 99 pieces, subscription only until July 15
More details at Czapek.