RETHINKING AESTHETICS IN ITS ENTIRENESS
“This watch is a thrill for both the newcomer and the horological expert.”Xavier de Roquemaurel, Czapek & Cie CEO
Every part of the Antarctique has been made with a level of care to detail close to obsession. For instance, the gear train is held in place by a series of seven handsome skeletonized bridges inspired by nineteenth-century pocket watches. Their unique shape, which has been added to the Swiss design register, does recall the Czapek Faubourg de Cracovie chronograph rotor. It proves that stringent watchmaking craftsmanship can be further enhanced with a hint of free-floating creativity, as if form were an equal party to function. The straight-grained sides and the six chamfered inward angles are other hallmarks of a high-end timepiece.
The Antarctique’s dials are 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 in creating a series of traits on the dial with a comb. These characteristic striations give the colours more depth and starker reflections. Edgy three-dimensional indexes are applied on this handcrafted pattern as if they were bridges over the ocean. On the dial, the date window is positioned at 6 o’clock to maintain the Czapek aesthetics based on vertical symmetry. The hands design is reminiscent of a sword, sporty and easy-to-read, as well as the indexes.
The 40.5mm stainless steel case is integrated with an original double ‘trompe l’oeil’ curve, another unconventional design choice making this timepiece unique and exclusive. It is rounded off by an ergonomic brushed integrated bracelet, whose links mesh to form a highly polished “C” for Czapek. A great deal of attention was put on the bracelet, its feeling when placed on the wrist, comfort, lightness and its capability to be forgotten by its wearer and suddenly reveal its stunning beauty creating an intense pleasure.
As Czapek has developed an exclusive quick-change system, an additional strap is provided. Customer can choose between a soft and elegant calf bracelet or a sportier-looking rubber strap. “This watch, whatever the colour, is a thrill for both the newcomer and the horological expert,” says de Roquemaurel. “The neophyte will instinctively fall in love with the dial and the remarkable movement inside, while the expert can use the watch almost as an exhibition piece to explain how a movement works and what makes haute horlogerie so unique.”