Get Your Sport Chic Style On This Summer With The All-New Czapek & Cie Antarctique

The Czapek Antarctique is not the first steel bracelet sports watch to be launched of late, but it is certainly one of the nicest.

By Sophie Furley

My best test of a great watch – at least in terms of design – is whether I want to pick it up. Obviously, administering this little test of mine has been a bit tricky of late, but something rather strange happened to me this week. During Czapek’s launch of the new Antarctique collection on Zoom, I found myself wanting to touch my computer screen. I held back, thank goodness, as we had our videos on, and not behaving like a crazy person is one of my major life goals. But let’s just say I am taking this desire for virtual “touching and feeling” as a positive sign!

The Idea Behind The Czapek & Cie Antarctique

The idea for this new Sport Chic collection came from the brand’s friends and shareholders who wanted a luxury timepiece that could be worn anytime, anywhere. For this, Czapek designed a whole new collection with a new case, dial, bracelet, and movement.

The Antarctique Name

The name “Antarctique” was proposed by one of the brand’s oldest and most loyal shareholders, who happened to be on a family trip to Antarctica at the time. This magical place at the end of the Earth conjures up images of intrepid explorers, dramatic icescapes, and pristine beauty that the Czapek team deemed to be a perfect match for the concept of a new sports watch line.

“The name resonated because it also represents our commitment to doing our part,” explains the CEO of Czapek & Cie, Xavier de Roquemaurel. "It's not only in the use of recycled gold for the rotor. It's about safeguarding other irreplaceable assets as well, like the many Swiss artisans dedicated to the traditional watchmaking art. This perfectly illustrates our motto, 'We Collect Rare People.'"

The Antarticque Case And Integrated Bracelet

The Antarticque comes in a 40.5mm stainless steel case, which is water-resistant to 120 meters, and is fitted with an elegant integrated steel bracelet. Steel bracelets are definitely on-trend this year, and the design of this one is particularly interesting with the combination of its highly-polished central link (in the shape of a “C” for Czapek) and brushed matte links. The bracelet also has a quick-release mechanism and the option for a rubber or soft calfskin strap for when the mood takes you.

A View On The Antarticque Dial

There are four dial colors to choose from – Secret Alloy (silver-colored), Deep Blue, Black Ink, or Burgundy – all of which feature a “lamé” finish. This special decoration was developed by the brand’s partner Metalem over 30 years ago and has been revamped for this new project. The technique consists of a series of vertical lines on the dial that are created with a special comb and create an attractive texture.

A Look At The New SXH5.01 Movement

The new SXH5.01 in-house, COSC-certified, automatic movement was developed from scratch and indicates the hours, minutes, and seconds in the center with a date aperture at 6 o’clock. It is powered by a recycled-gold micro-rotor and features one barrel, providing a 56-hour power reserve. The idea is that this new movement will become the workhorse for the brand in the future.

The design is also of particular note as it features seven bridges, inspired by historic Czapek pocket watches, which reveal the expert finishing of the components beneath. The movement was conceived by Emmanuel Bouchet, Adrian Buchmann, Daniel Martinez, Xavier de Roquemaurel and Patrick Rossi and involved the crème de la crème of Swiss component and movement manufacturing partners.

How To Get Your Hands On One

"This watch, whatever the color, 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."

The timepieces are limited to a 99-piece collection (all colors included) and are priced at CHF 18,000. Available by online subscription only, enrollment ends July 15th, 2020. I’m hoping I can get my hands on one before then so I can stop drooling over my computer screen!

(Images provided by Czapek)

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