Introducing: The Czapek Antarctique Révélation And New Dial Versions Of The Antarctique S
Czapek already surprised us with a unique new dial in the Antarctique Dark Sector a few weeks ago. Today, we get a total of three new dial styles between the Antarctique and Antarctique S. Usually, when we hear a brand merely release a couple of dials, we roll our eyes and think, “That’s a tad lazy!” But not this time. Czapek’s designers approach dials like they do everything else — with an obsessive eye for detail. So let’s have a look at some new dials that are exceedingly complex to develop and produce.
Today’s Czapek releases include a skeletonized Antractique as well as mother-of-pearl and Japanese-fabric-inspired Antarctique S models. Without further ado, let’s dive in.
Czapek Antarctique Révélation
By popular demand, Czapek decided to create a skeleton version of its Antarctique. That might sound as simple as cutting some nicely shaped holes in the dial, but rest assured, it is not.
Czapek had the beautiful caliber SXH5 as a starting point. However, to make the front as visually stunning as the back, the brand’s watchmakers flipped part of the caliber around. The complete escapement, for instance, was reversed. The rotor weight now has engraving on both sides too. Furthermore, the entire crown mechanism, which is now visible on the dial side, had to be redesigned. The seconds hand could no longer be connected via a bridge to the central hand stack. Instead, it now sits in a smoked sapphire ring between 4 and 5 o’clock. The changes to the caliber are of such magnitude that it warrants a new name for the skeleton caliber — SXH7.
The indices sit on another sapphire ring around the perimeter of the dial, and the entire caliber has a darker tone than the surrounding steel. This is a clever move that makes the overall look a little less hectic than many other skeleton dials. In my opinion, it strikes the perfect balance between intricate detail and visual calm. A good thing to know is that the dimensions of the watch remain identical to the existing Antarctique at 40.5mm wide, 45mm long, and 10.6mm thick. Czapek will produce 100 of these per year, and the price is CHF 38,000 before taxes. The order book opens on April 1st. The first deliveries will start in January 2025.
New dial styles for the Antarctique S
It has been a year since Czapek introduced the Antarctique S, which is a 38.5mm version of the regular 40.5mm Antarctique. Upon its release, the Antarctique Passage de Drake S was available in salmon and glacier-blue dial variants. Beyond the size reduction, the watch was every bit as impressive as its big brothers.
Today, Czapek releases new dial styles to the Antarctique S lineup. Let’s have a closer look at the new offerings.
Antarctique S Carte des Nuages white and gray
The first new dial style is the Carte des Nuages, meaning “cloud map.” This mother-of-pearl dial comes in white or gray, and both variants are limited to 50 pieces. Do not be fooled into thinking this is just any other MOP dial. Czapek took the concept to the next level for the Carte des Nuages models.
For starters, the mother-of-pearl is divided into squares, reminiscent of cartography. This is done by guilloché cutting straight lines into the wafer-thin material. As you can imagine, this is no small feat considering the mother-of-pearl’s brittleness. Next, we have diamond indices all around. The showstoppers here are found at 12 o’clock. Two “Antarctique-cut” diamonds maintain the original shape of the indices but in diamond rather than metal. This is a proprietary new cut designed specifically for Czapek by Adrian Buchmann.
The bezel, case, and first center links of the bracelet are all set with diamonds. Lastly, the crown is adorned by a diamond as well. Rest assured that the Antarctique S Carte des Nuages will have some seriously cool light play on the wrist. This version is priced at CHF 36,000. A version with diamonds only on the dial is available at CHF 26,000.
Antarctique S Sashiko Azure and Pink Lotus
Czapek calls the second new dial style Sashiko, after the Japanese embroidery style. Sashiko means “little stabs” and often features intricate patterns for decoration or reinforcement of fabrics. The particular motif here is inspired by lotus flowers, stylized to form an abstract geometric pattern. Breaking up this pattern is a brushed ring that is home to the applied indices. Those indices are of a narrower style than we usually see on Antarctique models. This fits the style of the dial to a tee.
First, there is an Azure version with a light blue hue, which is a limited edition of 99 pieces. You could also opt for the Pink Lotus variant, which is limited to 99 pieces as well. Each has a price of CHF 24,000. Alternatively, you can have the dial adorned with diamonds next to the indices, bringing the price to CHF 28,000.
I cannot help but find the Antarctique Révélation magnificent. While the original SXH5 is already a stunning caliber to admire through the case back, the SXH7 dials it up a notch for a two-sided view. The dark anthracite color of the movement pairs beautifully with both the steel of the case and the purple jewels. This look is thoroughly modern without being futuristically gimmicky, as some skeletonized watches are to me.
The dial work on the Antarctique S makes a lot of sense in broadening the potential Antarctique clientele. However, you might wonder why a brand whose watches constantly sell out needs a broader audience. Whatever the strategy, one cannot be left unimpressed when considering what goes into producing these dials. I, for one, am very happy that I do not have to operate a guilloché machine loaded with wafer-thin mother-of-pearl.
What do you think of the new Czapek releases? Let us know in the comments below.
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