Czapek Antarctique Passage de Drake S in a Smaller Case Size and With New Dials at Watches & Wonders

At Watches & Wonders 2022, Czapek showcased the Antarctique S – a reinterpretation of its original, sporty-chic Antarctique in a new 38.5mm case. This case that has been one year in the working is defined by the same taut lines that characterize the original Antarctique but here the sides are flat, rather than cut away, and the area around the crown has been subtly pared back.

The integrated bracelet has a new design, too. With less space between the lugs at the attachment point, the long, subtly curving line that tapers from the widest point of the case to the narrowest point of the bracelet was adjusted to achieve perfect harmony. Like the one of its predecessor, it features a quick-change system that enables the owner to easily switch to the additional rubber or leather strap that comes with the watch.

Initially, the Antarctique S will be offered with a choice of three dials, all created in partnership with the dial specialist Metalem. Czapek’s signature ‘Stairway to Eternity’ pattern is presented in the Passage de Drake Glacier Blue and Salmon, the three-dimensional stamped surface of the trapezoidal motif creating a play of light and shadows across the dial. The former appears to alternate between pale blue and silver with the movement of the wrist, and latter from a soft peachy hue to a richer, almost honeyed shade of salmon. These two iterations retail for approximately $25,000 when converted into USD

The ‘Frozen Star’ dial is the third option of the debut, and is made from the rarest precious metal on Earth – osmium. Very hard, dense and heavy, and one of the six platinum group metals, it is 11 times rarer than gold.

Twice as dense as lead, hard yet brittle, unstable unless crystallized, and resistant to extremely high temperatures (with a melting point of 3,000 °C), osmium is notoriously difficult to work with. However, with a pronounced structure that creates a unique surface texture, and an intense natural brilliance, crystallized osmium has a profound and intriguing sparkling beauty. It pairs extraordinarily well with the cool silvery tones of the steel case and bracelet. This limited edition retails for approximately $97,000 when converted to USD.

All three iterations are powered by the calibre SXH5, the first movement to be entirely conceived in-house by Czapek and premiered in May 2020. Inspired by the 19th-century pocket watches of François Czapek, its distinctive architecture of seven skeletonized bridges is immediately recognizable. Taking the best from both the past and present of watchmaking, it features a free-sprung balance and an efficient micro-rotor crafted from recycled 950 platinum; the haute horlogerie finishes combine hand-bevelled internal angles with state-of-the-art laser engraving to create a beautiful play of contrasts: light and dark, textured and smooth, matte and polished.

To learn more, visit Czapek, here.

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