Just released by Czapek & Cie in collaboration with Collective Horology is the new Antarctique P.04 “Lanikai” and it may just be the most beautiful version of this integrated bracelet sport watch yet. Collective Horology is the California-based operation run by Asher Raskin and Gabe Reilly who have done some excellent collaborations in the past with the likes of Moser, Zenith, IWC, J.N. Shapiro, and most recently Armin Strom. Like any truly great collaboration, the Czapek & Cie. Antarctique P.04 “Lanikai” succeeds because it is so beautifully done regardless of co-branding.
For this project, Czapek partnered with none other than the master enamel dial makers Donzé Cadrans (acquired by Ulysse Nardin in 2012, they still supply grand feu enamel dials for the likes of Patek Philippe and Cartier). It took some trial and error for even some of the world’s best enamel dial makers, with Czapek CEO Xavier de Roquemaurel saying,
“For the underwater dune shape, we worked with Michèle, our friend and master hand-engraver, on an engraving that could reproduce the natural irregularities and create a surreal impression. In the meantime, Claude-Eric searched the planet for the enamel powder with the perfect turquoise blue tone of Lanikaï. And… the first tests were a disaster!…Trying new techniques is a lengthy learning process, and it took us many more attempts than with any other Antarctique dial to get it right, but the final result is way above any of our expectations.”
Of course, this watch features Czapek’s in-house SXH5 calibre that has become a staple of the classic time-only Antarctique. With a recycled platinum micro-rotor and skeletonized bridges, it has hand-chamfering as well as some very nice frosted surfaces throughout. A watch with a dial this beautiful deserves a movement to match and the SXH5 has never disappointed in that regard. Operating at 4 Hz, it has a 56-hour power reserve.
The stainless steel case is 40.5mm wide and 10.6mm thick (with 120m of water resistance) which is really as close to ideal proportions as one can wish for in a sport watch. Aesthetically, the integrated bracelet is the same design though there are slight updates including screw-through links and better case integration. It also has an “Easy Release” system which can be used to swap out the bracelet for the also-included rubber strap.
Collective Horology has made a name for itself by doing some beautiful collaborations and I don’t think they will have any trouble selling the very limited edition of 50 pieces here. Available exclusively from collectivehorology.com the Czapek & Cie. Antarctique P.04 “Lanikai” is priced at $26.500.
Hmmm. It’s called “Antarctique,” but the dial is inspired by a Hawaiian beach. Interesting.