Split Seconds on Display: The Czapek Antarctique Rattrapante

The Geneva Watch Days event is in full force, and avant-garde Swiss watchmaker Czapek is among the brands unveiling its newest timepieces there for Fall 2021. Headlining this year’s collection is the new Antarctique Rattrapante, notably Czapek’s first skeletonized split-seconds chronograph. The watch follows up the Antarctique Rattrapante “Sunrise” edition, introduced earlier this year as a unique piece for the Only Watch auction, and introduces the complication to the indie brand’s regular catalog.

The Rattrapante also expands the brand’s Antarctique collection, which kicked off with a limited edition in 2020, to widespread praise (below, alongside the “Sunrise” edition), and continued with a series of other limited editions. The Antarctique Rattrapante represents a novel evolution of the original design into new mechanical territory.

The classically styled, bracelet-integrated steel watch is slightly larger than the 40-mm original Antartique; this new Rattrapante version features a 42.5-mm case, finished throughout with an expertly executed combination of radial and straight-brushed finishing, along with accents of luxurious polishing on the bracelet, bezel, and pushers. The pushers themselves, used to operate the split-seconds chronograph displayed in openworked fashion on the dial, are integrated into the case, the shape of the right-side pusher flowing seamlessly into the the extended lip of the crown guard.

Under the sapphire crystal lies a complex, skeletonized dial that displays the time and dual-chronograph capabilities of the timepiece; both the dial- side and sapphire-exhibited back side of the movement have been exquisitely finished. An outer minute ring provides the outline for the dial, with the various elements of the split-seconds movement visible within its border, in addition to other timekeeping elements like the 30-minute chronograph counter at 4 o’clock and the small seconds at 7 o’clock balance it symmetrically. The style overall is meant to create a visual link to the company’s “spiritus rector,” 19th-century watchmaker François Czapek, who used vertical symmetry as an aesthetic guide.

Inside the watch — and, of course, visible via the skeletonized dial — is the Czapek Caliber SHX6, a propriety mechanism produced in collaboration with movement manufacturer Chronode. The movement has been meticulously conceived, designed, and constructed, the partners developing it specifically to keep the watch’s case at a size not to exceed 42.5 mm.

The Czapek Antarctique Rattrapante will be available through the brand’s boutique in Geneva, official retailers, and online in a limited edition of 77 pieces for €43,400 (about $51,189).

To learn more and register your interest once sales begin, visit Czapek, here.

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