Czapek’s vastly profitable Antarctique Passage de Drake returns with an icy Glacier Blue dial and a good looking salmon dial. Launched as a sequel to its Antarctique Terre Adélie mannequin, Czapek‘s first incursion into the aggressive terrain of luxurious sports activities watches, the Antarctique Passage de Drake appeared in 2020 with a really particular “Stairway to Eternity” dial and an upgraded computerized motion.
From previous to current
Reviving a grandiose identify from the annals of watchmaking is hard at finest. Some simply use the identify for its cachet; others try to rekindle the spirit and technological improvements of the historic model and reinterpret them in a extra modern language. The identify François Czapek, the previous companion of Antoine Norbert de Patek, didn’t fairly have the sticking energy of Patek’s. In 2015, three entrepreneurs determined to revive the identify with an fairness crowdfunding marketing campaign funded largely by watch collectors. It was a dangerous transfer, however their funding paid off as Czapek & Cie received the Public Prize prize on the GPHG in 2016 for its fledgling Quai des Bergues mannequin primarily based on a pocket watch produced by Czapek. Impressed by this recognition, Czapek unfold its wings and moved from classical-inspired watches to extra modern fashions with handcrafted dials (just like the Faubourg de Cracovie), all the way in which ahead to a luxurious sports activities watch often called the Czapek Antarctique in 2020.
Avoiding the pitfall of making but ‘one other’ luxurious sports activities watch with a raised geometric bezel, the primary Antarctique Terre Adélie had a 40.5mm barrel-shaped case with a flat, spherical sloping polished bezel, an built-in bracelet and a superbly handcrafted dial with horizontal strains made by Metalem utilizing a Lamé approach. The Czapek Antarctique Terre Adélie was powered by the model’s first in-house motion, the SXH5 calibre, conceived from scratch by the model’s constructor Dan Martinez, with elements manufactured by a number of companions.
Glacier Blue and Salmon
Simply six months later, Czapek got here out with the Antarctique Passage de Drake, the identical watch however with a brand new dial sample the model calls “Stairway to Eternity”. I do know the temptation to hum ‘that’ music is desperately onerous to suppress, however we may describe the dial as a sequence of skinny ribbons with peaks and valleys woven in metallic or a three-dimensional chevron design. To be extra prosaic, the sample is described as a trapezoid motif with a stamped flinqué floor that produces a play of shadows throughout the dial. Interpreted in varied colors, together with black, deep blue and MONOCHROME’s 33-piece Montre de Souscription version with a novel white grainé dial, the newest Passage de Drake fashions include a Glacier Blue and a beautiful salmon dial.
The salmon color is obtained by a galvanic therapy (galvanoplastie), whereas the Glacier Blue is produced with a PVD (bodily vapour deposition) therapy; each dials have been made with Czapek’s longtime companion Metalem. The utilized indices have a hollowed central space that’s full of luminescent materials to match that utilized to the metal sword-shaped hour and minute fingers. And like all Antarctiques, the date window is at 6 o’clock and has a background to match the dial color.
À la carte choices for patrons within the new dials are increasing by the day. You may select an Arabic 12 or a double index at midday; you can too choose the color of the seconds hand – both purple, plain or with a purple tip – and have a private engraving on the caseback. Additional customisation options embrace a totally brushed metallic bracelet for a sportier (and fewer scratch-prone) end, in addition to a selection of further straps in rubber or leather-based. Don’t neglect, the Antarctique comes with an “Straightforward Launch” system to change straps and a brand new micro-adjustment on the metallic bracelet.
Just like the Antarctique Terre Adélie, the Passage de Drake shares the 40.5mm stainless-steel case with its slim peak of 10.6mm, a lug-to-lug measurement of 45mm and 120m water-resistance. Equally, the built-in stainless-steel bracelet has brushed and polished hyperlinks with C-shaped center hyperlinks.
The gorgeous finishings and distinctive structure – with an off-centred platinum 950 micro-rotor and 7 bridges – may be admired via the sapphire crystal caseback. 5 of the bridges are openworked, providing an enviable view of the gear prepare and a transversal bridge spans the variable inertia stability wheel. A number of upgrades since its debut in 2020 have translated into a bigger platinum micro-rotor to interchange the unique 18k gold rotor and a whole change of the ball bearings underneath the micro-rotor, which means that the motion can ship a strong energy reserve of 60 hours. The sandblasted black bridges add a recent contact coupled with conventional hand bevelling and polished angles.
Availability & Value
The Antarctique Passage de Drake Glacier Blue is a part of the common assortment; the salmon dial is a restricted version of 99 items. Each fashions might be obtainable at Czapek.com, on the flagship boutique in Geneva, and the model’s official retailers worldwide as of 8 February 2022, with a retail worth of CHF 19,500, EUR 19,000 or USD 22,000.