Introducing an exceptional new dial tone to an already über successful portfolio, the Antarctique Passage de Drake Glacier Blue watch is an exciting new model by Czapek of Geneva. Featuring an all-steel construction combined with an integrated bracelet, placing it firmly within the sports genre, the piece has the added appeal of an arresting new dial aesthetic. Not limited to its sharp styling, the model has the additional prestige of a sophisticated in-house mechanical calibre.
Perfectly proportioned, the piece carries a case measuring 40.5mm across, and it rests 10.6mm tall on the wrist. Beautifully crafted, it exhibits a profile of gently curving lines, pronounced edges and angles and flat surfaces, further enhanced with grainy brushed finishing and contrasting high-polishing. Adhering to the case architecture, the integrated bracelet meets the case seamlessly, adding to the sleekness of this entirely wholistic design. An integral part of the Antarctique styling codes, the bracelet, which consists of a series of polished C shaped links, features a folding clasp, and is also easily removed to be replaced with a rubber alternative which is also supplied.
Resting beneath the subtle convex curve of the sapphire crystal, the textured surface of the Glacier blue dial is outstanding and immediately it catches the eye, playing with the light and casting tiny shadows as the watch moves with the wrist. Czapek’s new signature ‘Stairway to Eternity’ pattern is a three dimensional stamped flinqué finish, and it defines this new Passage de Drake collection.
Standing out clearly against this striking trapezoidal backdrop, the steel hour indices are applied to the dial and have luminous inserts. The hour and minute hands are long and elegant, and a generous application of powerful Super-LumiNova ensures excellent legibility in all light conditions. The sweeping seconds hand is long and slender and a date window at the six o’clock position with colour matched date disc completes the functions.
Inside Antarctique beats the superb SXH5 in-house calibre, designed and developed by Czapek. Finished to the exacting standards of haute horlogerie it features a sandblasted black German silver mainplate, with mirror polishing, anglage and bevelling applied by hand to its components. Visible through the sapphire exhibition caseback, it is a breathtaking display of mechanical architecture, distinguished by its angular semi-openworked bridges which are directly inspired by the 19th century pocket watches of François Czapek.
Beneath the cascading series of skeletonised bridges, the inner workings and the detailing of the free sprung balance and going train of interconnecting wheels and gears are revealed. Offset and fitted flush onto the main plate to shave excess height off the movement and allow for a compact profile, the energy for the single barrel comes from the 100% recycled solid platinum micro rotor, whose constant free spinning rotations provide the chronometer-rated 28’800vib/h mechanism with a minimum of 56 hours of power reserve when fully wound. An excellent example of a highly technical, contemporary wristwatch, the Czapek Antarctique Passage de Drake Glacier Blue has the advantage of a water resistance of 120m, ensuring added practicality for its wearer.