Czapek has added two new dial options to its Antarctique collection, one is blue and will be part of the regular catalog and the other is a limited edition salmon color.
The Antarctique Passage de Drake comes in a 40.5 mm x 10.6 mm stainless steel case with a finely polished and brushed U-shaped link integrated tapered stainless steel bracelet with a quick-release system and a micro-adjustment.
Using a galvanic dial treatment for the salmon and physical vapor deposition for the blue, the attractive Royal Oak-esque trapezoidal pattern is stamped onto each dial. While not as prestigious as the way the aforementioned brand’s famous tappisserie dial motif pattern is produced, this watch, strategically, comes in at about ten thousand dollars less, and with a not too shabby movement to boot.
The automatic caliber SXH5 that drives the hours, minutes, seconds, date features a recycled platinum micro-rotor and measures 30 mm x 4.2 mm with 28 jewels, 193 components, and a 56-hour power reserve. The gear train is secured by seven skeletonized bridges and the oscillating system utilizes a lever escapement with a free-sprung balance with four gold inertia blocks for precise adjustments. Finishing of the components includes open ratchets, sandblasted black bridges, beveling, straight-grained sides, and six hand chamfered inward angles.
A box-shaped sapphire crystal protects the dial, which has hand-applied luminescent steel indices and luminescent steel Lance-shaped hands. The color-matched date wheel is displayed through a tapered aperture that’s located symmetrically at 6 o’clock. You have the option to choose between Arabic “12” or double indices “II” at 12 o’clock. Also, the center seconds hand can be all red, steel, or steel with a red tip. And you can also have a personalized engraving added to the back.
This is not a dive watch but with a depth rating of 120 meters and a screw-down crown, it should easily withstand being used for sporting activities where it could get wet, including swimming and boating.
While we cannot independently verify if these watches are as “successful” as this and past brand provided press releases suggest — the integration of the bracelet to the case is about as seamless as you can get, coupled with a nice movement and attractive overall aesthetic, makes the offering unique and appealing, in a market filled with homogeny.
The retail price of each is $22,000 and they are available for purchase as of today. The salmon dial variant is limited to 99 pieces, whereas the glacier blue version is available indefinitely.
Photos by Czapek.