Czapek fosters a consistent striving to innovate and refresh its Antarctique line-up of timepieces. The choice of atypical colors, intriguing textured patterns, and captivating dial details are in tune with the Czapek ethos. Reinventing traditional watchmaking crafts and introducing novel construction materials, Czapek designs its dials to capture light in a particular way, resulting in a dynamic appeal and a play of constantly changing colors.
As expressed by Xavier de Roquemaurel, CEO of Czapek, “The smaller size of the Antarctique S is an open door to creativity. It allows us to play with both our feminine and masculine sides without restriction and, for these dials, we opened our creative team to more players than usual, allowing inspirations to come from farther away. One of these players is my wife, whose passion for textiles and fashion led her to Japanese culture, where traditional fabrics and the lotus flower have inspired a new dial design.”
Two new dials for its Antarctique S model to complement the sleek 38.5mm case
The ‘Sashiko’ dial with its 3-D stamped patterns honors the geometric lines and three-dimensionality of the traditional Japanese stitching of the same name. Based on the stylized lotus flower, the stamped pattern evokes a unique aesthetic, symbolized by the repeating squares set at 45 degrees to perpendicular, each comprising six facets. A choice of Marie-Alix de Roquemaurel, the lotus pink under the play of light appears to alternate between a pure, almost sugary tone and a soft hint of mauve. This dial texture plays with reflections and creates a dynamic aesthetic that replicates the color of a springtime sky to the greyer tone of autumn.
In contrast to the patterned dial texture is the velvet-brushed ring which appears as a quiet backdrop for the indexes. The finely sculpted indexes are a subtle variation of the otherwise sporty indexes signature of the Antarctique collection. On request, each of the cardinal points can be marked by a diamond, cut to closely mimic the geometry of the steel indexes.
La ‘Carte des Nuages’, translating to the ‘Cloud Map’ offers a unique dial variation for the Antarctique S. This variation launched at Watches and Wonders serves the viewer a pure rich glow of white or grey mother-of-pearl, further captivated by the glittering pair of ‘Antarctique Cut’ diamonds marking 12, along with a Princess cut diamond set at each of the 11 other hours.
A pattern of six fine guilloché grid lines which are etched into the surface anchors the composition to yield a playfully contemporary realization of the Antarctique S model. The dial with its modern take on the traditional craft of guilloché exhibits a subtle allusion to cartography.
This animated and dressed-up expression of the Antarctique S proudly wears diamonds on the bezel, integrated lugs, and the first ‘C’ link of the bracelet, while a reverse-set diamond caps the winding crown. This steel and diamond amalgam occurs in a sophisticated aesthetic array and uplifts the visual depth of the dial as well as amplifies the luster of mother-of-pearl.
The latest Antarctique S variations launched at Watches and Wonders 2023 feature the signature sword-shaped hands and as a novelty in the inceptions, the ‘Antarctique cut’ of the elongated index marker diamonds is designed for Czapek by Adrian Buchmann of London-based studio Fuzion Ltd and registered as a proprietary Czapek cut.
In tune with the code of aesthetic conduct at Czapek, the new dials are born of a strong passion and high watchmaking ethic at Czapek which results from a perfect pool of designers, craftsmen, and production partners of rare skill – as well as the friends, family, and collectors. Czapek follows the traditional Swiss watchmaking approach of établissage production while orchestrating the craftsmanship of very small-scale, specialized masters of watchmaking.
“Working this way enables us to iterate and refine until we are completely happy,” explains Xavier de Roquemarel. “More than just suppliers, our partners often contribute to the creative process and new ideas will come up in the middle of a conversation – as in the case of the new diamond cut.”
Czapek’s first in-house caliber SXH5 powers the timepiece. The movement is entirely conceived and assembled by Czapek and draws inspiration from the 19th-century pocket watches of François Czapek. The caliber features a free-sprung balance with an elegant and highly efficient micro-rotor of recycled 950 platinum. The movement exhibits the finest summit of haute horlogerie finishing hallmarked by the hand-beveled internal angles.
The Sashiko and Carte des Nuages dial variations for the Antarctique S launched at Watches and Wonders 2023 in Geneva will be available on Czapek.com, from the flagship Czapek boutique in Geneva, at 18 rue de la Corraterie, and from all Czapek & Cie official retailers.