Best Swiss watches

Czapek Micro-Rotor Antarctique Watch is Tech Tour-de-Force

One thing we love here is a unique in-house movement, because so many watches – even some that cost £20,000 or more – use a bought-in movement, with a few bells and whistles grafted on top. So take a look at the limited edition Czapek Antarctique, which the bespoke brand says is the next chapter in the history of Czapek & Cie.

Here’s the press kit info;

It combines sophisticated style and look with a genuine in-house power movement. The name was inspired by the trip to Antartica of one of the company historical shareholders and raises a host of associations, from intrepid explorers to the sheer breath-taking beauty of Nature. The Sixth Continent is also a symbol of the need for humans to preserve the planet and represents Czapek’s commitment to doing its part, using recycled gold but also safeguarding many Swiss watchmaking artisans.
The Terre Adélie is a tribute to the French explorer Jules Dumont d’Urville who named a slice of Antarctica after his wife, Adèle, during his daring expedition to the continent in 1840.

Watch the Czapek promo video here;

There’s more to haute horlogerie than virtuosic complications. Movement design, rare and fine finishing, select materials or intricate case surfaces, and attention to detail, are all key factors that increase a timepiece’s value. The Antarctique’s dial was designed and manufactured by Czapek’s partner Metalem using a unique handmade lamé technique, invented by them 30 years ago and revamped today for this project. This technique consists in creating a series of traits on the dial with a comb. These characteristic striations give the colours more depth and starker reflections.

On the dial, the date window is positioned at 6 o’clock to maintain the Czapek aesthetics based on vertical symmetry. The hands design is reminiscent of a sword, sporty and easy-to-read, as well as the three-dimensional indexes. The 40.5mm stainless steel case is integrated with an original double ‘trompe l’oeil’ curve, another unconventional design choice making this timepiece unique and exclusive.

CZAPEK watch Movement_lacquered_LR-1

Shades of Buren In That Micro Rotor

The SXH5.01 automatic calibre is the first to be entirely conceived in-house by Czapek from a blank page. Every part of it has been made with care to detail and with the help of the top Swiss manufacturing partners and craftsmen.

The microrotor, made of fully recycled 18-kt gold, is placed off-centre to allow a plunging view into the mechanism and its exceptional architecture. (We love a microrotor watch, it’s always a triumph of progress over manufacturing convenience – Ed)

A free-sprung balance wheel with variable inertia provided by four gold masselotte weights enables the highest level of precision tuning. The gear train is held in place by a series of seven handsome skeletonized bridges. Their original shape is reminiscent of lace, inspired on one side by XIX century pocket watches, and by the very modern Czapek Faubourg de Cracovie chronograph’s rotor.

The movement has superlative finishing with six hand chamfered inward angles and drawing of the flanks. The SXH5 caliber has a significantly longer autonomy than the average of high-end sports watches (typically between 40-45 hours), of 56 hours practical (and 70 theoretical hours). This movement proves that stringent watchmaking craftsmanship can be further enhanced with a hint of free-floating creativity, as if form were an equal party to function.

The price is 18,000CHF, which is around £15,200 and there are seven dial colours/designs to choose from, including deep blue, grey and a burgundy red. You can buy direct from the Czapek website too.

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