Antarctique Chronograph Rattrapante Silver Grey
Czapek & Cie SPECIALLY FOR THE EVENT
A very rare, unusual, and sporty limited-edition stainless-steel split-chronograph wristwatch of Czapek & Cie, ancient watch brand, revived in 2012 in Switzerland. Limited edition launched in 2021. Case made of stainless steel, diameter 42.5mm, 15.3mm thick, sapphire caseback. Open-worked dial with rhodium-plated circularly brushed peripheral ring and counters, luminous blued steel hands. Caliber SXH6, self-winding, with split-chronograph mechanism on the dial side, power reserve up to 60 hours. Functions – indication of time in hours and minutes, small seconds hand, monopusher split-chronograph with 30-minute counter, central seconds hand of chronograph, central seconds hand of split-chronograph. Integrated stainless steel Czapek & Cie bracelet, triple folding clasp. Limited edition of 77 pieces.
The Antarctique Chronograph Rattrapante Silver Grey is the first complicated model of the Antarctique collection, launched in 2020. The genre of sporty-elegant steel watches on a steel bracelet of an integral design became extremely popular in the late 2010s, when the prices of the Patek Philippe Nautilus and Audemars Piguet Royal Oak watches, which are the genre’s founding designs, skyrocketed on the secondary market. Several brands specializing in luxury and collectible watches, including Czapek & Cie, have embarked on developing their own versions of this winning design. Of course, this process was also influenced by the growing public awareness of luxury, sporty-elegant steel watches, and the demand for alternative design versions increased accordingly.
Czapek & Cie found their way in this niche with a watch with a barrel-shaped case, round bezel and dial, and an integral bracelet tapering from the case to the clasp. Particularly noteworthy are the ingenious central links of the bracelet, shaped as a stylized letter C, whose width consistently decreases from the case to the clasp. This is certainly a sign of high class and means significant production costs for the exclusive bracelet. In addition, the bracelet is equipped with the Czapek exclusive Easy Release system for quick bracelet/strap changes.
Czapek & Cie found their way in this niche with a watch with a barrel-shaped case, round bezel and dial, and an integral bracelet tapering from the case to the clasp.
The Antarctique Chronograph Rattrapante Silver Gray watch was released in honour of the Czapek & Cie limited edition chronographs with the vintage Valjoux caliber 7733, pre-launched in 2012 before the revival of the brand and the re-registration of the Czapek & Cie trade name. The chronographs were produced as subscription watches, which made it possible to raise funds for the project.
The Antarctique Rattrapante Silver Gray is a uniquely-designed split chronograph with an open dial and a chronograph movement mounted on the side, allowing the watch owner to observe the operation of the complex mechanical device without removing the watch from the wrist. The brand claims that the open-worked split-second chronograph on the dial side is a world première.
Caliber SHX6, Czapek’s proprietary caliber found in the present example, was developed in collaboration with Chronode, a Geneva-based atelier of complications. For it, an atypical scheme was chosen with a single-button chronograph and the placement of the chronograph and split chronograph mechanisms on the dial side of the caliber. The structure of the movement and, accordingly, the dial, demonstrates a pleasing symmetry, with the placement of sub-dials at the 4 and 8 o’clock positions, typical for Czapek & Cie wristwatches.
Caliber SHX6, Czapek’s proprietary caliber found in the present example, was developed in collaboration with Chronode, a Geneva-based atelier of complications. For it, an atypical scheme was chosen with a single-button chronograph and the placement of the chronograph and split chronograph mechanisms on the dial side of the caliber.
The chronograph and split-seconds mechanisms are controlled by two traditional column wheels, one at the top (for the chronograph) and one at the bottom (for the split-seconds mechanism), mounted along the vertical axis of the dial. The chronograph features a horizontal clutch, which is also a sign of a traditional chronograph design and one which makes it more attractive. The dial-side chronograph parts have a strong industrial aesthetic, with a matte finely shotblasted mainplate and bridges with hand-polished chamfers; chronograph springs and levers with straight grinding and hand-polished chamfers; wheels with circular brushing; and black-polished column wheels, screw heads, and studs.
A special feature of the SHX6 caliber is the central bridge with three rests, again symmetrical, with a mounted planetary gear underneath for minute wheel drive and setting.
The back of the caliber accommodates a self-winding system with a central full-size rotor, equipped with a heavy segment made of solid 18k rose gold with the Czapek & Cie logo. The balance bridge and rotor both exhibit the same industrial aesthetic as the chronograph mechanism.
The Czapek & Cie Antarctique Chronograph Rattrapante Silver Grey Ref. 302.025 would appear to be a fine purchase for the collector looking to obtain a rare, sophisticated and elegant stainless-steel limited-edition mechanical watch from a Swiss watch brand that specialises in haute horlogerie collectible watches. The combination of the elegant sporty design, stainless stees integral bracelet, rare caliber design with split-chronograph mechanism placed under the dial, and haute horlogerie execution and finishing of the movement undoubtedly allows one to perceive the present watch as a worthy alternative to the great classics of this genre, and adds to the appeal of this lot.
|Case||Stainless steel case, with a sapphire caseback, crownguard chronograph pusher at 2 o,clock , rattrapante pusher at 10 o'clock|
|Bracelet||Integrated polished & brushed bracelet, with a Butterfly clasp & two easy links|
|Dial||Openworked dial, diamond-chamfered rhodium-plated minutes ring and counters, 30 minutes counter at 4 o'clock, small seconds at 7 o'clock, blued hands & split second white tip rattrapante|
|Movement||Ruthenium-plated automatic movement, with monopusher rattrapante column wheel chronograph, 750/1000 rose gold oscillation weight|
|Ref.||Antarctique Chronograph Rattrapante|
|Case:||Very good, no signs of wear|
|Bracelet:||Very good, no signs of wear|
|Movement:||Very good, all functions working properly|
|Amplitude (Dial on top/Lift angle 52):||Approx 310°|
|Accuracy (Dial on top):||Approx +12 sec/day|
François Czapek (a Gallicised version of his original name Franciszek Czapek), the founder of the brand, was a Czech-born Polish watchmaker who fled to Geneva in 1831 after fighting in the Polish uprising. The following year, he founded the Czapek & Moreau company in partnership with French-born watchmaker Thomas Moreau, who settled and worked in Versoix, a suburb of Geneva. In 1839, Antoine Norbert de Patek (a Gallicised version of the name Antoni Patek), also a Polish immigrant, joined the company’s partners. From that moment, Thomas Moreau held no official responsibilities and the firm was renamed to Patek & Czapek.