April 12, 2023
Czapek Antarctique S
Carte des Nuages Stormy Grey

From the Land of the Rising Sun to a world of light

Geneva, March 2023 – One year after the successful launch of the Antarctique S, Czapek & Cie plays on its sporty chic appeal with two new dials to complement its sleek 38.5mm case.

In keeping with the Czapek ethos, the new dials introduce atypical colours, intriguing textures and fascinating details. With a contemporary twist on traditional crafts and materials, and a new approach to texture, each dial has been designed to capture the light in a particular way, creating a sense of movement and vitality through a play of constantly changing colours.

“The smaller size of the Antarctique S is an open door to creativity”, says Xavier de Roquemaurel, CEO of Czapek. “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.”

Carte des Nuages Stormy Grey

The ‘Sashiko’ dial pays homage to the geometric lines and three-dimensionality of the traditional Japanese stitching of the same name, developed in Japan during the Edo period. The three-dimensional stamped pattern – based on a stylised lotus flower spotted and chosen by Marie-Alix de Roquemaurel – is achieved by repeating squares set at 45 degrees to perpendicular, each comprising six facets. As the light plays across the dial, the lotus pink appears to alternate between a pure, almost sugary tone and a soft hint of mauve, while the blue dial changes from the clear colour of a springtime sky to the greyer tone of autumn.

Contrasting with the intricate texture of the dial, a velvet-brushed ring lends a ‘visual quietness’ as the backdrop for the indexes. Simpler than the Antarctique’s signature sporty indexes, these finely sculpted, very elongated trapezoids lend an elegant refinement to the new dial. 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’ (literally, the Cloud Map) dial plays with the rich glow of white or grey mother-of-pearl, offsetting it with a glittering pair of ‘Antarctique cut’ diamonds marking 12, and a Princess cut diamond set at each of the 11 other hours. Etched into the surface, six fine guilloché gridlines anchor the composition, in a playfully modern take on the traditional craft of guillochage – with a subtle allusion to cartography. Taken from the central and most lustrous part of the oyster shell, the wafer-thin discs of mother-of-pearl used for these dials are rarely guilloché due to their fragility; to do so requires a highly specialised skill that only a few Maisons are able to source.

Carte des Nuages Stormy Grey

This exuberant and dressed-up expression of the Antarctique S also wears diamonds on the bezel, integrated lugs and first ‘C’ link of the bracelet, and a reverse-set diamond caps the winding crown. The sophisticated mix of steel and diamonds complements the visual depth and shape-shifting lustre of mother-of-pearl dial.

Both the Sashiko and Carte des Nuages dials feature the signature Antarctique S sword-shaped hands, while eschewing the added visual complexity of the date display seen on previous Antarctique S dials. The ‘Antarctique cut’ of the elongated index markers is an entirely new diamond cut, designed for Czapek by Adrian Buchmann of London-based studio Fuzion Ltd, and registered as a proprietary Czapek cut.

As is the norm at Czapek, the new dials are the creation of the company’s unique community of ‘rare people’ – designers, craftsmen and production partners of rare skill – as well as the friends, family and collectors whose tastes and desires are absorbed into the spirit of the brand as if by osmosis. By working in the établissage tradition, which governed all Swiss watchmaking before the modern era of vertical production, Czapek draws on the skills of very small-scale, specialised producers to bring such rare dials to life.

“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.”

Beneath the new dials, the Antarctique S is powered by calibre SXH5, the first movement to be entirely conceived and assembled in house by Czapek. It was launched in the original Antarctique in May 2020. Inspired by the 19th-century pocket watches of François Czapek, its distinctive architecture of seven skeletonised bridges is immediately recognisable. Taking the best from both the past and present of watchmaking, it features a free-sprung balance and an elegant and highly efficient micro-rotor of recycled 950 platinum; the haute horlogerie finishes combine hand-bevelled internal angles with state-of-the-art laser engraving to create a beautiful play of contrasts: light and dark, textured and smooth, matte and polished.

Being unveiled at Watches and Wonders 2023 in Geneva, the new variations of Antarctique S will be available on, from the flagship Czapek boutique in Geneva, at 18 rue de la Corraterie, and from all Czapek & Cie official retailers.




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