Czapek Antarctique Abyss
The Czapek Antarctique Abyss is the latest limited-edition creation from the Genevan brand. While some brands have flooded the market with too many watches, Czapek has shrewdly managed supply and demand, making small volumes of highly desirable models. Despite being a small company, many larger firms could learn much from this intelligent approach.
Unfortunately, Covid-19 has touched all areas of our lives. The watch industry has not been immune to the curse of the pandemic with many companies struggling to obtain components, impairing their capacity to fulfil orders, often leading to delays.
However, perhaps the most worrisome aspect blighting the watch industry at present is overcapacity. Put simply, some retailers are holding vast inventories of stock with insufficient customers wanting to part with their hard-earned cash. An economist would point out that this situation is unsustainable. Put simply, when supply exceeds demand, the market will set new price levels which will inevitably lead to discounting.
Some firms have been sensible. They have made desirable products and ensured that demand frequently outstrips supply. Take the Swiss marque, Czapek. It released two models in May 2020, the Terre Adélie and the Orion Nebula, both of which sold out virtually overnight. Firstly, both of these models were produced in small numbers. Secondly, they were beautifully designed, incorporated high-quality components and were competitively priced.
This is a strategy the brand has repeatedly employed to remarkable effect. Since the Czapek name was revived in 2015, it has read the market and tailored its products and expectations to suit prevailing conditions. Thankfully, it is not alone in this regard. There are a number of other brands that have embraced the same strategy which have also continued to prosper during the present pandemic.
Now, the Genevan based brand has released its latest creation, the Czapek Antarctique Abyss. The model is endowed with the same case and movement as the Antarctique, but in this instance it features a bewitching blue hand-varnished dial, intended to replicate the appearance of the Antarctic Ocean. Once again, the Swiss firm has limited supplies, making only 10 pieces. On the face of it, Czapek’s approach is sustainable and provides a valid model that other watch companies may wish to emulate.
The brand’s press release
The Austral Ocean, also known as the Antarctic Ocean or the Southern Ocean, comprises the southernmost waters encircling Antarctica. This oceanic zone is where cold, northward flowing waters from the Antarctic mix with warmer sub-Antarctic waters. Geologically the youngest of the oceans, it was formed when Antarctica and South America moved apart, opening the Drake Passage, roughly 30 million years ago. The maximum depth of the Antarctic Ocean was surveyed only in recent times, in early February 2019, when the Five Deeps Expedition found a depth of 7,434 meters.
The deep and ever-moving waters of the Austral Ocean have been the inspiration for the new Czapek Antarctique, named “Abyss”. The timepiece, a limited series of 10 pieces, features a hand-varnished dial manufactured by Metalem. This technique consists of varnishing, hand painting with a brush, lacquering and then polishing the dial. Being crafted by hand, each of the 10 dials will be somehow unique.
The new model features the same movement as the Terre Adélie and Orion Nebula editions, launched in May and now sold out: the SXH5, the first to be entirely conceived in-house by Czapek (see the section “Everything you always wanted to know about the SXH5 Calibre* (*but were afraid to ask)” for detailed information on the SXH5 calibre.
“Watchmaking is a journey that sometimes holds a few surprises, like this incredible dial that came out of a trial on a new varnishing technique with Metalem. It blew us away and the name “Abyss” has imposed itself very naturally. It represents our never-ending quest for creative beauty inspired by Nature and our spirit of collaboration”.
Presented for the first time in Geneva on the occasion of the Geneva Watch Days, the Abyss will be available in all Czapek & Cie official retailers and on Czapek.com.
Deliveries of the 10 pieces are expected to start in November 2020.
Everything you always wanted to know about the SXH5 Calibre* (*but were afraid to ask)
Haute-Horology calibre conceived in- house and “from scratch” by the Czapek team
• Exceptional architecture with 7 bridges cut out like lace allowing a clear view of the finishing (the gear train)
• Original bridges’ shape inspired by 19th-century movements and by Czapek Faubourg de Cracovie chronograph’s rotor
• Superlative finishes with hand chamfering of 6 inward angles and drawing of the flanks
• 8.8 Newton mm single barrel loaded by a micro-rotor in certified 100% recycled platinum to free up the view on the movement and let it remain reasonably flat and thin (4.5mm)
• High autonomy power reserve of 56 hours
• 100% Swiss made (gold excepted) with a majority of components exclusive to Czapek
• 8 mg.cm2 variable inertia balance wheel to allow precise adjustment and excellent chronometry
• Powerful movement with an optimal balance of inertia and torque to achieve perfect isochronism and power horse versatility
• Exclusive calendar positioned at 6 o’clock to stay true to Czapek’s aesthetics based on vertical symmetry
• The 15 movement’s partners and co-creators of its exclusive components – such as AB Product, Atokalpa or Générale Ressort – represent the ‘crème de la crème’ of Swiss watchmaking and joined the Czapek team to strengthen its horizontal manufacture in one of the purest version of the We Collect Rare People spirit.