Price: 51,700 €
Limited edition of 77 copies
Since the re-establishment in 2012, Czapek & Cie has tried to maintain the fine balance between high technology and fine aesthetics. The new model, Antarctique Rattrapante, a chronograph with a unique mechanism on the dial side, combines both ideals. “The Antarctique collection was introduced in 2020 as a synonym for sporty elegance,” says CEO Xavier de Roquemaurel. “It is now time for a complication that will delight our aficionados”.
The roots of the project go back to the founding of the company in 2012, explains de Roquemaurel: “In 2012, as part of the re-registration of the name Czapek, we built a small limited series of chronographs based on the vintage Valjoux 7733 caliber that we sold to friends. to get the first income for our new start. " One of the buyers at the time was enthusiastic about the clearly visible movement of the chronograph mechanism. This was the trigger for the idea of building a Czapek chronograph with a mechanism on the dial side.
That was in 2015 - good concepts sometimes take time to mature. The difficult equation creativity, research & development and quantities could not be solved at the time. Over the years the idea of the chronograph kept returning. As so often in life, chance and willpower ultimately made the dream come true. When manufacturing partner Chronode signaled that they were ready to develop the technology for a rattrapante chronograph, the time had come: "We immediately fell in love with the idea of controlling, stopping and releasing time," says Xavier with a smile. "In addition, we wanted to place the module on the dial side and give the wearer a full view of the ballet of hands, levers and wheels."
A rattrapante chronograph is a complex mechanism, a grand complication, a culmination of mechanical creativity. Visually, the focus is on the mechanics, which ensure that one of the chronograph wheels stops immediately when the interim button is activated. Meanwhile, the other second hand must continue to run undisturbed. If the interim time button is pressed again, the stopped hand must "catch up" (French "rattraper") or "catch up" with the other hand. This requires components of the highest quality and precision.
The caliber SHX6, a result of the close collaboration between Czapek and Chronode, is a work of art both from a mechanical and an aesthetic point of view. On the one hand, the number of components had to be reduced, on the other hand, the fineness of the components had to be increased in order to obtain the desired appearance and to fit into the 42.5mm housing. “As with classic chronographs, the energy in the meantime comes from the second wheel,” explains de Roquemaurel. “With this model, however, we favored a horizontal coupling in order to be able to optimally show the beauty of the drive”.
In the center of the movement is the three-armed bridge that carries the patented mechanism for the minute track and the interval. Two ratchet wheels, one at the top (for the chronograph) and one at the bottom (for the interim mechanism) divide the caliber in two halves. With the minute counter at 4 and 7 o'clock and the small second, the arrangement follows the guideline of the vertical symmetry of Francois Czapek, the great clockmaker of the 19th century. The Antarctique Rattrapante Chronograph is equipped with Czapek’s exclusive stainless steel bracelet, the links of which are each connected with a stylized “C”.