Dubai Watch Week has always been synonymous with high-end and extremely limited releases and the offerings from Czapek for 2023 are no exception. There were two releases limited to just 18 and 25 pieces, so by the time you have read this, you had better move fast if you want to secure one.
Czapek is not a brand that most of us are very familiar with however they have been synonymous with high-end watchmaking since the 19th century and have both Czech and Polish origins. The original company was even the official watchmaker to Napoleon III. The company as we know it today was reformed in 2015 and the first Antarctique model, of which we see the special editions released in Dubai, was unveiled in 2020.
Czapek Antarctique Royal Onyx - Credit Czapeck
For Dubai Watch Week first, we have the Antarctique Royal Onyx which is, by any measure, a striking watch - elegant in simplicity yet hugely refined brushing on haute horlogerie.
Czapek states that it has two fundamental values for all products. The pursuit of beauty and the spirit of collaboration - hence every watch design is a creation made in partnership with the company's unique community of rare people. This community comprises hugely talented designers, craftsmen and influential people innovative within the watch world.
The two new watches we are looking at today are available from Mansoor Jewellers who have branches all over the United Arab Emirates. Indeed, these watches are unique to this country which serves to illustrate the global presence of Dubai Watch Week.
Czapek Royal Onyx
Czapek Antarctique Royal Onyx - Credit Czapek
From the initial concept, a fundamental design decision was that the dial of the latest Antarctique should be distinctive in colour. As always detail is everything in such high-end watches so the most difficult task was to choose a colour from an almost limitless palette. The final decision was to use the material Black Onyx for a dynamic and unexpected contrast. This design concept gives a deep black lustre like no other material.
To offset this colour cut sapphires were chosen to mark the indices emphasising the purity of the dial and the beauty of the gemstones which have been cut specifically for the watch.
The Antarctique Royal Onyx deliberately does not have a date window instead opting for visual simplicity. Despite the minimal design, this is a challenging product with flowing curves and finely honed angles associated with the 40.5 millimetre diameter case along with a carefully judged balance of the brushed and polished surfaces that are carried across to the integrated bracelet.
Czapek Antarctique Royal Onyx - Credit Czapeck
The Antarctique Royal Onyx is powered by calibre SXH5 this is the first movement to be entirely conceived and assembled in-house by Czapek. The microrotor is placed off-center to allow a plunging view into the mechanism and its exceptional architecture. A free-sprung balance wheel with variable inertia provided by four gold adjustable weights enables the highest level of precision tuning. The gear train is held in place by a series of seven handsome skeletonized bridges. The movement has high-end finishing on the bridges that merges Haute Horlogerie angling techniques with state-of-the-art laser engravings. It offers a 60-hour power reserve and contains 28 jewels.
The Antarctique Royal Onyx is limited to 18 pieces.
Czapek Desert Rose - Credit Czapeck
To complement the Antarctique Royal Onyx the brand has also released the Antarctique Desert Rose. This watch has the same technical specifications are the Onyx but looks very different with a much softer, but nonetheless, UAE-inspired dial. This model is limited to 25 pieces.
One cannot visit this part of the world without experiencing the beauty of the desert and that striking environment spawns this watch. The dial in this watch is (fittingly) sand blasted Salmon with steel indices. The 1-11 batons are rhodium plate markers with the 12 o’clock being written in true Arabic numbers; i.e. in the Arabic language, not “Arabic” as we know on conventional watches.
Like the Antarctique Royal Onyx the Desert Rose is powered by the in-house SXH5 movement.
Both watches are beautiful and, interestingly, unisex. As someone who's lived in Abu Dhabi for a lot of his life, I can really see the inspiration behind these watches, especially the Desert Rose. No prices have initially been given on the press releases however previous Antarctique models sell for the 20,000 to 30,000 Swiss Franc mark so we would expect these UAE special editions to sell for more. It's really nice to see simple watches and when you look at how stunning and striking the design of the Black Onyx is you cannot help but wonder how many complications a watch really needs.
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