Czapek Goes Ice Blue With Rattrapante and Osmium With Antarctique Frozen Star S

Czapek is a brand that forced us, in the best possible way, to pay attention last year with the release of their openworked Antarctique Rattrapante chronograph. This is a watch that replaced any semblance of a traditional dial with the full chronograph works of the movement to enjoy. A closer look at the brand revealed some lovely three-handers as well, all within the Antarctique collection. This year they’ve brought updates to both, and continue to flesh out their unique design language with interesting materials, colors, and sizes. 

The latest Rattrapante, called Ice Blue, uses sapphire rings for the minute track running the perimeter of the dial, as well as for the minute totalizer at 4:30, and the running seconds at 7:30. Each has been treated with metal oxides applied by an evaporation process that create a fume blue appearance. They are still transparent, but look, well, ice blue. The creative application of color here heightens the alrighty considerable level of drama that emanates from this watch, while also making it a bit more familiar and legible in the process.

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The movement itself is just as impressive as it was when we first saw it. It is a monopusher rattrapante chronograph featuring red and blue timing seconds hands, which can be applied to the ends of the hands, or the entirety of them depending on your preference. Czapek’s caliber SXH6 powers the watch, and places the split second pusher at 10:30. The works are fully exposed, with no ‘dial’ structure in place, and it’s quite satisfying to watch in action (see our IG Reels for proof). The red and blue timing seconds make the rattrapante functionality quite legible to use, and if you’re going to get a rattrapante, you may as well make it practical. 

If you’re not the type that needs to time multiple things at once, Czapek also added to their time and date Antarctique range with a new 38.5mm case in the Passage de Drake S range, and a limited edition Osmium dial, also in the 38.5mm case. These wear beautifully on the wrist and are available on either strap or bracelet options with light blue and salmon dial colors. As for the Osmium, well that’s another story. 

Osmium is a highly dense transition metal in the platinum group, and is among the rarest elements on the planet. It’s exceedingly difficult to get, so naturally, Czapek covered an entire dial with the stuff. The watch is called the Frozen Star S. It appears light gray and blue with a shimmering quality that is completely beautiful to behold, though admittedly, hinders legibility a touch. To maximize impact, they’ve removed the date aperture from 6 o’clock (something I wish other great dials out there would take note of), and moved the hour markers to a single ring at the dial’s edge. Even the Czapek has been moved to the crystal.

While viewing the watch, Czapek presented a hemispherical hunk of Osmium for us to google, and the only thing more surprising than its near $1M value was the heft of the thing. The watch itself feels rather pleasant the wrist, in terms of size and heft, so I’m imagining a rather thin layer has been built up on the dial to achieve the desired look. It appears as of a diamond has been crushed to a fine powder and sprinkled over the surface. Only blue… and gray. 

The non-osmium laden Antarctique Passage de Drake S models are fabulous in their own way, even without the ultra-exotic dials. They get the new, smaller case options and still feature the basket weave texture on the dial in blue and salmon. These wear beautifully on the wrist and as you may have guessed, are the most accessible of the bunch at $22,000. While the others are novel and beautiful to behold, it is the Passage de Drake S watches that feel better suited to day to day life, measuring 38.5mm in diameter and 10.5mm in thickness. These watches use Czapek’s own SXH5 automatic caliber that is visible through the caseback. It’s finished in black and gold with the purple jewels providing the pop of color ($1 in the jar, I know). It looks modern but hasn’t sacrificed some of the finer finishing details you’d expect on a watch in this price range. 

In total, Czapek is a brand that seems to have found their stride and will be worth keeping an eye on in the coming years. Seeing as how their latest editions have quite brief availability windows before selling, word may already be out. Czapek.

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Blake is a Wisconsin native who’s spent the past decade covering the people, products, and brands that make the watch world a little more interesting. Blake enjoys the practical elements that watches bring to everyday life, from modern Seikos to vintage Rolex. He is an avid writer and photographer with a penchant for classic cars, non-fiction literature, and home-built mechanical keyboards.
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