Geneva, April 2021 – The third chapter of the Antarctique hand-varnished dial is unveiled – Czapek Antarctique Emerald Iceberg. Following the galactic inspiration of the Orion Nebula and the descent into the underwater world of the Abyss, comes the ephemeral mystery of the Emerald Iceberg. Another nature-inspired limited edition powered by the Czapek SHX5 micro-rotor automatic calibre.
Nature is capable of great things, including creating startlingly green icebergs. This peculiar variety, which can be found only in Antarctica, has been reported by explorers and sailors since more than a century around certain parts of the Sixth Continent. They have often been referred to as “emerald icebergs”, recalling the 1798 poem The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, where Samuel Taylor Coleridge describes an Antarctic sailor seeing “ice, mast high … as green as emerald”. However, while green icebergs have entranced people for more than a century, no one could adequately explain the origin of this mysterious tinge.
For decades scientists suspected that ice was turned green by dissolved organic microscopic particles of long-dead marine plants and animals trapped in the ice as the water froze. But a 2019 study published in the Journal of Geophysical Research suggested a different culprit. The research team discovered large amounts of iron in East Antarctica’s Amery Ice Shelf – the region where green icebergs were found. Iron oxides and common rust tend to have earthy hues – yellows, oranges, reds and browns. So, according to the study, it is possible that iron oxides in rock dust from Antarctica are what’s turning some icebergs green, creating “Antarctica’s version of mixing blue and yellow paint together to get green”, as glaciologist James Lea said (source: National Geographic).
The dial of the Antarctique Emerald Iceberg gives a wink to these astonishing natural phenomena. As those of the Orion Nebula and Abyss models, launched in 2020 and both sold out, the Emerald Iceberg dial is hand-varnished. It is created using a proprietary technique developed by Czapek‘s partner Metalem, in Le Locle. The dial is first varnished, hand painted with a brush, lacquered and finally polished. All the steps are done by hand, so that each dial is unique.
“The Emerald Iceberg is the illustration of a new approach in watchmaking… a sort of ‘open-source’ where supplying partners, team members and customers join forces to come up with totally new ideas”, says Xavier de Roquemaurel, CEO of Czapek & Cie.
The Antarctique Emerald Iceberg, a stainless-steel 41-millimetre three-hander, is powered by Czapek’s most recent calibre SHX5, conceived internally by a multifaceted team. At the root of the SXH5 automatic movement is a free-sprung balance wheel with variable inertia provided by four gold masselotte weights. The powerful micro-rotor is made of fully recycled Platinum 950 and it is placed off-centre to allow a plunging view into the mechanism. Running at 28,800 vph, the movement has a remarkable power reserve of over 60 hours. Water-resistant to 120 metres, the timepiece features a sporty steel bracelet whose links mesh to form a modern “C”, and comes with an optional leather or rubber strap.
Limited to 10 pieces only, the Antarctique Emerald Iceberg will be available at Czapek‘s official resellers, at the boutique in rue de la Corraterie 18, Geneva and at Czapek.com