You are currently viewing Collector’s Series – The One-Of-A-Kind Czapek Antarctique Alpha

Collector’s Series – The One-Of-A-Kind Czapek Antarctique Alpha

There’s one thing really fascinating and intriguing with the thought of getting one thing distinctive, one thing that you just’ve designed along with the producer’s staff… Bespoke watchmaking isn’t such a standard apply and we’re at all times quite curious to listen to the tales behind the creation of a daring, extremely private watch. One thing like this Czapek, which isn’t probably the most consensual of all. In spite of everything, that is additionally what makes it such a cool story. Dr. Ayham Refaat, a forty five year-old surgeon, entrepreneur and CEO from Dubai, certainly wears a one-of-a-kind Czapek Antarctique Alpha on his wrist. It matches his seek for distinctive items and complex watches completely. On this version of the Collector’s Collection, he tells us all about his journey with Czapek to create the last word private watch.

Frank Geelen, MONOCHROME – What was it that attracted you to the Czapek model?

Dr. Ayham Refaat – I acquired to know the model from the media after they launched the Antarctique Terre Adélie line. I fell in love with the watch instantly, particularly the bracelet. I began studying extra concerning the model and actually admired how the brand new homeowners resurrected the model, and the way they raised funds for it, which to me, shows entrepreneurship by discovering revolutionary methods to construct a watch model on this time and age. Since I first noticed the images, notably of the hand-varnished dial Orion Nebula, it was a model of which I wished to own a watch.

Other than the bracelet, what’s so particular concerning the Antarctique mannequin?

The bracelet was first the half that captured my consideration. I used to personal an AP 15202 Jumbo and the bracelet on that watch used to drip on my wrist like silk, and the Antarctique appeared to do the identical, although in a distinct development and with a way more amplified visible impact of the hyperlinks. I learn concerning the mechanism and was impressed with the appears to be like of the micro-rotor automated motion and the skeletonized bridges. The extra technical specs when it comes to the flexibility to vary the bracelet from metal to rubber by a fast launch mechanism and the water resistance to 120 meters through the screw-down crown sealed the deal for me.

Collector Series - Unique Bespoke Czapek Antarctique Alpha Red Dial

When did you purchase the mannequin you have got?

I began speaking with Czapek Geneva someday again in July 2020 and it took till April 2021 to be prepared, however I solely managed to gather it from the Geneva Boutique round July 2021, nearly a 12 months after I first began speaking to Czapek about this piece, because of restrictions on flying on account of the COVID 19 Pandemic.

But additionally since you wished to have particular alterations accomplished to it, didn’t you?

Properly, that was fairly a journey. After I first contacted Czapek; the entire manufacturing of the Antarctique Terre Adélie was bought out already. That they had restricted numbers anyway. I talked to Mr Pierre Millasson, gross sales and digital supervisor at Czapek, and advised him of my real need to personal considered one of these watches, so he supplied an answer he wasn’t certain I’d settle for, which was to provide me one of many prototypes made earlier than (after ending it in fact to the identical customary of the manufacturing watches). He was clear that it will be referred to as a prototype with no quantity or something to maintain the integrity of the opposite manufacturing watches launched. I requested if I may create a bespoke watch with it, which they agreed to and the journey began.

Collector Series - Unique Bespoke Czapek Antarctique Alpha Red Dial

A couple of tales stand out within the journey to make this Alpha. First is the dial story. I discussed earlier I favored the hand-varnished dial greater than the usual one for the inventive appears to be like of it, in addition to the dearth of a date window which I felt disturbed the symmetry of the patterned dial of the usual Antarctique fashions.

I wished to have that dial in a purple/burgundy shade which they didn’t have however mentioned they might get a particular order from the dial maker. I bear in mind receiving an e-mail with some dial choices that regarded okay however the photographs weren’t so clear and I couldn’t fly to Geneva to see it for myself because of COVID restrictions. So I selected the one which I believed regarded the most effective on display and left it to the Czapek staff to substantiate if all was okay.

Collector Series - Unique Bespoke Czapek Antarctique Alpha Red Dial

That was the purpose I met Czapek’s CEO, Xavier de Roquemaurel, over e-mail as he stepped into the dialog, checked the dial I selected and was not utterly happy by its high quality. Mr Xavier then refused all of the dials despatched to me, even supposing I didn’t actually object and truly confirmed one dial, and he ordered a brand new batch of dials to be made with some modifications he prompt, which resulted in a significantly better color shade and sample. No additional prices had been requested in any respect.

Wow, that’s implausible!

It definitely is! The second story is concerning the engraving. Typical watch engraving is made utilizing patterns derived from the vegetation’ world, however I wished one thing derived from an animal determine, a wolf to be exact, which isn’t simple to do as a sample. On prime of that, the house on the case may be very small for such an engraving and the metal steel isn’t the simplest one to engrave within the first place. Nonetheless, Czapek went to their Grasp engraver who accepted the problem, regardless of the danger of ruining a number of instances, so as to adjust to my needs.

Collector Series - Unique Bespoke Czapek Antarctique Alpha Red Dial

One other story that stands out is my request to take away the seconds hand, which I made within the later phases of the method. After I noticed the dial I felt {that a} shifting hand would disturb the inventive nature of the dial and I wished the dial to be static to permit me to admire it with out distraction each time I checked out it. Czapek complied regardless of my last-minute request. Furthermore, they got here again to me and mentioned that the removing of the seconds hand left an area within the mechanism that may very well be engraved and supplied to engrave it with a wolf’s head as properly.

And then you definitely had been happy?

Lastly, whereas I used to be engaged on my watch, Czapek introduced a brand new Antarctique Passage de Drake with completely different dials and an improved motion. I referred to as Pierre concerning the motion improve and he confirmed that each one enhancements they made on the Passage de Drake can be utilized to my watch too. Once more, no additional prices.

It’s vital to notice that each one these modifications (additional dials, removing of seconds hand, additional engraving on the mechanism, improve of motion) had been made by Czapek with out additional cost on the initially agreed value. I feel it’s solely honest to provide credit score the place credit score is due and my expertise with Czapek as a model was them being extra about watchmaking, than cash making. I met Xavier a couple of instances after and I noticed how and why such a tradition cascades up-down within the firm.

And now you have got it, does your watch get loads of wrist time?

I put on my Czapek Antarctique Alpha frequently and don’t anticipate events to take action. I generally put collectively my garments in a manner that matches the Alpha. The character of the watch and the benefit of fixing the bracelet permits it to suit my work fashion with a enterprise go well with, my off-work good informal fashion, and even a day by the pool.

The particular dial color permits it to come out and distinction my clothes, the place black, gray and blue dominate males’s style usually. I imagine loads of the present enchantment of sports activities watches is because of the shift in style from formal to informal, due to this fact, I feel watches with contrasting dial colors (similar to purple or burgundy or inexperienced or yellow…and many others) will stand out and distinction greater than these with blue dials. It’s the place style is shifting for my part and what watch manufacturers have to concentrate on extra.

While you put on it, what sort of reactions do you get? 

From those who don’t know, they at all times admire the color of the dial, adopted by the engravings on the watch after I present it. From those within the know, I get direct questions concerning the watch and the way I acquired it.

In any gathering associated to watches, it’s fairly regular for a whole stranger to return and ask concerning the watch and request if they will strive it on, which I at all times permit gladly.

Collector Series - Unique Bespoke Czapek Antarctique Alpha Red Dial

Have you learnt the present market worth of the watch?

Being a one-off distinctive watch it’s troublesome to set a market worth with out truly providing the watch on the market. Nonetheless, I’m conscious of the wholesome value appreciation for Czapek Antarctique watches within the pre-owned market because of their rarity and very good design and ending. Worth is vital in fact and I do benefit from the reality the Czapek Model itself is rising however the Alpha is just too private for me to think about promoting it.

Other than the Czapek, how would you describe your watch assortment to date? 

It’s in a unending refining course of, I might say. I owned many watches since I began amassing watches again in 2012 and owned greater than 50 watches in some unspecified time in the future. Nonetheless, over the previous 3 years, I’ve been attempting to refine my assortment by lowering the amount and specializing in those I actually like and luxuriate in carrying. I at present concentrate on distinctive items and complex watches and like to maintain my assortment throughout the vary of 20 watches max at any given time so I can put on every watch a minimum of two to 3 instances a month.

Collector Series - Unique Bespoke Czapek Antarctique Alpha Red Dial

However there are nonetheless some fashions in your want listing?

I’ve at all times been in love with travel-related watches, as that could be a operate I actually use in my life and it makes the watch I put on extra of a useful gizmo than simply an adjunct so I’ve a couple of on my radar to purchase.

On the complication facet, I like Perpetual Calendars as I really feel they prolong our lifetime past what we as people can at present stay, and I do personal two of these however have extra on the listing.

Lastly, the PP 6102P Grand Complication is a grail look ahead to me.

The Patek Philippe 6102P Sky Moon Celestial, considered one of Ayham’s dream watches.

Which manufacturers are doing fascinating work on the market?

I’m in love with Independents and smaller manufacturers for his or her agility and direct connection to their purchasers. Apart from Czapek, I personal particular watches from FP Journe and MB&F which I treasure. I additionally had an amazing expertise with Ulysse Nardin bespoking a one-off Freak Out. And I plan to personal a watch from Kari Voutilainen in some unspecified time in the future.

I had an admiration for Lange and their watchmaking perfection strategy. I personal a few Langes that I feel are superb, however since they launched the Odysseus and began forcing individuals to purchase different watches to get on the “listing”, I not relate to the model.

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Double Balance Wheel Openworked Ceramic 41mmThe Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Double Steadiness Wheel Openworked Ceramic, a mannequin that notably attracts Ayham’s consideration

From the mainstream manufacturers, I like Rolex’s new route with dial colors and patterns and AP with their ceramic watches and open-worked dials. Patek Phillippe clearly stays a power to respect and admire in watchmaking.

What do you consider the (social) media consideration a few of these manufacturers get?

We are able to’t deny social media and influencers’ function in shaping individuals’s tastes and there’s nothing fallacious with it. If a watch is hyped it doesn’t imply it’s unhealthy, and lots of the hyped ones are nice timepieces to personal and put on. Nonetheless, a stability is required and I counsel collectors to maintain looking for what they like, speak to the manufacturers that also speak to them and nonetheless have a ardour for watchmaking, and each time a possibility arises; create their very own piece as a result of, for my part, that is the last word amassing feat.

Is it definitely worth the elevated value it’s important to pay?  

Properly, worth is vital in terms of shopping for watches, particularly those who require shedding away tens of 1000’s of {dollars}. I encourage consumers and collectors to be educated sufficient to find out about manufacturers and what they do, find out how a lot to pay for a watch and whether or not to purchase model new or used, and at all times search for rarity and items that talk to them. There is no such thing as a denying that as of late, watches are serving as a category of funding, so it’s vital that the worth is retained, and even appreciated over time.

Worth retention and appreciation have inspired extra individuals, in addition to avid collectors, to purchase watches which can solely assist the watch business proceed to thrive and replicate positively on all its stakeholders, together with collectors.

Collector Series - Unique Bespoke Czapek Antarctique Alpha Red Dial

Do you have got normal ideas for individuals who need to begin amassing watches? 

Begin small, learn lots, determine what you want and provides your self time, as a result of in any case; that is the interest of time. I additionally advise individuals beginning a group to not spend what they don’t have simply to purchase a watch they assume will up their standing as a result of everyone is speaking about it. Watches, though they’re nice engineering feats and items of artwork that function an amazing extension of 1’s character, are nonetheless within the “need” and never the “want” class, and in the end, it’s the one who makes the watch, not the opposite manner round.

Are you in contact with different collectors? 

I’m in fact and it’s vital to be in contact with individuals who share the identical ardour and have the information so as to have the ability to alternate ideas and proceed studying. Connecting with different collectors converts the lonely interest of watch amassing right into a staff sport the place one can get pleasure from, assist and study from different’s wealthy and costly prior experiences.