AN ODE TO THE RARE VINTAGE TOOL WATCH



SUPER ANTARCTIC 3/6/9

The first watch to set foot, as it were, on the 5th continent.

What could be cooler than wearing a beautiful tool watch with history, patina and charm? A watch that has a look and a soul. All eyes are on the new SUPER ANTARCTIC 3/6/9, black version or with a “tropical” twist. Two novelties paying tribute to vintage tool watches :

  • SUPER ANTARCTIC 3/6/9 – with a deep black dial mounted on black perforated leather strap;

and

  • SUPER ANTARCTIC 3/6/9 “CADRAN TROPICAL” – with an intense and shimmering brown dial, the color of dark chocolate, coffee beans or tobacco drying in the sun, mounted on a caramel leather strap.

REVIVING THE GLORY OF NIVADA GRENCHEN

Nivada Grenchen timepieces have been a part of the Swiss watchmaking landscape since 1926, the year Jacob Schneider founded the brand in Granges (Grenchen in Swiss-German). In 1976, his son Max took over the business. In the US, the Croton Company was the official distributor for all Nivada Grenchen watches, which explains why some timepieces sport the Croton signature or both the Croton and Nivada Grenchen logos. In 1930, Nivada Grenchen was one of the first companies to manufacture automatic watches. This led in 1950 to the creation of Nivada Grenchen’s first waterproof automatic watch: the Antarctic. The watch was worn by the members of the American Navy’s Deep Freeze 1 expedition to the South Pole from 1955 to 1956.

OPERATION DEEP FREEZE, 1955-56 : THE FIRST WATCH TO SET FOOT ON ANTARCTICA

With its shimmering light blue icebergs, ageless frozen expanses, Antarctica has no longitude, only a latitude of 90°. Terra Australis, as Antarctica was referred to on the first charts – the Earth’s southernmost, most hostile landmass and the last continent to be discovered – continues to be a source of fascination for explorers, scientists, and historians ever since it was first discovered over two centuries ago.

In 1955, the United States undertook a series of missions to Antarctica in support of the National Science Foundation. Operation Deep Freeze, the first permanent base to be established in one of the coldest and most austere environments on planet Earth, has been in place since the 1950s. Year in, year out, people have been heading out to Antarctica in the name of science, exploration, and for a historically unique human experience. Antarctica in winter is one of the windiest, coldest, driest, and most desolate places in the world; traveling to and from the continent is not without danger. Polar explorer Admiral Richard E. Byrd was President Eisenhower's logical choice to serve as Officer in Charge of Operation Deep Freeze I. On his wrist, a NIVADA ANTARCTIC tool watch. A watch originally conceived for Antarctic exploration. Nivada Grenchen has since been synonymous with reliable performance under the most extreme conditions, not least for its ability to withstand great variations in temperature and humidity. A robust, shockproof and anti-magnetic watch.

“The idea was to reinterpret the style of vintage watches of the time. The dial, originally black, underwent many aging processes to obtain this characteristic ‘Tropical’ tone where warm oranges and browns blend with the indexes and hands, which have also been aged, to obtain this creamy latte effect typical of vintage watches. Our intent was to emphasize the retro aesthetic and we’re quite proud of the result,” says Guillaume Laidet, the brand's co-founder and CEO, adding: “It’s a carefully guarded recipe and as a result, each piece is absolutely unique.”

A FAITHFUL REISSUE OF THE ICONIC MID-CENTURY EXPLORATION TOOL WATCH

The new SUPER ANTARCTIC is a modern watch infused with the spirit of the 1950s original, authentic and worthy of bearing the same. This vintage-inspired timepiece will no doubt impress not only fans of the brand. By early 2022, we knew it was our mission to revive the SUPER ANTARCTIC, with the same original spirit. And guts, too, but up to modern standards (sapphire crystal) and a Swiss automatic movement (Soprod P024) with screw-down crown ensuring water resistance to 10 ATM. The SUPER ANTARCTIC, a faithful reissue of the iconic precursor, comes with various dial variations. The case has a diameter of 38 mm, with a lug-to-lug distance of 45 mm, and a thickness of 11.1 mm. The gold medallion on the case back is a nod to its illustrious heritage. The 38mm case wears comfortably on the wrist, especially on the rugged leather strap it comes with. The strap kit includes a quick-release system for easy strap changes. Beneath the Nivada name is the word Aquamatic, which represents both the type of movement (automatic) and its water resistance. The Super Antarctic label in vintage typography by the six o'clock position faithfully echoes the original.

GOLDEN MEDALLION – A TRIBUTE TO THE ORIGINAL

If we flip the watch over, we see a large gold medallion on the case back: a tribute to the vintage Antarctic model – the first watch to set foot, as it were, on the 5th continent – which sported such a decoration. It is one of the most intriguing aspects of the watch, depicting a scene from Operation Deep Freeze I, the first of several missions to establish a permanent base in Antarctica: the engraving shows an airplane and an icebreaker under the stars and a crescent moon; a mountain range and glacier in the distance. The medallion was originally incorporated into vintage Nivada Antarctic models to commemorate the International Geophysical Year (1957) and the impetus it gave to the exploration of Antarctica.

PRE-ORDERS EXCLUSIVELY ONLINE AND SALES MODEL 2.0

Since its digital rebirth more than 2 years ago, Nivada has been able to develop with a growing community online, especially Instagram. Since its relaunch, the brand has always relied on a sales model consisting of successive and time-limited capsule collections, offered exclusively online via a pre-order system.


An intelligent and virtuous entrepreneurial model, as Guillaume Laidet, its co-founder, points out: “Our intention is to produce models as close to the originals as possible, while remaining affordable,” he explains. The watch industry has no shortage of sleeping giants to revive, he concludes.

The SUPER ANTARCTIC 3/6/9 watch is available at an 750 USD, starting 15 November 2022, exclusively on nivadagrenchenofficial.com.

A first batch of watches will be immediately available, with a guaranteed delivery before Christmas. The second part of the orders will be fulfilled before the end of January 2023.