Since its “resurrection” a couple of years ago, Nivada Grenchen has been working hard on re-issuing some of its most glorious past models. Playing on a mix of historical design elements combined with modern materials and mechanics, the new Nivada models are all about accurate vintage flair, relatively accessible prices, and a pretty solid dosage of cool. We’ve seen this already with the Chronomaster, the star chronograph of the brand in the 1960s, but also the Depthmaster or the Antarctic, specifically the quirky Spider re-edition. The latest creation to bear this historic name on a dial is no exception to these rules, and is named the Nivada Grenchen Super Antarctic.
As with the Spider watch, the story of how this watch came back to life has to do with Instagram and a solid fan base. Once again, a collector of Nivada watches showed a vintage example of a watch part of the Antarctic lineup, with a typical exploration dial and a stronger case than the classic version. The Super Antarctic is the “plus” version, the watch that improves many aspects of the already respectable Antarctic. As a reminder, this watch (circa 1950) was Nivada Grenchen’s first waterproof automatic watch and was worn by the members of the American Navy’s Deep Freeze 1 during their expedition to the South Pole from 1955 to 1956. And the Super Antarctic provided a more legible dial and a more rugged case. And so is the new Nivada Grenchen Super Antarctic Re-Issue.
This watch is actually based on the specifications and case of the Antarctic Spider, itself already an update of the re-edition of the classic Antarctic. For this reason, we’ll find back the same overall design, with a restrained 38mm stainless steel case, with a height of 11.50mm and, something very pleasant for such a watch, a 200m water-resistance obtained thanks to a screwed caseback and a screw-down crown. The case is topped by a double domed sapphire crystal, adding to the vintage flair of the watch. Also note that the lug-to-lug measurement is also compact, at 45mm.
By using this specific case, the new Nivada Grenchen Super Antarctic moves away from the original design, as the historic watch featured a more “standard” case. Here, the shape is shared with the Spider watch, meaning a combination of brushed surfaces, a polished flat bezel and most importantly, these oddly cool internal, curved, polished facets. And if not historically accurate, this case is surely original in terms of design and strong regarding its specifications. The back reveals a gold medallion that is an ode to vintage Antarctic watches.
What truly sets the Super Antarctic apart is its dial. Modeled after the vintage watch, it shows all the signs of a typical exploration watch – understand here the design that most of us associate with the Rolex Explorer, minus the Arabic numerals. The base is matte black, avoiding reflections and giving a tool-ish style. On its surface, metallic elements are applied, with triangular markers every quarter and batons every 5 minutes. A classic railroad minute track complements this highly legible display. At 6 and 12 o’clock, the brand has decided to go faithful, with logos using vintage fonts and indications. And the hands, once again historically accurate, are also typical of the era and of exploration watches.
As you’d expect from such a sporty, rugged exploration watch, all the elements of the dial are largely filled with Super-LumiNova. And, to make it even better, you’ll have the choice between three different colours; pure white, light green, and my favorite, cream for a cool, vintage factor. But knowing that some watch enthusiasts have something against the so-called fauxtina trend, they will have more than one option to choose from.
Inside the case of the Nivada Grenchen Super Antarctic is an outsourced, automatic movement, the Soprod P024 – an alternative to ETA 2824-2. Simple and reliable, it shares its specification with the ETA, meaning 4Hz frequency and about 40h of power reserve. Nothing wrong here, just a classic movement that does the job and keeps the price down.
The Super Antarctic is, as standard, delivered on a brown leather strap closed by a pin buckle – as pictured here. But Nivada always offers more than one option, and you’ll be able to also opt for a tropic rubber, a black leather strap, a steel beads-of-rice or Oyster-style bracelet but also several bracelets by Forstner Bands.
Availability & Price
The Nivada Grenchen Super Antarctic is now available via a pre-order campaign, with deliveries in March 2022. During this campaign (which ends on December 15th), the price will be CHF 700, EUR 650, or USD 775. For more details and orders, please visit nivadagrenchenofficial.com.