Our Super Antarctic is the not-so-distant cousin of the original Nivada Antarctic collection launched in 1950. The original rose to fame when it was used by members of the American Navy’s Deep Freeze 1 Task Force during their expeditions in the South Pole (1955-56). It was noted as being reliable and robust enough to perform in the most extreme conditions. Today’s Super Antarctic is an evolution from the original Antarctic keeping close to the 50s’ lines & design. Just like the original Antarctics, we’ve added the 1957 International Geophysical Medallion directly on the case-back of all our modern Super Antarctics.
"This is the watch that went to the Antarctic with the U.S. Navy Operation Deepfreeze. It was repeatedly submerged in icy waters, knocked against ice & immersed in deep snow...yet it maintained steadfast accuracy wherever men and machines could go. Waterproof self-winding, shock resistant, and antimagnetic the NIVADA Antarctic can take whatever wear you give it.... anywhere"
Admiral Richard Byrd and his US Navy team were given the Nivada Antarctic to accompany them on their Operation Deep Freeze I expedition to the South Pole in 1955/1956, making it the first watch that went to the Antarctic. A feat of great proportion which earned this model a place in the history of horology! Although, until recent times, before its revival, it was the most underrated expedition watch ever.
Operation Deep Freeze is a codename for a series of United States missions to Antarctica, beginning with "Operation Deep Freeze I" in 1955-56, followed by "Operation Deep Freeze II", "Operation Deep Freeze III", etc. The name was proposed by Admiral Richard Bryde. . The main incentive behind Deep Freeze 1 was the International Geophysical Year (IGY), 1957-58. IYG was a collective effort among 40 nations to carry out various scientific studies from the North Pole to the South Pole and at points in between. The United States along with New Zealand, France, UK, Japan, Norway, Chile, Argentina, and the U.S.S.R. agreed to go to the south pole, which was the least explored and remote area on Earth. Their main goal was to gain and study the knowledge of Antarctic hydrography and weather systems, glacial movements, and marine life. U.S. Navy was charged with supporting the U.S. scientists for their portion of the IGY studies. Rear Admiral Richard E. Byrd, a veteran of four previous Antarctic Expeditions, was appointed as officer in charge of the expedition. In 1955, Task Force 43, commanded by Rear Admiral George J. Dufek, was formed, which provided logistical support for the expedition. Operation Deep Freeze I, that transpired from November 1955 to April 1956, set up a permanent research station and paved the way for more extensive research in later operations.
Case: 34mm, flat lugs, not drilled
Dial: Black dial with Nivada, Aquamatic, Super Antarctic, 21 Rubis, Swiss Made printed
Hands: Lumed sword minute hand/Lumed lollypop hour hand/Thin triangular seconds
Indices: Large triangular lumed at 3,6,9,12, applied/Baton lumed, applied
Crown: Fine-toothed, domed, unsigned
Caseback: Etched Nivada Antarctic Shield logo, STAINLESS STEEL-PRESSURE PROOF WATERPROOF-SHOCK PROTECTED-AUTOMATIC stamped 7641M2110
Movement: AS 1580 Automatic
In November 2021 Nivada Grenchen launched a modern re-issue of the Super Antarctic. Here's an interesting story about it. When one of the fans posted a vintage Super Antarctic on Instagram, Guillaume shared the post as a story on Nivada Grenchen's official Instagram account and the fans went wild. Requests started pouring in to re-issue the model. Nivada adhered to the demand of the fans and soon the Super Antarctic was launched.
It's black dial is simple but striking. Beneath the Nivada name is the word Aquamatic, (waterproof + automatic) . Above 6 is the signature Super Antarctic font with 25 RUBIS printed below. It's most striking aesthetic feature is the sword and lolly-pop, minute and hour hands. It's case back is decorated with their signature golden medallion. The 38mm case with a screw-down crown wears comfortably on the wrist.
The medallion of the Nivada antarctic is one of the most intriguing parts of the watch. It throws you into the past and depicts a scenario from operation Deep Freeze I. The embossed aircraft has the following story. On 21 October 1956, one of the first USAF aircrafts, a Douglas C-124 nicknamed "Miss North Caroline" landed in Antarctica after a 121/2-hour flight from Christchurch, New Zealand.
Deep Freeze I prepared a permanent research station, which is also etched on the medallion (along with glaciers stars and the crescent moon in the background) and paved the way for more exhaustive research in future Deep Freeze operations.
Swiss Power & Heritage
Originally designed and manufactured in Grenchen, Switzerland we’ve kept true to our roots. Our Super Antarctic is powered by the Swiss-made Soprod P024 3 hands automatic wind. All of our watches are made in Switzerland in true Nivada Grenchen authenticity and quality standards. Featuring a 100m (10 ATM) water resistance & a screw-down crown, you’ll be ready for any water: whether liquid or solid.
The Super Antarctic features a true 1950's vibe thanks to its unique lollipop hour hand & large sword minute hand combo. Complemented by the (almost) oversized triangle index markers at 3, 6, 9 and 12’o clock, you’ll clearly understand why this watch was used in conditions as harsh as the South Pole. Both dial & hands work together to provide superb legibility and elegance
They're talking about us
The prototype we send for review contains the title of the watch in another format