ANTARCTIC "THE BOOK"
A historic synopsis & preface of the book
Typed below is how the flagship model of Nivada Grenchen claimed its way to global fame Launched in the early 50s, the Aquamatic (Waterproof + Automatic) was considered to be Nivada's most robust model. Nivada used this as the base model for the Antarctic series that was launched in 1954/55. The latter was advertised as
"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 machine could go. Waterproof, selfwinding, 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 it's revival, it was the most underrated expedition watch ever.
In this book we shall cover a plethora of models, vintage as well as reissues Er limited editions, as well as a comprehensive history of the Nivada Antarctic.
Nivada tastefully updated the classic design to modern standards, yet maintaining the vintage charm. A feat not easy by any standard. The art deco applied markers at '12' (or 3,6,9 & 12) as well as the fonts, were similar to the ones used on the dial of the first generation vintage Antarctic watches. The applied markers (steel or gold plated) and dauphine hands were not lumed. You could choose from four dial shades, date & no-date versions and had an option of leather strap or different types of bracelets which added to its vintage charm.
A major refreshing twist was the golden medallion on the case back. Which, in the past was only used on chronometer certified vintage models.
The Antarctic series consisted of a plethora model besides the original pedigree line. From dress watches, to explorer watches, to divers and more. Some were even chronometer certified. Their cases were either stainless steel, gold plated with a stainless steel case back or solid gold.
Nivada Grenchen movements on the models that were imported by Croton for the US market, were etched with a COW code. This practice was used by many watch companies in that era.