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Go modern vintage with the Nivada Grenchen Super Antarctic 3/6/9 Go modern vintage with the Nivada Grenchen Super Antarctic 3/6/9

Go modern vintage with the Nivada Grenchen Super Antarctic 3/6/9

Ricardo Sime

There is a strong allure to the simple time-only watch. Without all the complications to distract us, these watches instead rely heavily on their design. And more than anything, the design of a watch is what stays with us the longest. Just think about it. History is littered with such enthralling references; from the Panerai Radiomir to the Cartier Santos. The classic design of the Rolex Explorer may be one of the best examples of this. So, it should be no surprise to see a brand aim for that same classic design. Which is exactly what Nivada Grenchen is doing with their latest creation, the Super Antarctic 3/6/9.

Now before you start screaming “1016” at me, it’s important to note that the Super Antarctic 3/6/9 is inspired by an older reference of theirs. Called the Antarctic, it’s noted as being the first watch to set foot on the southern continent as part of American Navy’s Deep Freeze 1 expedition. This new Super Antarctic is heavily modelled after that original while also bringing some modern touches.

Lets take a closer look.

The Super Antarctic 3/6/9 comes in two flavours. A black dialled version and a “Cadran Tropical” one. Both come in a 38mm x 45mm stainless-steel case, featuring a highly polished bezel and brushed lugs. That play between finishes can be found throughout the case, giving it both sporty and daily wear vibes. And this is all capped by an onion screw-down crown that ensures 100m of water resistance.

Travelling in from the case and placed under an AR-coated, double-domed sapphire crystal, is a simple 3/6/9 dial. That dial though, upon closer inspection, isn’t so simple. Because Nivada Grenchen has aged these dials, using a special recipe. The black dial is aged to a point where the indices and hands are aged. For the other dial, the aging process is continued, leading to a brown tropical dial.

There will be some who are not fans of this process. Yet for those who are, each watch presents as a completely unique offering because the results of this process cannot be duplicated.

Powering the watch and hidden behind the golden medallion on the caseback is the SOPROD P024 movement. It’s based on the ETA 2824-2 movement, providing 38 hours of power reserve on a full wind and beating at 28,800 bph. Though not one of the Swiss big two “off the shelf” movement manufacturers (ETA and Sellita), the reliability seems to be good as more brands have been using the movement in recent releases.

Securing both watches to the wrist are a pair of rally leather straps. One in black and one in a caramel colour. Both straps have a decent taper, measuring 20mm at the case and down to 16mm at the buckle. The straps, with the aged looking cracked leather, go perfectly with the overall theme of the Super Antarctic 3/6/9.

Overall, the Super Antarctic 3/6/9 is an interesting watch. The sizing and design scream timeless classic. Something further solidified by the  intentional aging of the dial. Though many will take issue with that decision, there is a large contingent of collectors who love that aged look. Normally they’d aim for something vintage in order to get it. Here, Nivada Grenchen delivers something modern with the look they want. And I see nothing wrong with that.

The Nivada Grenchen Super Antarctic 3/6/9 pricing and availability:

The Nivada Grenchen Super Antarctic is currently available on their website. Price: US$750

Brand Nivada Grenchen
Model Super Antarctic 3/6/9
Case Dimensions 41.5mm x 13.8mm x 50.5mm
Case Material Stainless Steel
Water Resistance 100m
Crystal(s) Double Domed Sapphire with anti-reflective coating
Dial Black or Tropical Brown
Lug Width 20mm to 16mm
Strap Black or Brown rally strap
Movement Soprod P024 (ETA 2824 based)
Power Reserve 38 hours
Availability Available now
Price US$750