Antibody affinity is critically important in therapeutic applications, as well as steady state diagnostic assays. Picomolar affinity antibodies, approaching the association limit of protein-protein interactions, have been discovered for highly potent antigens, but even such high-affinity binders have off-rates sufficient to negate therapeutic efficacy. To cross this affinity threshold, antibodies that tether their targets in a manner other than reversible non-covalent interaction will be required. Here we report the design and construction of an antibody that forms an irreversible complex with a protein antigen in a metal-dependent reaction. The complex resists thermal and chemical denaturation, as well as attempts to remove the coordinating metal ion. Such irreversibly binding antibodies could facilitate the development of next generation "reactive antibody" therapeutics and diagnostics.