Czapek & Cie comes with a some powerful novelties at Baselworld 2019: ultralight titanium case, platinum and gem set case, panda enamel chrono, as well, some other lovely enamel exercises. A big plus and an unusual complication in time measuring… an hourglass. Check the press release below.
LIGHT AND SHADOW – CZAPEK & CIE: MAGIC FROM MECHANICAL MARVELS
Geneva, March 2019 – For its 2019 Baselworld presence, Czapek & Cie is unveiling a new version of its highest-end watch yet. The Place Vendôme, featuring a tourbillon and a GMT function, is being released in two special luxurious editions, one in titanium, the other set with diamonds.
The tourbillon ranks as one of the most distinguished complications in Haute Horlogerie. That does not mean that it is strictly reserved for those impassioned by mechanical marvels. Czapek & Cie has now created a pairing of Place Vendôme with two very different auras.
The model called “Ombres,” or “shadows,” comes in a grade 5 titanium. It is not only lighter on the wrist, but has a rugged, faintly greyish tint that creates an elemental feeling. The case stretchers have been carefully machined and sandblasted. The watch face, delicately framed by a thinner bezel, is anchored at the lower end by the suspended tourbillon at 8 o’clock and the second time zone at 4 o’clock. Between the two is the day/night indicator in the second time zone. At 12 o’clock, the time giving dial stares from a sombre dial, justifying the name of the model.
“We are fascinated by the subtle shift in character brought about by the use of a different metal and the addition of hues,” says Xavier de Roquemaurel, the Czapek CEO. “It’s now a watch that defies categorizations. It is mysterious, even a touch romantic, and yet still maintains a strong mechanical-functional spirit.”
The second watch in this special edition is as different in style as day and night. “Etincelles,” or sparks, earns its name from a train of seventy-two baguette diamonds that grace the bezel and cascade onto the lugs. They illuminate the watch and highlight the alabaster whiteness of the enamel dial, further accentuating the light that sparkles at each movement of the wrist. They also turn the watch into an elegant dress timepiece for special occasions. The 43,5-millimeter model comes in a platinum case that has retained all the features of the original Place Vendôme, notably the refined Fleur de Lys hands on the main watch dial.
Etincelles and Ombres are driven by the tried-and-true, hand-wound SXH2 Czapek proprietary movement developed with Chronode. This elegant engine can be seen through the transparent case back. Ombres will be in a limited edition of 25 pieces, whereas Etincelles will come in a limited edition of 10 pieces.
Czapek & Cie will be presenting its latest models at Baselworld 2019, from March 20 to 26, Hall 1.0 sud “Les Ateliers”, Booth L05
EXPRESSIONS IN ENAMEL – CZAPEK & CIE REIMAGINES FOUR OF ITS OUTSTANDING MODELS.
Geneva, March 2019 – Following the release of new dial variants in January, Czapek & Cie is continuing to explore a high-end finishing range of options. Four of the company’s tried-and-true models will be presented at Baselworld 2019 as a special series: They have received new dials in brilliant enamel variations, thanks to collaborations with Czapek’s shareholders and manufacturing partners.
In fine watchmaking, precision and efficiency in mechanics must be matched by a timepiece’s appearance. And the most prominent feature of any watch will be the dial, the very real face of time. That is why Czapek & Cie decided to look further into the ancient art of enamelling as a way to extend the aesthetic range of some existing models. “Enamel is durable and it renders colour with a special feeling of depth,” says CEO Xavier de Roquemaurel. “So we decided to tap into our partnerships with Donzé Cadrans and Metalem to create new dials for present and future owners and to pay tribute to our concept of horizontal manufacturing.”
The Quai des Bergues 25ter, for example, has a brilliant Grand-Feu white dial in perfect harmony with the keen-edged 42.5-millimeter steel case. It gives the watch a natural lightness and clarity. Another Quai des Bergues, this time an S model in 38.5mm, was used to develop a new approach to the “flinqué” technique, which combines guilloché with enamel. In this case, Czapek partner Metalem recreated the company’s own Ricochet design on a stamping tool which was then applied to a silver plate. A blue enamel with an exclusive sapphire tone was then added by Donzé Cadrans. The hue was created following the inputs of a panel of Czapek shareholders and collectors. “Perfecting it involved a lot of fine tuning,” de Roquemaurel recalls “Blue is becoming ubiquitous so finding a strong and unique blue required inspiration from past and present hues lingering in the zeitgeist.”
The grand-feu technique, which bakes the enamel at over 800°C ingrains brilliance and exuberance to a white dial. Black enamel, on the other hand, becomes ocean-deep and mysterious. To achieve this effect perfectly for the Quai des Bergues Black Enamel S, the normally vaulted dial plate had to be flattened to ensure the even spread of the enamel application.
Finally, Czapek decided to use enamelling to create the 41.5-millimeter Faubourg de Cracovie Tao, an unprecedented black and white Grand-Feu enamel “panda” watch. The two subdials at 9 and 3 o’clock have been slightly sunken into the striking white dial and appear in shiny black, like the eyes of a panda – the famous analogy used to describe such chronographs. The subsidiary seconds dial at 6 o’clock has remained white, with the date almost incorporated creating a kind of mouth for the panda. Finally, the 12 in Roman numeral is still red as a focal point of the watch. It’s where everything begins.
“These impulses have come from the owners and members of the company,” de Roquemaurel points out. “Together with our manufacturing partners we are engaged in an extraordinary adventure to unleash all the potential of Czapek, whose spiritus rector and original founder, François Czapek, was an outstandingly creative watchmaker.” The four models of the Expressions in Enamel special series will be presented at Baselworld, March 20-26, 2019.
The Sands of Time – Czapek & Cie and Moser Glassworks let time slide by
Geneva, March 2019 – Czapek & Cie is unveiling more than just watches at this year’s Baselworld trade fair. The Swiss brand joined forces with Moser Glassworks, a historic Czech glass manufacturer, to create an outstanding sculpture of Bohemian crystal that doubles as a device to measure time.
The hourglass is one of the first instruments invented by man to measure the passage of time. And like all time-tellers, it has its own way of expressing itself. It represents the inexorable flow of time, and also balance. The hourglass invites us to watch each moment slip by and to seize it. Czapek and Moser Glassworks, two companies with roots combining a mid-19th century birth with a Czech-born founder, chose this emblematic object to launch an unusual collaboration imagined by a common friend and shareholder.
“The relationship goes even deeper,” explains Czapek & Cie CEO Xavier de Roquemaurel. “For Czapek and Moser craftsmanship is a fundamental value, as well as the search for absolute beauty and aesthetic perfection. So with Moser, it was mutual love at first sight!”
The dialogue between the two brands began with the idea of exploring the concept of the beauty of time. The initial thought of producing a collection of crystal clocks blossomed into a collaboration on an hourglass, a pure, original and refined product. “The magic of watchmaking and glassmaking lies in the human touch of extremely talented artisans with years of training, hard-work and experience,” explains Moser Glassworks CEO František Schneider.”
Czapek and Moser designers worked closely to create this crystal marvel whose very shape appears timeless. Various elements are conjoined to make this fine 20-centimeter tall object of eternal beauty. Earth is represented by the glassmaking sand, the silica crystals (Si O₂) in their purest form, quartz, which Moser is famous for and remains among the very few to use it in the world. A combination of oxides are is used to colour the Moser crystal, which is which is made without the use of lead not leaded and therefore ecologically sound. The base mixture is then fired, melted into enamel, and then cast into hand-crafted wooden moulds. The final object is shaped by air blown by Moser’s skilled Masters. Water, finally, is used to cool down the mould and the hands of the glassmaker.
The hourglass was built to count out five minutes that flow from top to bottom. “In today’s hectic life, it is important to take five minutes, be that to meditate, cultivate self-awareness, breathe, or pray,” explains Xavier de Roquemaurel with a smile. “Five minutes for yourself can put you in just the right spirit for your daily routines.”
The Czapek & Cie and Moser Glassworks “Sands of Time” hourglass will be produced in 18 pieces only and will be on sale in the two brands’ boutiques and exclusive retailers at a price of CHF 5,000 from May 2019.
Hand-made by Moser Glassworks master glassmakers
Mouth-blown from the pure unleaded ecological crystal glass
Hand cut and hand polished to a high gloss
Pure un-leaded crystal glass, silica crystals (Si O₂)
Height: 22,5 cm
Time measured: 5 mins
François Czapek was a Czech-born Polish watchmaker who fled to Geneva in 1832 after fighting in the Polish Uprising. He started his own atelier and, in 1839, entered into a partnership with Antoine Norbert de Patek, introducing him to the world of watchmaking. In 1845, at the end of their partnership, he created Czapek & Cie and achieved considerable success. He became the official watchmaker of Napoleon III and opened what was most likely the first watchmaking boutique on Place Vendôme in Paris. He also wrote a book, in which he shared his passion and knowledge about watchmaking with his contemporaries. Sharing passion became the driver behind the company’s rebirth in 2015. The three initial entrepreneurs have now become 250 watch-loving shareholders supporting the company and turning its revival into a remarkable (ad)venture. The company’s first model, Quai des Bergues No.33, based on an original Czapek pocket watch, won the Public Prize of the Grand Prix d’ Horlogerie in Geneva in November 2016. It features a beautiful enamel dial and a seven-day proprietary movement that combines exclusive design with perfect craftsmanship. The company’s second collection, a suspended Tourbillon with a second time-zone, was launched one year later in 2017. The first Czapek chronograph, Faubourg de Cracovie, was unveiled at Baselworld 2018. The company has its headquarters and a boutique in Geneva, Switzerland.
About Moser Glassworks
The luxury crystal brand is named after Ludwig Moser, who established his own engraving workshop and glass shop near the famous Market Colonnade in Karlovy Vary, in March 1857. Within a quarter-century, he had laid the foundations for glassworks, where master glass-blowers, cutters, painters and engravers created unique art works from pure, un-leaded crystal. Luxury beverage sets, decorative objects and Moser master-engravings are popular items among fans of original crystal objects the world round. In the Czech Republic, Moser is perceived as the most luxurious Czech brand.
For more information, please visit the Czapek & Cie Website.