Geneva, October 2020 – Czapek & Cie teams up with Arab Watch Club to create a unique piece, a Place Vendome model with an exceptional zoïsite dial – a world first – that will be auctioned by Christie’s in order to support Emirates Foundation – Czapek Place Vendome Al Kanz.
A spirit of collaboration
In hard times, being resilient and forging collaborations to become stronger and to help out those in need is key. This belief is strongly instilled in the mindset of Czapek & Cie as the Geneva-based independent brand of haute horlogerie is well-known for its collaborative spirit, as reinforced by its motto “We Collect Rare People”.
Relaunched via crowd-funding, Czapek has always promoted the names of its manufacturing partners and involved them, along with its shareholders and collectors throughout every creative process. It also sustains a range of good causes, such as Only Watch or the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award Foundation, by donating its timepieces to help raise funds.
Now, Czapek has teamed up with one of the most prominent group of collectors in the Arab region, the Arab Watch Club, to support Emirates Foundation. To help raise funds for the volunteer organisation, Czapek has crafted a unique piece for the Place Vendome collection, the most exclusive collection within its portfolio. Named “Al Kanz”, or “The Treasure”, in Arabic, the unique piece will be auctioned by Christie’s.
Ahmed Talib Al Shamsi, Acting CEO of Emirates Foundation, said that he welcomed the collaboration between the Arab Watch Club and world-renowned watchmaker, Czapek & Cie, calling it a fine example of how mutually beneficial relationships can arise when the private sector applies its social responsibilities to good causes. He said: “As a national UAE organisation set up as a public-private partnership to focus on community development and crisis resilience through volunteerism, we rely on partnerships such as this to help us fulfill our commitments to the community. Considering the current pandemic and the tremendous affects it had on all members of our society, the need for highly qualified and trained emergency responders has increased exponentially. As such, we must be prepared to scale our reach in order to train volunteers to be more prepared for any adversity in the future. The proceeds from the Christie’s watch auction are very welcome, and will be channeled towards growing an emergency relief fund to develop specialised training courses tailored to train and qualify our volunteer forces.”
Xavier de Roquemaurel, CEO of Czapek & Cie, commented: “The idea of this collaboration came to our friends at the Arab Watch Club. They always had the wish of creating an exceptional piece for the benefit of a worthy cause linked to the region, and we chose to become partner of this club’s project.
Hassan Al Akhras, known as Arab Watch Guide in the watch community and the founder of the Arab Watch Club added: “Our club members, who are originally from all across the region, have always been conscious of their social responsibilities and always wanted to contribute through their passion of Horology to a greater cause supporting their community; this project with Czapek & Cie and Emirates Foundation is a true realization of our vision.”
The Place Vendôme “Al Kanz”
The Place Vendôme “Al Kanz” 43.5mm titanium Grade 5 case hosts Czapek’s proprietary, manually wound SXH2 movement beating at 21,600 vph (3 Hz). The single barrel spring delivers a solid 60 hours of power. The movement finish includes satin-brushed bridges and open worked ratchet. Czapek’s signature subdials at 7:30 and 4:30 carry a one-minute suspended tourbillon and a second time zone indication. The tourbillon and GMT rings are made of steel and covered with a green nanometrical layer. This process, originally invented for the medical industry, is a variant of the chemical vapor deposit, called ALD. It is executed by Positive Coating, in La-Chaux-de-Fonds.
The ring displaying hours and minutes at 12 o’clock is made of Zoïsite, a very special green semi-precious stone with an irregular dark grey speckling, a world’s first in watchmaking.
“With our partner GT Cadrans, in Lonay, we were looking for something green, but most of the options had already been extensively used. When I saw the Zoïsite, it was literally love at first sight!” explained Xavier de Roquemaurel. “So far, only the center ruby part of this stone has been utilized for dials, while the green part was overlooked and considered too fragile. Instead, we decided to have a sustainable approach to dial making and reveal one of the unknown treasures on Earth. This is the reason behind the timepiece’s name ‘Al Kanz, The Treasure’.”
All the details in the Al Kanz have been object of a meticulous research. The small center dial is engraved with an Arabic pattern reinterpreted by Czapek’s head designer Adrian Buchmann, inspired by the beautiful motifs of the Arabic Mosques and other legendary regional buildings. The engraving has been made by hand by Le Locle-based Michèle Rothen-Rebetez, one of the most famous and talented Swiss hand-engravers. The very rare “aubergine” hue has been achieved by electroplating by Comblemine, in Saint-Sulpice, renown for collaborating with a number of Swiss fine watchmaking firms.
Emirates Foundation is an independent organization set up by the Government of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi to facilitate public-private funded initiatives to improve the welfare of youth across the UAE and encourage them to embrace the concept of volunteerism. Through grants and operational projects aligned with the nation’s vision, Emirates Foundation has journeyed over the past 15 years, impacting the lives of people positively and permanently. The Foundation’s National Emergency Response Volunteering Program, known as SANID, is the first volunteering program specialised in Emergency Response and Disaster Management in the Middle East. It draws on the strengths of proven international models to build teams of trained volunteers who can cope with national and international emergencies, thus demonstrating the UAE’s readiness to manage any crisis situation and reduce risks to society, the economy and the environment.
More than 5000 SANID volunteers have played a pivotal role in the national efforts to combat Covid-19 across all Emirates. Volunteers are supporting the relevant authorities in screening centers, hospitals, clinics, international borders, airports, quarantine facilities, and hotels. They are assisting patients and families with their needs and supporting frontline workers in their daily duties. They also took part in the National Sanitisation Programme that was launched by the Ministry of Health and Prevention and the Ministry of Interior as a nationwide cleansing campaign in an effort to curb the spread of the virus.
The Place Vendôme “Al Kanz” by Czapek & Cie and Arab Watch Club will be exhibited in Dubai at Christie’s premises (Gate Village, Trade Centre DIFC) from 19th to 25th October and at the Four Seasons Hotel de Bergues in Geneva on 7th and 8th November, as part of Christie’s Luxury Week. Christie’s will offer this spectacular piece in the “Watches Online: Geneva Edit” sale which will take place from 5th to 19th November, 2020.
All the proceedings from the Al Kanz sale will be donated to the Emirates Foundation.
More information on the sale can be found at: www.christies.com/salelanding/index.aspx?salenumber=19729&saleroomcode=gnv&lid=1&saletitle=