For 2018 Baselworld, Czapek & Cie introduces some colours rarely seen on engine-turned dials.
Czapek & Cie watch brand has been revived in 2015 with an exceptional collection, whose leading model won the Public Prize in the Grand Prix de l’Horlogerie in Geneva in November 2016. This collection takes its inspiration from an 1850’s Czapek time piece. It features a beautiful enamel dial and is powered by a 7-day proprietary movement, perfectly combining craftsmanship with design and exclusivity with rarity. The company is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland.
The first collection of timekeepers to herald the renaissance of Czapek & Cie is called ‘Quai des Bergues’. It is a tribute to the location where François Czapek founded the company in Geneva in 1845. At the time, this Promenade along the Rhone river was the epicenter of the Genevan ‘art de vivre’, like the Place Vendôme in Paris, where François Czapek opened what was probably the first watchmaker’s boutique on this legendary square.
“It’s important to have a twist in the watch’s design with a disruptive element,” explains Czapek & Cie CEO Xavier de Roquemaurel. “It took us a year to find the engine turning pattern that we wanted and to stand out from the tens, if not hundreds, of existing historical motifs. Nevertheless, we think that there are still many new possibilities that we can look into to develop this even further. The same is true for the dial colours, for which we believe few other brands offer such a bold selection of colours.”
Perhaps the best example of this is the “Black Prince” model, which pairs a black ADLC titanium case with a galvanised black engine-turned dial. The limited edition of 15 pieces is distinctive enough by day, but applications of SuperLuminova on the hands and hour markers add an extra sporty touch that differentiates it from the rest of the collection. The new “Havana brown” and “Slate Grey” models are equally distinctive with the warm tones oftheir dials and will be available as a strictly limited edition of just 15 pieces in a rose-gold case for the former and ten pieces in stainless steel for the latter. For these three models, the bold colours of the dial are enhanced with a galvanic coating that plays with light reflections, meaning that the tone of the dial can change according to different light conditions – a characteristic that was popular on the first “Aqua Blue” version.
Even bolder, however, are the “Red Rhubarb” and “Rainforest Green” versions, which will be available as limited editions of just 10 pieces. In this case the colours are so bold that a galvanic treatment would have been impossible, so Czapek & Cie opted for a lacquer coating on the hand engine-turned finish.
The first two new models, the Aqua Blue and Sea Salt Grey, are available in the 42.5mm and 38.5mm case sizes, the Black Prince, Havana Brown and Slate Grey models are only available in the original Czapek & Cie 42.5 mm case. The Red Rhubarb and Rainforest Green models are only available in the new 38.5mm case that has been a hit with the ladies. Given that these engine-turned dials are all handmade, they are only available as strictly limited series of between 10 and 25 pieces. Each series is unique and identified by a letter of the alphabet
Czapek & Cie has chosen to keep these new models engine-turned dials at the same price as those with the grand feu enamel dials, even though the hand engine-turned dials actually cost slightly more to manufacture. That’s good news for the Czapek faithful and anyone looking for something different in terms of design and colour combinations, with retail prices starting at 14,800 Swiss francs (~US Dollar 15,959) for the stainless-steel models, rising to 18,000 for the titanium and 25,900 Swiss francs for the gold.