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Czapek - Czapek goes dark

Czapek Czapek goes dark

While the watch industry is in the red, Czapek has been cooking something up in the dark. And it’s a good thing: never before has a Czapek tourbillon looked like this.

Astrophysicists are always chasing dark matter. Czapek found it. “Dark Matter” is the name of the new creation of the Geneva-based brand. Its aesthetics are rather simple to grasp: everything, or almost everything, is black. But the interest doesn’t just stop there…

The creative backstage 

Czapek is a small brand. But small doesn’t mean being in the shadow of the big boys. Being small means being more flexible than them. Faster, more responsive. And when it comes to responding to customer demands, that flexibility changes everything: there is no large batch of production launched a year in advance, no product committee, no pre-series, no client benchmark and no vast marketing campaigns launched upstream. At Czapek, the credo is simple: what we want to do, we do. 

Czapek abat sa carte noire

Place Vendôme © Czapek

The “we” in question represents the management of a large company that, last year, presented excellent results. To congratulate them, the company offered its top six decision-makers a Czapek watche each from the “Place Vendôme Tourbillon” collection. But by special order only: each of these six pieces was different from the other. “We created red, green, orange and blue Place Vendôme watches with platinum cases. A real creative exercise, very audacious. Each director was able to choose his own version,” explains Xavier de Roquemaurel, CEO of Czapek. “We made almost every possible colour,” he continued. “All but one.” 

Little pleasures for big collectors

This colour is, obviously, black. “In the wake of this personalised order of six pieces, we wanted to go a step further,” continues Xavier de Roquemaurel. “The idea was to make a black dial version but to switch from platinum to titanium, so that we could also offer the watch in a black box.”

Czapek abat sa carte noire

Place Vendôme © Czapek

The result is this Place Vendôme Tourbillon “Dark Matter”, a sleek and uncompromising timepiece with a slight “bad boy” attitude, giving the tourbillon an atypical look. The watch displays its majestic escapement at 7 o’clock and its GMT display on the opposite side at 4 o’clock, as designed by the movement designer Jean-François Mojon. At 12 o’clock, off-centre, is the black dial for the hours and minutes, back by a 60-hour power reserve. At the bottom at 6 o'clock is the day/night indicator. 

The dial displays a honeycomb pattern that gives the “Dark Matter” its very modern look. One can express small reservations regarding the visible screws on the dial. 12 in total, the screws keep their rhodium-plated heads, which overall weakens potential monochromatic look of the piece. However, rumour has it that, as always at Czapek, black screws are possible upon client request. The advantage of being a small brand: they can be reactive. 

Czapek abat sa carte noire

Place Vendôme © Czapek

The right price? 

The Place Vendôme Tourbillon in the current collection retails for CHF 88,000. This “Dark Matter” version is priced at CHF 93,000. The price difference is minimal considering the work entailed: the black that dresses the entire piece is not PVD but ADLC, a three-dimensional plasmic process that is much more complex to execute, but much more resistant and durable. Limited to 10 pieces, the watch numbered 01/10 is being unveiled today during the Geneva Watch Days.

 

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Czapek & Cie. harks back to the origins of one of the watch industry’s most prestigious names, which was born from the watchmaking skills of two Polish émigrés who sought refuge in Switzerland after Poland’s November uprising. 

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