X
Stay on top of all watchmaking news ! OK
×

This search is sponsored by Bovet 1822

Search in :

Czapek

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. 

About

The Patek, Czapek & Cie. watch brand was born when two Polish émigrés, Antoine Patek and François Czapek, joined forces in Geneva. In 1845, at the end of their partnership, François Czapek 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. On 10th November 2015 the Czapek name and brand were revived in a new company in true 21st century style: the three initial entrepreneurs have now become 200 watch-loving shareholders supporting the company and turning its revival into a remarkable (ad)venture.

The first model stands out with a unique design featuring two sub-dials in the bottom half of the dial, recalling those of an original Czapek & Cie. watch No. 3430 from 1850. It is fitted with exclusive movements developed in conjunction with Chronode (Jean-François Mojon), and in 2016 it won the Public Prize of the Grand Prix d' Horlogerie in Geneva. 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.

 

1839
Patek, Czapek & Cie is founded
1845
Czapek & Cie is founded
2012
Czapek & Cie is resurrected
2015
The equity crowdfunding is officially launched
2016
Czapek wins the “Public Prize” at the GPHG
2019
Czapek opens its first boutique in Geneva
Philosophy

Czapek wants to become a fine watch brand for watch lovers by watch lovers. By involving potential customers in the company financing from the outset, its aims to foster a lasting relationship, while ensuring a limited production to maintain a level of exclusivity.

The brand expects to appeal to people who are not buying their first or second fine timepieces but possibly their third. Once a collector has acquired a piece from a mainstream luxury brand, then progressed to their first simple gold watch, Czapek aims to meet a more niche requirement in terms of functions and complications.

Czapek has a philosophy of transparency, indicating the provenance of its components from the industry’s leading suppliers and presenting a clear road map in terms of both product and business development. This philosophy comes from the integration of the shareholders in a co-creation process, and from a culture of sharing that goes beyond that of crowdfunding.

Collections

Quai des Bergues

Available in gold (with enamel dials), titanium or stainless steel the Quai des Bergues is immediately identifiable by its two subdials, one for the small seconds and another in the form of an original combined power reserve/weekday indicator with a double-edged hand. It is fitted with an exclusive manually-wound calibre with a 7-day power reserve developed by Chronode.

Place Vendôme

The Place Vendôme Tourbillon Suspendu “Ici et Ailleurs” collection is named after the Parisian square where François Czapek opened a boutique in the mid-19th Century, assumed to be the first Haute Horlogerie boutique ever on this world-famous square. The four limited-edition models feature a one-minute suspended tourbillon, together with a second time zone for today’s world travelers, a day/night disk, and a power reserve indicator. Even with the new functionalities, Czapek lovers will easily recognize the watch’s unusual look with the two subdials at 7:30 and 4:30.

The Place Vendôme is the second phase in the Czapek Renaissance. It highlights the travel through time from past to present and now from present to future.

Faubourg de Cracovie

The Faubourg de Cracovie chronograph is the company’s third collection and was named after the location of Czapek third boutique, which he opened in 1850 in Warsaw, Poland. The caliber inside is also Czapek’s third, following the seven-day manually-wound movement in the Quai des Bergues and the suspended tourbillon with GMT in the Place Vendôme, both famous locations of the late François Czapek. This caliber is a 5Hz, column-wheel, integrated chronograph that makes use of some of the most advanced and effective mechanical elements, like the linear hammer, which reduces wear and tear on parts and resets all the associated dials in one easy movement, and the vertical clutch, ensuring a perfect start for the chronograph hand. The Faubourg de Cracovie represents another major milestone in the company’s modern history… for the pleasure of watch lovers and collectors world-wide.

Watches

Rebirth of a legendary name

Franciszek Czapek was a Polish exile who arrived in Geneva in 1832. After changing his name to François Czapek, the master watchmaker continued to assembled watches in Switzerland. In 1839 he set up a six-year partnership with another Polish exile, Antoni Patek, forming the company Patek, Czapek & Cie. At the end of the partnership, there was no longer a will to continue, so Patek teamed up with Adrien Philippe to found what is now the world-famous Patek Philippe brand, while Czapek joined forces with Juliusz Gruzewski, who was a friend of Napoleon III and thus had ties to the Imperial Court.

From the late 1860s the story becomes vague, with no known date of death for Czapek. The business may have continued for some time after its founder's death, but then it was lost to history and we will never know exactly what became of the company. But in 2011, when the name Czapek & Cie. was revived by a consortium consisting of watch marketing expert Xavier de Roquemaurel, art expert Harry Guhl and watchmaker Sébastien Follonier.

When a luxury watch company meets crowdfunding

Czapek & Cie. took an unusual and daring approach to relaunching the brand name at international level in a crowded marketplace. It was the first luxury watch brands to start a crowdfunding campaign not to directly buy a watch but to acquire a stake in the brand itself (with obvious benefits as a shareholder). The campaign was a resounding success that allowed Czapek & Cie. to come to market with its first model with its own in-house movement. This 7-day movement was developed in conjunction with watchmaker Jean-François Mojon and its design allowed the first Czapek & Cie. watch to mimic an original Czapek design with subsidiary counters in the bottom half of the dial - one for the small seconds and the other for the power reserve. The fact that the manually-wound movement has a rather unusual power reserve of seven days means that this scale can also be used to indicate the day of the week. Czapek & Cie. is a firm believer in sourcing the individual components of its watches from the very best suppliers. Its use of a stainless steel unique in the industry, the finest engine-turned dials and the very best in Swiss Made movements are testament to this. All Czapek & Cie. watches are 100% Swiss Made.

Luxury gold, special steel

The case of the first Czapek & Cie. watch, the Quai des Bergues (named after the address of François Czapek's first shop, which was possibly the first of its kind in Geneva), comes in a choice of white gold or rose gold, titanium or Czapek & Cie.'s own unique version of stainless steel, called "XO" steel. Available with an engine-turned or grand feu enamel dial, this model is further distinguished by its hands. The hands can be either skeletonised arrowhead hands or fleur-de-lys tipped hands in blued steel.

Tourbillon fans will appreciate the Place Vendôme watches, which are available with a case in gold or platinum. It retains the signature Czapek & Cie. dial with the two subsidiary indications at 4.30 and 7.30, but these now house the suspended tourbillon for the former and a second time zone display, as well as separate day/night and power reserve indications. The time is displayed on a subsidiary dial at 12 o'clock with an enamel insert and miniature fleur-de-lys hands in blued steel.

Czapek & Cie.'s first chronograph saw the light of day in 2018 and combines the very best in watchmaking crafts on its dial, which is available either in grand feu enamel or with the brand's signature "ricochet" engine-turned pattern. The case keeps the similar design but with a smaller diameter and the chronograph pushers thoughtfully integrated into the case middle. Its automatic movement is a bespoke implementation by Vaucher Manufacture Fleurier with a vertical clutch and column wheel. It operates at a high frequency of 36,000 vph and offers a 65-hour power reserve. On the chronograph models the hands are full arrowhead style for greater legibility.