Calling all lovers of indie watch brands: Geneva-based Czapek & Cie, whose Quai des Bergues model won the Public Prize at the 2016 Geneva Grand Prix, will be among the sponsoring brands at October’s WatchTime New York event — and guests there will be among the first to see the brand’s latest creation, the Czapek Place Vendôme Tourbillon Suspendu “Ici et Ailleurs.”
Czapek, which was founded in 2015, is a crowdfunding-supported brand named for François Czapek, a 19th-century Polish watchmaker who opened what is believed to be the first haute horlogerie boutique on France’s famed Place Vendôme — hence the name of this new collection. The Tourbillon Suspendu, the first model in the Place Vendôme series, features the unconventional dial layout that defined the Quai des Bergues collection, with two subdials at 4:30 and 7:30, but here adds a third subdial at 12 o’clock to display the time. The subdial on the left displays the suspended cage of the one-minute tourbillon, while the one on the right hosts the “dragging” second-time-zone disk.
Between the latter two subdials is a counterclockwise-rotating day-night disk; a power reserve display is artfully integrated into the 12 o’clock local-time subdial, which is made of grand feu enamel and has distinctive, blued fleur de lis hands sweeping over elegant Roman numerals.
Czapek also refers to these new models — one in 5N rose gold, limited to 15 pieces, the other in P1950 platinum, limited to 10 pieces — as “Lumières,” a reference to both the Age of Enlightenment, the era in which the tourbillon was invented, and the reflections flashing off the beveled edges of the dial-side bridges. The cases measure 43.5 mm in diameter and are outfitted with curved, nonreflective sapphire crystals in the front and back.
The rear sapphire crystal allows a view of the proprietary, manual-wind movement, Caliber SXH2, which Czapek developed with the complications specialists at Chronode SA. Driving the array of functions in these “Lumières” timepieces, it ticks at a frequency of 21,600 vph and amasses a 60-hour power reserve in a single mainspring barrel. The caliber is relatively large, at 9.8 mm in diameter, but also slender, at 9.8 mm in thickness despite its technical complexity. The hallmark satin-brushed bridges and openworked ratchet — signature features of the prize-winning Quai des Bergues watch — are also present in this one. Both the gold and platinum versions of the Tourbillon Suspendu “Ici et Ailleurs” (French for “here and elsewhere,” a reference to the second time zone function) are on alligator leather straps with buckles made of the same material as the case.
If you missed this exceptional and extremely rare timepiece at its debut during Baselworld 2017, you’ll have a chance to see it up close and in person at WatchTime New York, America’s biggest watch show, at Manhattan’s Gotham Hall on October 13 -14. Order your tickets now!