The Five Best Czapek & Cie Watches of All-Time
The Czapek name starts its roots in what is now known as the Czech Republic when Franciszek Czapek migrated to Poland during the early 1800s. However, due to the Polish uprising in which Czapek took part, he fled to Switzerland in 1832. Already a gifted watchmaker at this point, he founded his first company with a local partner, and together they called it Czabek & Moreau. At the same time, Czapek changed his first name to Francois. Shortly afterward, he partnered with a fellow Polish who also fled, Antoine Norbert de Patek, in 1836. Come 1839, the two formed Patek, Czapek & Cie. After their six-year business partnership, it was dissolved and Francois continued forward as Czapek & Cie. From 1845 onward, Czapek & Cie would carve its line of watches into what has since become globally recognized as high-end Swiss-brand watches.
When the highly esteemed watchmaker known as Francois Czapek disappeared mysteriously as of 1869, so did the company name. It wasn’t until 2012 the Czapek name was restored as a company as three entrepreneurs chose to relaunch the company. Together, they created a library of Czapek timepieces as a means to better understand the man’s work and personality. In an attempt to behave as if he is still presently making watches today, these modern-day watchmakers strive to carry the Czapek name forward with one new design after another. As of November 10, 2015, Czapek & Cie was officially relaunched in Geneva, Switzerland before an audience that included reporters, historians, and the public. Today’s Czapek owes its revival as a high-end watchmaking company to the crowdfunding efforts that have ultimately made the company into what it is today.
5. Faubourg de Cracovie Automatic Integrated Chronograph (Grand Feu)
It is the Czapek Company’s third collection, which was named after the location of Dzapek’s third boutique, Faubourg de Cracovia. Located in Warsaw, Poland, the doors to this boutique opened up for the first time in 1850. The calibre inside this modern-day design of this watch features the seven-day, manually wound movement in the Quai des Bergues and the suspended tourbillon with GMT in the Place Vendome. The Faubourg de Cracovie serves as a representation of another milestone for the modern-day Czapek Company who is taking part in the enthusiasm of timepiece creation for watch enthusiasts and collectors worldwide. Among the different timepieces coming from Czapek’s line, the Faubourg de Cracovie is classified to be the sportiest.
4. Place Vendome Manual Winding Tourbillon and GMT
Not too long before his mysterious disappearance of 1869, Francois Czapek opened up a boutique at the Parisian square, calling it Place Vendome Tourbillon Suspendu. It was the first Haute Horlogue boutique ever to arrive on this world-famous square. There are two limited editions, both of which feature a one-minute suspended tourbillon, along with a second time zone for today’s world travelers. There is also a day/night disk, a power-reserve indicator, and the unusual look of the two sub-dials at 7:30 and 4:30. The Place Vendome is the second phase coming out of Czapek’s Renaissance, which highlights travel through time from past to present, as well as present to future.
3. 3430 Pocket Watch
Originally made in 1850, this historical watch from Czapek was designed where it can only be fully wound up every Sunday. The 3430 Pocket Watch features a pair of open ratchets and an amazing detail to bring forward into modern-day society with the introduction of the SXH1 Movement. The engraved golden bees that are also featured in the design of this watch are considered among the oldest emblems of the sovereigns of France and became the symbol of Napolean III and the French Imperial. The symbol stands for Resurrection and Eternity, which is Czapek’s hallmark feature as a tribute towards the distinction of Imperial France, which they established during the Revival in 1850.
2. Antarctique Rattrapante
According to the review from Fratello Watches, is the best thing about 2021 so far. The amount of watches of this particular model produced is numbered at 77 pieces. Designed as a men’s watch, the Antarctique Rattrapante has been deemed the most inspiring piece of any form of a watch in its class from 2021. What also adds to the appeal of this particular watch is a chronological application that seemingly splits time. When the Rattrapante button is pushed at an hour such as 10 o’clock, the lower two hands stop dead while the upper hand continues forward without skipping a beat. This allows two different times that have started at the same starting point can be recorded. This makes the Antarctique Rattrapante from Czapek the first of its kind with its first split-second chronograph mechanism.
1. Quai des Bergues
This timepiece came out in March 2016 and was awarded the Public Prize at the Grand Prix de Horlogerie. It is the first watch made by Czapek since its revival, which began in 2011 but didn’t become officially recognized until 2015. What makes the watch unusual is it has to be wound on Sundays. What makes this watch so distinctive is its classical dial with the slender Roman numerals and the two subdials, much like a high-end luxury watch. The left subdial is used for continuous seconds while the right subdial is used to display the day of the week. It is also the location of the watch’s power reserve. The reason why this watch can only be wound on Sundays is due to the seven days’ worth of power reserve that has been specifically engineered to require the watch’s need every 168 hours. Should you happen to place this watch in the drawer for a few days and decide to wind it up and wear it on a Wednesday, you can only wind it up partially and stop when the indicator reaches that particular day. The specifics that went into the design of this watch come from Czapek’s 3430 pocket watch that was made in 1850, which has the exact same dial layout.