Czapek & Cie is a watch brand that celebrated its 175th anniversary with a very special edition watch. They dubbed it the Sursum Corda. This unique piece is a complicated watch that at first glance draws the eyes in for a closer look with its mysterious and opulent aesthetic. For those of you who have not yet had the pleasure of viewing or experiencing it, here are 10 things you didn’t know about the Czapek & Cie Sursum Corda.
1. There is a rich history behind the watch and its brand
Czapek & Cie is a fairly new brand among those centuries-old, but it has connections to the 19th century Polis watchmaker Franciszek Czapek who formed a partnership with Antoni Norbert de Patek of the Patek Philippe watch fame. Czapek was a watchmaker for Napoleon III, but the brand disappeared until it was resurrected in 2012. It rose from antiquity to the modern age with all rights to the name and the brand formally purchased.
2. The name has an interesting meaning
The name of this exquisite creation has a profound meaning. Sursum Corda is translated to mean “lift up your hearts.” It was so named for the struggle that the current owners encountered while attempting to revive an antiquated brand. The motto is directed towards those who accomplished their goal and it’s aimed towards collectors who understand the value of the struggle to bring back to life an important brand in the history of horology.
3. The movement is a collaborative effort
The movement that powers the Sursum Corda is a labor of love and dedication undertaken by the current brand owners and Chronode in Le Locle. The movement is a caliber SXH1 measuring 4.7 mm in thickness and 32 mm in diameter. The hand-wound movement beats at a frequency of 3 Hz with a power reserve of 7 days. The functions include House, Minutes, and Seconds. Other interesting details of the design include sandblasted bridges, blue screws, double open rachets, bevelling, and a final anglage main.
4. The Sursum Corda is the flagship design of Czapek & Cie with master designers
This unique piece embodies the message that the brand intends to impart to the world, and that is one of uplifting with beauty. The base plate of the dial is cased by Precinox in La-Chaux-de-Fonds. Each component has been procured from masters at their craft. The small seconds subdial as well as the hour ring and inscriptions ring were made by Metalem. Donze Cadrans created the cloisonne world map, and Michele Rothen, master engraver adopted an Adrian Buchmann design for the hand-engraved outer ring.
5. The details of the dial are exquisite
When you look at the Sursum Corda, the first thing that you notice is the uniqueness of the dial. It is crafted of grey and blue colors with a world map located in the very center, made of cloisonne enamel. The center band inside the ring is made of brushed white gold to lend the effect of depth and variation, featuring the hours’ outer ring.
6. The outer ring is hand engraved
The outer ring that displays the Arabic numerals for the time, has one of the most unique formats we’ve seen. There is a wavy pattern in the white gold that lends a magnificent texture. We learned that this brushed texture applied to create the waves is completely done by hand. There is no stamping, making each example in the line a unique piece. This is a detail that most collectors will find to be thrilling.
7. This is a watch for the customer
It’s not difficult to obtain a unique and collectible timepiece if you have the money and the time to invest in watching and bidding at auctions, but the Sursum Corda is a piece that directly involves the original owners. While you could buy one that is already completed, Czpaek & Cie invites buyers to get involved in the creation of their own unique timepiece. The brand produces bespoke models of this watch that are truly one of a kind and crafted at the request and discretion of the purchaser.
8. The world map has some interesting features
It’s vital to be aware of the processes used in the creation of the cloisonne world map. Donze Cadrans chose a blue and grey finish which they sandblasted to bring the texture of the terrain to the fore. Then they separated each of the five seas with 0.1 mm of white gold walls to contain the continents and finished the seas in turquoise.
9. The engraving of the ring is meaningful
The inscription that is hand-engraved in the ring that encircles the world bears the name of the timepiece in Latin, which is Sursum Corda. You’ll notice that the translation in English is Lift Up your Hearts, and it is also included. The motto is also engraved in Italian, German, and French, the three main languages spoken in Switzerland. It’s noteworthy that the complete engraving found in the dial took over 40 hours to complete on each timepiece.
10. The Czapek & Cie Sursum Corda is a genuine collectible timepiece
For some, the Sursum Corda is an interesting and different watch with a fairly opulent and old-world aesthetic, but it goes far beyond this once you know the full story behind the timepiece. It stands as a representative of the history of the brand that dates back to the 19th century. It’s the resurrection of an antiquated brand that brings with it a story that is worth retelling. This is a modern iteration of an old brand that has maintained much of the DNA of its predecessors. The utmost care in the engineering and design process has been dedicated to the creation of the Sursum Corda. Each carefully applied detail of the watch from the elements of the dial to the inner workings of the movement beneath speak of its uniqueness and value to a collector with discriminating tastes and a fancy for the reminders of yesteryear.