Czapek & Cie presents an exceptional timepiece, the Czapek Place Vendôme Tourbillon Suspendu Ici et Ailleurs with a special acanthus leaf engraving. This example of Haute Horlogerie craftsmanship is only available on special order, making each watch a unique piece.
The Czapek Place Vendôme collection, launched at Baselworld in 2017 (see our full review here), has been enriched by a new and ultra-exclusive model: the Tourbillon Suspendu Ici et Ailleurs with special hand-engraving of acanthus leaves on the case and crown done by one of the top artists in her field, Michèle Rothen Rebetez.
The acanthus leaf, a classic in Roman art, was already featured on the limited-edition Quai des Bergues in platinum. The current version represents the epitome of this art on a watch case. The Czapek original design is inspired from the Assisi Cathedral paintings, whereas the technique comes more from the sculptures and bas-reliefs of the Cathedral of Orvieto, in Umbria. The artist used a micro-hammering technique to obtain lots of detail and make the acanthus appear to stand out very naturally on the background. This effect is achieved by darkening the contours of the engraving, thus highlighting the delicate and precise work on the hand-mirror polished leaf, which reflects the light in myriad ways.
Finding an artist willing and capable of replicating this kind of workmanship on platinum was a challenge in itself.
“Michèle did an extraordinary job, creating acanthus leaves that come to life from platinum, in a game of light and shadow”, says Xavier de Roquemaurel, CEO of Czapek & Cie. “We are delighted to have found each other. Michèle totally understood our approach to watchmaking. She represents the pinnacle of craftsmanship, which is also one of our founding values.”
The platinum dial of the Place Vendôme Tourbillon Suspendu Ici et Ailleurs with the acanthus leaf engraving is based on the collection launched in 2017. The dial is in champlevé with a grand-feu enamel ring that bears the Roman numerals. The fine fleur-de-lys hands are back, harmonizing with an anthracite bead-blasted main plate and suspended bridges of polished steel. The two characteristic Czapek subdials feature a tourbillon on the left and the second time zone on the right. The new model is still driven by the proprietary, manually wound SXH2 movement developed with Chronode. It beats at 21,600 vph (3 Hz). A one-minute suspended tourbillon with a second time zone, a day/night disk – both running – and a 60-hour power reserve indicator complete the watch’s features. The decorative elements include traditional satin-brushed bridges, circular bevelling, hand-chamfering, blued screws and the open-worked ratchet. This exceptional timepiece illustrates outstanding craftsmanship. It is only available by special order in platinum or rose gold, making each watch a unique piece.
About Czapek & Cie
François Czapek was a Czech-born Polish watchmaker who fled to Geneva in 1832 after fighting in the Polish uprising. He immediately started his own atelier and in 1839 entered into a partnership with Antoine Norbert de Patek, introducing him to the world of watchmaking.
In 1845, at the end of their partnership, he 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 the Place Vendôme in Paris. He wrote a book about watchmaking, one of the first ever written in Polish. Unfortunately, he died before publishing a second one. Czapek & Cie has been revived in 2015 with an exceptional collection, whose leading model won the Public Prize in the Grand Prix de l’Horlogerie in Geneva in November 2016. This collection takes its inspiration from an 1850’s Czapek time piece. It features a beautiful enamel dial and a 7-day proprietary movement perfectly combining craftsmanship with design and exclusivity with rarity. The Company’s second collection, a suspended Tourbillon with a second time-zone, was launched one year later in 2017. The company is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland.