Czapek releases two new models for its Quai de Bergues lineup with enamel guilloché dials in a deep emerald green and a iridescent marine blue.
Press Release info with commentary in italics.
New: Czapek Quai de Bergues revised with Sapphire Blue and Emerald Green dials in a larger case
The new Czapek Quai de Bergues Sapphire Blue L and Emerald Green L is set for a retail of CHF 18,000 before taxes.
The Czapek Quai de Bergues was one of the first watches released by Czapek, bringing the collection to a total of 18 watches. We covered the Fleur de Lys release in some detail back in 2016. The original release was encased in gold and measure 43.4mm in diameter. They carried the SXH1 movement which is developed and manufactured for Czapek by Chronode.
The novelties retain the size (somewhat, the new watch is now 42.5mm) and movement used, but with some modifications. The case size now carries the designation L (for large, we presume as there is a model with S which measures 38.5mm). Both novelties are released in a “mysterious XO” (Czapek’s words, not ours) stainless steel case in a design which Czapek calls “Revolution”.
The dial is the Ricochet pattern in flinqué enamel in the two brilliant hues. The enamel coated guilloché dials are made by Donzé Cadrans. The two dials offer a very eye catching aesthetics, but both are very bright and make bold statements. Not for the faint hearted. The Blue is a iridescent, in a middle-dark tone of blue, but very bright. This is the same hue as that chosen in the 2019 Sapphire Blue S which, as mentioned is a smaller case. The green is new, and Czapek describes as emerald green, but is also an almost iridescent hue reminiscent of the green moss covered forests in bright light.
“Flinqué” is a technique combining the stamping of geometric patterns, which have been initially engraved on a dial using the guilloché technique, with enamelling. The guilloché pattern used with the original “flinqué” technique was so recognizable that it gave it its name. Nowadays any pattern can be used in a “flinqué” dial. Czapek had its partner Metalem recreate its own “Ricochet ®” design – a motif inspired by the ripples of a stone skipped on a lake – on a stamping tool. Once the décor is stamped on a silver plate, an intense ‘moiré’ enamel is applied by another Czapek partner, Donzé Cadran. It is then finally fired in a kiln to harden the enamel. The process is repeated several times until the right hue is achieved.
The movement is retained as the SXH1, but gets a facelift. The form of the bridges is now harmonised with the lacy and complex architecture of the SXH5 used in their very popular Antarctique models. The transformation is to open up the movement to expose the gear train. The bridge plate and balance bridges are now pierced to allow the eye to catch a glimpse of what lies within. The finishing also gets more attention, with deeper chamfering and the use of mi-glace (meaning smooth, glazed) rubies, with have a different shape than the regular rubies.
But the changes are more than skin deep, as the regulation system is updated with an inertia balance with a Breguet terminal curve spring.
Czapek & Cie has announced the release of two new models for its Quai des Bergues guilloché “Ricochet” line. Besides striking new enamel colours, lovers of fine mechanics will find an exciting, redesigned movement inside.
At first glance, the new variants will be familiar. The unique Ricochet pattern in flinqué enamel on the dial is back, but this time in two dazzling colours composed for Czapek by its partner Donzé Cadrans. The Sapphire Blue L has a somewhat dreamy, iridescent, marine hue, exclusive to Czapek and inspired by its predecessor introduced in 2019, the Sapphire Blue S. On the other hand, the deep emerald green tone, close to British racing green, gives the dial an unusual intensity.
There’s more to the new Quai des Bergues than colours, though. The calibre driving the watch, the manually wound, seven-day power reserve SXH1, has been given a careful make-over. “The spirit of the watch has not been touched,” says Czapek CEO Xavier de Roquemaurel, “but we have had a second look at the movement and identified what you might call evolutionary inflection points.”
The idea of remodelling the movement aesthetically originated with the company’s fans, as has often been the case with Czapek. The Quai des Bergues’ original SXH1 calibre had been designed in the spirit of the traditional Genevan craftsmen known as the cabinotiers. It was very technical and sober.
“When we released the Antarctique with its lacy bridges and complex architecture, people were amazed. So, we realized we had to harmonise all of our movements along those lines.”Xavier de Roquemaurel, CEO Czapek
Transforming an existing movement can be more difficult than developing a new one. The most visible change on the SXH1 is the extensive openwork, which clearly delineates a full-fledged three-quarter plate and exposes the geartrain. The bridge plate and balance bridge have also been hollowed out and seem to face each other like two shooting stars about to cross paths. This gives the movement a more dynamic look. The mainplate now has a small triangular hole cut in the middle, a cursory distraction on the rhodium-plated, matt grey surface, like a beauty mark on a pale face.
The reworked calibre differs from its predecessor in other ways, too. The original balance had a classic rack and index for regulation, for example. The new SXH1, on the other hand, has an annular balance wheel with weights for variable inertia and a Breguet terminal curve balance spring. The balance cock has also been finely skeletonised and streamlined to give the whole balance greater transparency.
The finishing has also been developed further. All the edges of this outstanding movement have been softened by deeper chamfering. And on the advice of one of the best independent watchmakers and friend, the regular jewels were replaced with “mi-glace” rubies. These have a rounded relief that improves lubrication on the point of contact with the axes. They also give the movement a more fluid look and can, occasionally, catch incoming rays of light.
These two new versions of the Quai des Bergues will undoubtedly represent a new milestone in the exciting story of this family of watches, the very first introduced after the Czapek’s name relaunch. And with its new dedicated workshop space in La-Chaux-de-Fonds, Czapek & Cie now has the capacity to continue thrilling the watch world.
Czapek Quai de Bergues Technical details
100% SWISS MADEFUNCTIONS
- Hours, Minutes & Seconds
- Small second at 7h30
- Power reserve indication with weekdays at 4h30
- Calibre SXH1: Haute Horlogerie proprietary mechanical hand-wound movement
- Power-reserve > 168 hours (7 days) on 2 barrel-springs
- Frequency: 3 Hz – 21,600 VpH
- Diameter: 32 mm – 14 lines ¼
- Height: 4.75 mm
- Finish: partially open worked bridges on gear train, double open ratchets, sandblasted bridges and main plate, heat-blued screws, bevelling, final hand-chamfering, circular graining and snailing on wheels
- Rhodium plated steel hands
CASE & BRACELET
- Stainless steel case
- 42.5 mm diameter
- Curved Sapphire crystal with anti-reflective treatment on the inside surface
- Sapphire crystal case back with anti-reflective treatment on the inside surface
- Water-resistance: 50 meters (5 atm)
- Alligator strap with XO seel pin buckle
- Blue handmade “Flinqué” enamel dial