Boasting a spectacular guilloché dial and a lightweight titanium case on a black rubber strap, and featuring the precision of a chronometer certified automatic movement, the Faubourg de Cracovie Black Knight chronograph by Czapek Genève is a superb contemporary watch whose haute horlogerie craftsmanship, is given a subtly sporty twist.
Czapek Genève is the twenty-first century rebirth of a name which in the mid-1800s was part of the genesis of one of the greatest and most prestigious of all Swiss watch brands. This young watch company can rightly lay claim to its place in horologic history. That illustrious connection is the six year partnership of Czech watchmaker François Czapek and Antoine Norbert de Patek between 1839 and 1846 when the two fellow countrymen, newly arrived in Switzerland set up a company to create finely crafted masterpieces for the courts and palaces of Europe’s premier citizens.
Making its return in 2015, the new Czapek has been careful to preserve the legacy of its celebrated past, and with a range of classically inspired but contemporary watches, manufactured to exacting haute horlogerie standards, the discerning world of the watch collector has embraced Czapek back into the fold like an old friend.
Following on the success of its award winning debut Quai des Bergues and the superb Place de Vendôme Tourbillon collections, named after the locations of the Czapek boutiques in Geneva and Paris, the company’s third collection, the Faubourg de Cracovie, takes on the most popular of contemporary complications, the chronograph,
Encased in a round 41.5mm case of Grade 5 Titanium and presented on a black rubber strap, the Faubourg de Cracovie Black Knight features discreet case hugging chrono pushers and a quite fabulous dial which plays with the light, topped with a gently domed sapphire crystal, the design is mature yet sporty; classically nuanced but contemporary too.
The deeply cut ‘Resonance’ guilloché decoration which animates the surface of the deep blue dial is engraved by hand operated lathe, with rings of circles emanating from the two recessed chronograph counters at the three and the nine, their lines intersecting and creating a pattern which is captivating as the light glints off the metallic finish. This classic technique dates back to the mid eighteenth century when François Czapek used the very same method on his magnificent pocket watches.
In contrast, the applied luminous filled baton indices and the number ‘12’ are more of our time, and together with the elegant arrow head hands which are also luminous coated provide excellent low light legibility. White print around the edge of the dial and on the subdials complement the effect
A twelve hour chronograph is operated via the flat pushers which are integrated into the profile of the crown protection, with red tipped central seconds and thirty minute and twelve hour counters at the three and nine. The small constant seconds are at the six, where a window also displays the date.
The Faubourg de Cracovie Black Knight chronograph is powered by a proprietary self winding movement which has been designed by specialist Vaucher Manufacture Fleurier. A sapphire caseback reveals the gold oscillating weight and the openworked architecture of the anthracite plate, beneath which can be seen the pulsing balance and where the column wheel, vertical clutch and linear hammer chronograph mechanism are integral to the calibre. Fully wound, its single barrel is good for some sixty-five hours of reserve, and it beats at 36’600 vph.
A stunning piece with craftsmanship of the highest order throughout, the Czapek Faubourg de Cracovie Black Knight chronograph is presented on black rubber strap with folding clasp.