CZAPEK FAUBOURG DE CRACOVIE CHINOOK LIMITED EDITION
For a company which only introduced its first collections in 2015, Geneva based Czapek has impressed with its beautifully manufactured watches, which boast exquisite hand crafted detail and sophisticated, elegant style, as well as featuring bespoke Haute Horlogerie mechanisms. Launched in 2018, its Faubourg de Cracovie collection is the company’s third, and features the chronograph in its classical format, in a number of magnificent and exclusive limited production editions.
Working with specialist Swiss companies, the watch brand has quickly established itself as one of independent watchmaking’s most interesting new stars, even though its story actually began back in the 1800s, when the masterpieces of Polish born master watchmaker François Czapek were prized by society’s most privileged individuals.
Relocating to Geneva as a young man, Czapek’s formative career included several years as one half of a watchmaking partnership with fellow compatriot Antione de Patek, before each went off in their own direction. Czapek going on to open a number of luxurious boutiques across Europe to showcase his exceptional horologic works. Today, the reborn Czapek maintains that prestigious association by naming its collections after the addresses of those stores.
Featuring a quite spectacular dial and a superb hand finished integrated chronograph movement the Czapek Faubourg de Cracovie Chinook is an outstanding piece of mesmerising hand crafted detail and horologic finesse.
With a box-style sapphire crystal, and case-hugging pushers located discreetly either side of the fluted crown, and presented on a dark blue alligator strap with folding clasp, it is an elegantly stylish chronograph in its modern 41.5mm case of stainless steel.
Beneath the tall-sided sapphire glass the dark blue dial is hand machined on a rose engine, and across its surface, a subtle dome is engraved in a light-absorbing Résonance pattern of overlapping rings of deep guilloché which fan out from the two brassy salmon subdials in a stunning eye catching contrast of effect and colour.
Against this setting the applied steel hour makers and numerals, and the arrowhead tips of the hands have luminous coating, and add a further element to the overall depth of field on this magnificent display. The recessed subdials show the 30-minute and 12-hour chronograph counters at the three and the nine, with small constant seconds, incorporating a matching blue date aperture, at the six.
Inside, and visible through the sapphire glass caseback, beneath the solid gold oscillating mass, the openworked architecture of the anthracite plate of the self winding Calibre SXH3 is state of the art Haute Horlogerie. A bespoke collaborative project with complications specialist Vaucher Manufacture Fleurier, it is a beautifully executed integrated chronograph movement which features linear hammer and vertical clutch innovations which deliver smooth activation and resetting of the chronograph function. Beating at 5Hz, or 36’000vph, it is COSC chronometer certified and from a single barrel, its 65 hour power reserve is impressive.
Overall the Czapek Faubourg de Cracovie Chinook is a really beautifully engineered piece, with meticulous hand craftsmanship inside and out, and with head turning good looks, and with only eighteen examples, it is almost as exclusive as it is desirable.