With a flourish of pristine baguette cut diamonds, the Place Vendôme Tourbillon Suspendu Platinum Etincelles by Czapek of Geneva is a breathtaking piece of exquisite Haute Horlogerie in a noble and luxurious setting. Animated by the captivating presence of its revolving mechanical heartbeat, its dial is an ode to traditional watchmaking with elegant architecture, meticulous finishing and the unique glazed sheen of grand feu enamel evocative of the early pocket watch.
An exceptional watch in every regard, from the precise setting of the 72 diamonds in its case and around the bezel, to the machining and finishing of its dial and components, it is a showcase for the talents of the master craftspeople, and the finesse of their painstaking workmanship, and as ‘Etincelles’ is French for ‘sparkles’, this very special Place Vendôme Tourbillon Suspendu certainly lives up to its name.
The Czapek name holds a prestigious place in the history of fine watchmaking, and a story which took place across the mid-1800s, of a young Polish master called François Czapek, whose illustrious career began alongside that of his fellow countryman and business partner Antoine de Patek, in their newly adopted home town of Geneva, gaining a reputation for their horological masterpieces, working side by side over a six year partnership.
A significant chapter in the careers of two emerging masters, it ran its course in 1845, and while Patek would soon find a new partner, under his own name a more single minded Czapek enjoyed success manufacturing his timepieces for a clientele of Europe’s privileged few, with prominent boutiques in Geneva, Warsaw and Paris, until when in 1869, without warning the man simply vanished, never to be seen again, ending a unique legend in mystery.
Resurrected after an absence of more than 150 years, the Czapek name returned in 2015, once again in its rightful place, adorning the dials of superbly manufactured watches, and connecting the present to the past by naming its collections after those boutiques.
Featuring a second time zone, or GMT, the Place Vendôme Tourbillon Suspendu Platinum Etincelles is a magnificent watch for the discerning traveller and encased in 950/1000 platinum, a piece of exotic luxury and rare distinction.
Beneath the gently domed sapphire crystal the principal function of time is displayed in hours and minutes on a matte grey central dial surrounded by a ring of gleaming white grand feu enamel, with ornate flame-blued steel Fleur de Lys hands. The power reserve is illustrated through the curved letterbox aperture. Either side of the dial, a pair of almost identical bridges curve around it and are screwed onto the sand blasted plate, rising up to extend above the two other most prominent features. On the right, a twelve-hour disc rotates under a pointed tip to display a second time zone, while in its round cavity which provides a view of its intricate finesse, the sixty second tourbillon is suspended beneath its skeletonised bridge. Between them a small disc indicates day and night, rotating anti-clockwise once every twenty-four hours.
Turned over, and a sapphire caseback reveals a big ratchet wheel on a numbered back plate of grey anthracite with highly polished anglage edges, exposing the gear train and the unsupported underside of the tourbillon. Developed in conjunction with complications specialist Chronode, the proprietary SXH2 hand winding movement beats at 21’600 vib/h with a power reserve of sixty hours.
A spectacular watch with a commanding presence, the Czapek Place Vendôme Tourbillon Suspendu Platinum Etincelles is presented on a strap of alligator leather with pin buckle.