Since its revival in 2015 the Czapek watch company has been enthusiastically welcomed by collectors, critics and insiders alike, even picking up a significant industry award along the way in their short journey.
Originally established by Francois Czapek in 1845, having previously been one half of a watchmaking business partnership with one Antoni Patek, when together they traded as Patek, Czapek & Cie.
At the annual GPHG watch industry awards ceremony, the Prix de Publique is one award which neither money, grandeur nor influence can buy, and in their first time attending in 2016, Czapek walked away with this cherished award for their own debut piece.
Named after the address of original Geneva Czapek atelier, the Quai des Bergues Enamel Grand Feu N.33bis takes its inspiration from the model 3430 Czapek pocket watch c.1850, and faithfully retraces many of the processes used in the original.
Encased in a round 5N rose gold case, measuring 42.5mm, the Quai des Bergues Enamel Grand Feu N.33bis certainly has the appearance of a contemporary wristwatch, but on closer examination a host of enchanting old world features which are directly lifted from the pocket watch reveal themselves.
Beneath the gently domed sapphire crystal, the white dial has that lustre which is unique to Grand Feu enamel. Using a process of repeated layering and oven glazing, its glassy surface provides a perfect backdrop for the delicate hand painted roman numerals and fine minutes track around the edge of the dial. Inset from the 4 and 7, a pair of recessed subdials accommodate the weekday/day number and small offset seconds. The hands are very fine, in keeping with the fashion of the mid-1800s pocketwatch, and on the hours and minutes hands, a fleur de lys decoration underlines the meticulous attention to detail which has been put into this beautiful watch.
Of course for Czapek, the beauty is much more than skin deep, and to power their Quai des Bergues collection, a bespoke movement was designed and created by one of the most revered horologists Jean François Mojon. From its two barrels the SXH1 Caliber manual winding movement derives an impressive seven days of power reserve. A sapphire caseback reveals the mechanical heartbeat and its finishing which is as exquisite as on the other parts of the watch.