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“The Quest For Beauty Through The Poetry Of Time” - Czapek

“My sun sets to rise again”. These penned-down thoughts by Robert Browning best suit the re-emergence of a brand covered under the sands of time. Founded in 1845 in Geneva, Czapek & Cie had a short yet commemorated life up until the death of its owner, Franciszek Czapek. 

Born in the Kingdom Of Bohemia, Czapek, a polish watchmaker started a watchmaking company, “Czapek & Moreau” with a local resident in 1834.

A Polish immigrant, Czapek met Antoine De Patek in 1836. Both were a part of the Polish uprising against the Russian rule in Poland. Finding solace and the required skill set in Patek, both decided to start a partnership. Named Patek, Czapek & Cie, the partnership started operations in 1839. Known for their meticulous designs and movements, this partnership churned out some of the rarest timepieces.

Post the end of the partnership, Czapek founded Czapek & Cie with a new partner, Juliusz Gruzewski. After the partnership, Czapek’s skills were recognized by the court of Napoleon III. Czapek & Cie were then made the official timekeeper of the French government and later the French Kingdom. At its zenith, Czapek & Cie had boutiques in cities like Warsaw, Paris, and Geneva. Whilst producing the timepieces, Franciszek also wrote a book on the art of watchmaking. 

Known for its dial appearances, Czapek & Cie created a guilloche with two focal points. These two points naturally coincided with the sub-dials. Today, this same pattern is on the ‘Quai des Burgues’ collection.

Some of his other clients were Khedive Ismail, the Pasha of Egypt, and the House of Golitsyn. This is where the journey of Czapek watches took an unexpected turn. Czapek died of illness, the cause, the time, or even the last timepiece is unknown. The brand then took a hiatus from its horological pursuit. Czapek watches are divided into collections such as Quai de Bergues, Quai de Bergues Lady, Place Vendome, Faubourg De Cracovie, Antarctique, Crystal Time, and few of the special editions.

The re-emergence of Czapek & Cie

A river of resurrection, time & existence both flows through it. Resurrected by three horology enthusiasts, Xavier De Roquemaurel, Harry Guhl, and Sebastian Follonier, Czapek & Cie was started again in 2012. After the resurrection, these three gentlemen extensively studied the designs by Czapek & Cie. After the in-depth study of the designs, they created a library of Franciszek Czapek’s designs. 

On November 10th, 2010, Czapek & Cie was officially revealed to the world. What followed was nothing short of the resurrection of Lazarus. When fellow horology enthusiasts were provided with an equity crowdfunding campaign, many of them joined Czapek & Cie’s horological pursuit.

The pursuit carries the legacy of Franciszek Czapek, his philosophy, his designs, and his art. In 2016, Czapek & Cie won the most cherished award in the timekeeping industry, the Grand Prix d'Horlogerie de Genève. 

The Quai de Burgues

Known for carrying heritage with fine craftsmanship, Czapek & Cie currently has 6 collections in its portfolio. First being the Quai de Burgues, this collection is a tribute to the location where Franciszek Czapek founded the company in Geneva. This collection is a reminder of the pocket-watch era and is offered in a unique revolution case. 

The movement offered in this collection is basic but vibrates at 21,600 vph. The frequency here is more than enough to be accurate. 

Place Vendôme

The second collection under the renaissance period of Czapek & Cie is the Place Vendôme Tourbillon Suspendu. Another tribute to the location where Czapek & Cie opened its first boutique, which is assumed to be the Haute Horlogerie boutique on that Parisian square in Warsaw. The one-minute suspended tourbillon is the noted complication in this collection. Apart from the tourbillon, this collection can be easily recognized by two sub-dials at 7:30 & 4:30 marks. 

The Antarctique

Donning its first in-house movement, the Antarctique Passage de Drake collection is named after the English explorer Sir Francis Drake. Sir Drake is known for the discovery of the Drake passage which connects the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. 

The collection under Czapek & Cie stands true to their motive of ‘collecting rare people’. Czapek & Cie is known for its unique designs and acumen.

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