Since the reintroduction in 2015 of the name Czapek, Antoine Norbert de Patek’s ex-partner before he founded Patek Philippe, the freshly recreated brand has focused on high-end watchmaking, of course, but also displays a strong appetite for hand-crafted dials, whether they are made in enamel or guilloché. Using its latest watch as a base, the Chronograph Czapek Faubourg de Cracovie, the brand unveils a brand new dial in an unconventional raw material: “Secret Alloy”.
The Czapek Faubourg de Cracovie follows two other watches in the collection. First was the classic and now signature model, the Quai des Bergues – a watch with power reserve and small seconds, executed in multiple versions. Then came the brand’s flagship watch, the Place Vendome Tourbillon, a more modern, more technical take on Czapek design’s codes. In 2018, the brand unveiled a new watch, a chronograph equipped with an impressive integrated and hi-beat movement, manufactured by Vaucher, the Faubourg de Cracovie Chronograph.
The “raw” material of the dial creates great reflections and a cool technical feeling.
For its latest version, the Czapek Faubourg de Cracovie receives a new name: Secret Alloy. This is explained by the dial found on this watch. While the guilloché (engine-turned) dial sticks to the usual “Resonance” pattern – found in other editions and in several colours, and an identical layout – the main novelty is all about material.
While the engine-turning process – named guilloché in French – is all about creating patterns by chiselling the material, Czapek thought it would interesting to leave the material “raw”, untreated, without coating or lacquer. The “secret alloy” used here on this Czapek Faubourg de Cracovie is the result of a collaboration with Metalem, in Le Locle, one of the top Swiss watch dial factories established in the Jura region since 1928. This material is the alloy 401, a special alloy developed for Czapek and made of gold (55%), platinum, palladium and silver. Thanks to its composition, including palladium and platinum, it is stronger than 18k gold. Being untreated, it also produces great metallic reflections.
The rest of the watch is identical to other editions of the Czapek Faubourg de Cracovie, with a 41.5mm stainless steel case and nicely integrated chronograph pushers. The dial is complemented by applied indexes and blued steel hands, matching the alligator strap. As standard, this edition is a no-date watch – which is a nice choice – even though a date complication can be requested. Powering this watch is the calibre SXH3, a high-end integrated automatic chronograph movement, with column wheel, vertical clutch and linear hammer. This hi-beat movement (5HZ frequency) boasts 65 hours of power reserve and is decorated with sandblasted bridges, polished bevels and anthracite-coated parts. This movement is made by Vaucher.
The Czapek Faubourg de Cracovie Secret Alloy will only be available (until Baselworld 2020) at the brand’s US retailers. It is limited to 18 pieces and priced at CHF 24,000 (taxes incl.). More details at czapek.com.