Czapek Faubourg de Cracovie Océan d’Or Chronograph
Czapek's chronograph in two luxurious editions, mixing gold and blue.
When it was revived in 2015, Czapek – a historically important name, paying tribute to Czech-born Polish watchmaker François Czapek, once the partner of Norbert de Patek – presented a highly classic watch with an elegant twist. Since then, the brand has evolved and now has far more to offer, including a successful take on the luxury sports watch concept. The collection also comprises a high-end chronograph watch, the Faubourg de Cracovie, which features an impressive proprietary integrated movement. Available until now in steel and titanium, this watch is unveiled today in two new gold-and-blue editions (available in yellow or red gold), with the Czapek Faubourg de Cracovie Océan d’Or.
Compared to the inaugural models of 2018 or most of the subsequent editions – such as the “Secret Alloy” model or the surprising California edition – the overall design and specifications are identical. What really matters in these two Faubourg de Cracovie Océan d’Or are colours and materials. As such, we find the same 41.5mm case with dynamic lines. The case, with brushed and polished surfaces, shows perfectly integrated pushers that almost act as crown guards. The shape is fluid and rather elegant, with a sloping design for the lugs and hollowed-out areas in the casebands to accommodate the chronograph pushers and bring depth to the opposite side.
The main update here is that the cases are fashioned out of 5N rose gold or 2N yellow gold – the latter being presented here. Overall, only 10 pieces will be made, eight in red gold and two in yellow gold. According to the brand, the idea with this Océan d’Or edition was to conceive “a precious complementary pair, a ‘mirror piece’, as was the case in China for the most special timekeepers. In fact, at the end of the Qing dynasty, there was a high demand for Swiss-made luxurious timepieces for the imperial court and the wealthiest clientele. For very special events or customers, two timepieces were made, each watch being a perfect reflection and complement for the other”. Other than the colour of the case, all gold-coloured elements of the dial will be matched to the case’s alloy, including the hands, indexes and sub-dials.
The dial of this Czapek Faubourg de Cracovie Océan d’Or benefits from the brand’s classic yet striking design, with a hand-executed guilloché pattern named the “Résonance” pattern. It is composed of intersecting circular lines that form a pattern of bas-relief squares. It goes back to François Czapek himself and was developed by Czapek together with his Swiss partner for engine-turned dials, Metalem. Here it is picked out in a deep blue hue obtained by ALD coating. The watch is worn on a blue alligator strap secured by a folding clasp.
Under the sapphire caseback is a rather impressive movement, the proprietary calibre SXH3. This integrated automatic chronograph movement is manufactured by Vaucher Manufacture Fleurier and benefits from multiple advanced technical solutions. First of all, it is a hi-beat movement with a 5Hz frequency and its precision is chronometer-certified by COSC. Also, it is equipped with a column wheel, a one-piece linear reset hammer and a vertical clutch. Its single barrel can store a comfortable 65h power reserve. Finally, it is pleasantly finished with sandblasted and diamond-polished anthracite bridges, bevelled edges and an openworked gold-coloured rotor.
Availability & Price
The Czapek Faubourg de Cracovie Océan d’Or will be produced in eight pieces in 5N red gold and two pieces in 2N yellow gold. It is available at the brand’s official retailers, at the brand’s Geneva-based store and from the brand’s online boutique. Price is set at CHF 46,000 (excl. taxes) or EUR 43,000 (excl. taxes).
More details at czapek.com.
This watch is underrated. One of the best implementations of a big crown + chronograph pushers that I’ve come across. Also like the curved strap to case junction.