François Czapek was a Czech-born Polish watchmaker who fled to Geneva in 1832 after fighting in the Polish uprising.
He immediately started his own atelier and in 1839 entered into a partnership with Antoine Norbert de Patek, introducing him to the world of watchmaking.
In 1845, at the end of their partnership, he created Czapek & Cie and achieved considerable success. He became the official watchmaker of Napoleon III and opened, what was most likely the first watchmaking boutique on the Place Vendôme in Paris. He wrote a book about watchmaking, one of the first ever written in Polish. Unfortunately, he died before publishing a second one. Czapek & Cie has been revived in 2015 with an exceptional collection, whose leading model won the Public Prize in the Grand Prix de l’Horlogerie in Geneva in November 2016. This collection takes its inspiration from an 1850’s Czapek time piece. It features a beautiful enamel dial and a 7-day proprietary movement perfectly combining craftsmanship with design and exclusivity with rarity. The Company’s second collection, a suspended Tourbillon with a second time-zone, was launched one year later in 2017. The company is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland.
The special hand-engraving of acanthus leaves on the case and crown of the new Tourbillon Suspendu Ici et Ailleurs is done by one of the top artists, Michèle Rothen Rebetez. The platinum dial of the Place Vendôme Tourbillon Suspendu Ici et Ailleurs with the acanthus leaf engraving is based on the collection launched in 2017. The dial is in champlevé with a grand-feu enamel ring that bears the Roman numerals. The fine fleur-de-lys hands are back, harmonizing with an anthracite bead-blasted main plate and suspended bridges of polished steel. The two characteristic Czapek subdials feature a tourbillon on the left and the second time zone on the right.
The decorative elements include traditional satin-brushed bridges, circular bevelling, hand-chamfering, blued screws and the open-worked ratchet. This exceptional timepiece illustrates outstanding craftsmanship.
The Czapek original design is inspired from the Assisi Cathedral paintings, whereas the technique comes more from the sculptures and bas-reliefs of the Cathedral of Orvieto, in Umbria. The artist used a micro-hammering technique to obtain lots of detail and make the acanthus appear to stand out very naturally on the background.
This effect is achieved by darkening the contours of the engraving, thus highlighting the delicate and precise work on the hand-mirror polished leaf, which reflects the light in myriad ways.
This example of Haute Horlogerie craftsmanship is only available on special order, making each watch a unique piece. This is a limited edition of 15 pieces.
Sales Extraordinaire Ltd is proud to be part of the Renaissance of A Legendary Watch Company.
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