Czapek & Cie Place Vendôme Tourbillon Suspendu Ici et Ailleurs with “Acanthus Leaf” engraving


Czapek & Cie Place Vendôme Tourbillon Suspendu Ici et Ailleurs with “Acanthus Leaf” engraving 1

François Czapek (born 1811 as Franciszek Czapek) was a Czech-born Polish watchmaker who arrived in Geneva, Switzerland in May 1832. After running his own company for 6 years and working together with Antoni Patek for the next 6, in 1845 he founded a company called Czapek & Cie with a new partner, Juliusz Gruzewski, a close friend of Napoleon III. The company quickly flourished, and he himself became watchmaker to the Court of the Emperor Napoleon III. However around 1869, the company had disappeared from the watchmaking map, most likely due to the to the illness or death of Czapek.

Czapek & Cie Place Vendôme Tourbillon Suspendu Ici et Ailleurs with “Acanthus Leaf” engraving 4

François Czapek was one of the greatest watchmakers of the nineteenth century

 

In 2015 the historic brand was relaunched after a crowdfunding campaign which brought together more than 100 watch enthusiasts and entrepreneurs from around the globe. In this article we bring you their latest watch – the Place Vendôme Tourbillon Suspendu Ici et Ailleurs.

The first Place Vendôme Tourbillon Suspendu Ici et Ailleurs model was released last year at the Baselworld watch fair. For this year, Czapek & Cie has decided to offer this timepiece with a new, hand-engraved case. A unique and original Czapek design, the “Acanthus Leaf” engraving was executed by Swiss artist Michele Rothen Rebetez. The design is inspired by the Assisi Cathedral paintings while the technique itself takes inspiration from the sculptures and bas-reliefs of the Cathedral of Orvieto, in Umbria. Using a very small hammer, the artist created lots of details and made the acanthus leaves appear to stand out very naturally on the background. Michele achieved this by darkening the contours of the engraving, thus highlighting the fine work on the polished leaves, which reflects the light in almost infinite ways.

Czapek & Cie Place Vendôme Tourbillon Suspendu Ici et Ailleurs with “Acanthus Leaf” engraving 2

The artist made the acanthus leaves appear to stand out very naturally on the background

 

The new Czapek & Cie Place Vendôme Tourbillon Suspendu Ici et Ailleurs comes in platinum and rose gold, with both versions being available only by special order. Each case is 43mm wide and water resistant to 30 meters. The watch features an openwork dial revealing the steel polished bridges and sand-blasted plate. At 12 o’clock there is a white Grand-feu enamel ring with black Roman numerals. The local time is indicated by two Fleur-de-lys blued gold hands. Inside the subdial is a power reserve indicator. Located at 4 o’clock is the second time zone indicator. Here, the time is displayed by a bridge which points to a counter-clockwise-rotating disc. At 8 o’clock there is a one-minute tourbillon with a blued screw instead of a seconds hand. Completing the dial is the counter-clockwise-rotating day/night indicator disc at 6 o’clock.

Czapek & Cie Place Vendôme Tourbillon Suspendu Ici et Ailleurs with “Acanthus Leaf” engraving 3

Each model is available only by special order

 

Powering the latest Czapek & Cie masterpiece is the manually-wound calibre SXH2. The movement operates at a frequency of 21,600 vibrations per hour and offers a power reserve of approximately 60 hours, with only one barrel. The new Place Vendôme Tourbillon Suspendu Ici et Ailleurs models are available with 10 (5 for each reference) different alligator leather straps. The rose gold model retails for CHF 107,000 while the platinum version is priced at CHF 120,000.

 

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