SYMBOL OF RESURRECTION AND ETERNITY
“Golden Bees » (in fact, cicadas) were discovered in 1653 in Tournai (F) in the tomb of Childeric I, founder in 457 of the Merovingian dynasty and father of Clovis (first King of the Franks). They are considered as the oldest emblem of the sovereigns of France. Later Golden Bees became the symbol of Imperial France and standard of Napoléon III. They stand for Resurrection and Eternity.
Czapek & Cie has chosen to utilize the « Golden Bee » as a « poinçon de maitre » (hallmark) as a tribute to Czapek’s laudable distinction, Fournisseur de la cour (Purveyor to the Imperial Court) « Horlogers de S.A.I. Le Prince Napoléon »… and as a symbol of its Revival.
Long forgotten this secret « savoir-faire » dates from at least two centuries, and that’s why we loved to bring it back to modern times! No-one else is using it anymore. The way to see it? make a light ray reflect on the enamel… and look for Czapek’s hand written signature. This signature is the reproduction of François Czapek signature in the Czapek & Cie company registration available in the Archives de Genève.
Each grand-feu enamel dial boasts a secret signature by Francois Czapek. Along with this signature, which prevents forgery, the buyer can request an almost invisible sentence be placed on the dial as well. The idea was suggested by an investor who wanted to send his father a personal dedication. For the model presented in Basel, the brand has illustrated this special form of personalization with a sentence by the late David Bowie. The phrase is only visible when the sun is bouncing off the dial at a certain angle. It’s the ultimate in understated personalization.
A reinvented craft : The « Fleur de Lys » hands in 18 karat gold was rediscovered by the Czapek team. Together with Aurélien Bouchet, they succeeded in making « Fleur-de-Lys » hands that are 0.35 millimetres thick thanks to a tool with a precision diameter of 0.10 millimetres.
Czapek double hand is a unique way to display the seven days power reserve with the days of the weeks. It was first featured in the model N°3430. In the19th century, clocks were wound once a week, on Sunday, after the Mass. And so did François Czapek with this model when he conceived it. So the Power reserve is on Sunday when it is fully wound and ends on Saturday when it is empty… (the power reserve is 7 days + more than 12 hours to make sure the watch never runs out of energy on Sunday).
The Quai des Bergues collection heralds the birth of the SXH1 calibre, the first in a family of movements developed specifically for Czapek watches according to the strictest rules of the watchmaking art. The calibre’s architecture is inspired from an historical timepiece conceived and manufactured by François Czapek in the 1850’s, the pocket watch N°3430. Besides the double barrels, the symtrical distribution and the satiné finish of the bridges, it featured a beautiful pair of open ratchets… an amazing detail to bring forward to the 2015’s, and to incorporate in the SXH1 Movement.
For the Titanium and the steel we wanted a more modern, a bit « rebel » case, like the second-born of a family… yet the problem was to get the crown protection integrated… So we found the solution with Aurélien, integrating a round shape into another round shape (a variation of the Boolean functions) hence the name « Revolution ». A « première » in watchmaking.
A unique innovation: a unique carbon ring of 0.4mm over a unidirectional carbon sheet. They never catch the light the same way: when one is black the other is grey and vice versa… The ring displays fine marks, like the old vinyl records.
A unique steel, one of the most anti-corrosive ever made: it resists to the North sea and to most acids. Its mechanical features have been reworked by Montanstahl in Stabio to make it easier to work by watchmakers… Who will discover its real name ?