The essence of time is profound and multilayered. It can be an abstract phenomenon or a tangible reality. For Czapek Genève, a name that epitomizes the chronicles of timekeeping, time is all about courage – “Courage Every Second.” This commitment pulsates through their contribution to the 10th edition of the Only Watch auction, slated for November 2023 in the historic city of Geneva.
The tale of Czapek Genève isn’t just about mechanical marvels; it’s about resilience, revival, and renaissance. This once dormant name erupted back into the limelight in 2016, blending seamlessly with the backdrop of Geneva’s timeless allure. Just a year into their revival, they humbly marked their debut at Only Watch. Here, they unveiled the exquisite “Quai des Bergues,” which unfurled a hidden message beneath its pristine enamel dial crafted by Donzé Cadrans – the emblematic “Courage every second.” Since then, the brand has been playing a captivating game of design with the Only Watch guidelines, enriching the event with their unique creativity and driving the bids higher, auction after auction.
This commitment is more than mere patronage for Xavier de Roquemaurel, the soul at the helm of Czapek & Cie. For him, the afflictions of Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy and ALS, championed by the charity, have an intimate, poignant resonance. “The sands of time are not always kind to us,” he muses, reflecting on the unpredictable nature of life and the inevitable challenges it presents. It’s a shared sentiment, a heartfelt outreach to those grappling with the tempestuous waves of life.
The theme of the 2023 Only Watch auction, conceptualized by its founder Luc Pettavino alongside design maven Johan Pizzardini, is nothing short of a tantalizing challenge. Inspired by Hexa Grace, the vivid masterpiece by Victor Vasarely, the theme splashes a palette of colors from the past with a hint of green.
Unsurprisingly, Czapek’s creation for the occasion is a magnum opus of intricate artistry and mechanical brilliance. The “Place Vendôme Complicité,” an exceptional model earmarked for this occasion, is not just a watch. It’s a canvas showcasing dazzling enamel work juxtaposed against a dynamic dual-escapement movement. Wrapped in steel, the dial boasts a vibrant champlevé enamel ring by Donzé Cadrans, mirroring the ripples of Lake Geneva, subtly nodding to the Only Watch graphic aesthetics.
However, the intricate mechanisms underneath are what make this timepiece a true marvel. The Czapek Calibre 8, a collaboration with Bernhard Lederer, is a testament to the brand’s dedication to excellence. With its double escapement featuring a differential, screwed balance wheel, and two sapphire glass bridges, it exemplifies technical prowess.
The lore of Czapek Genève, as a brand, is steeped in history. François Czapek, its founder, made a mark in the 19th century, becoming the watchmaker of the illustrious Napoleon III and opening the first watch boutique at Place Vendôme, Paris. Revived in 2015 by passionate watch enthusiasts, Czapek continues to evoke the spirit of craftsmanship and innovation.
Today, nestled between the watchmaking heartlands of Geneva and La-Chaux-de-Fonds, Czapek remains a beacon of “établissage,” a testimony to the age-old traditions of watchmaking, adapted to contemporary tastes.
As this new masterpiece from Czapek Genève awaits its moment under the auctioneer’s hammer, it’s clear that it’s more than just a timepiece. It’s a symbol of hope, resilience, and the timeless message of “Courage every second“. As Xavier de Roquemaurel eloquently sums up, “Only Watch has been an extraordinary human story… We are honoured to participate once again and wish this 10th edition even greater success than ever.“
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