Czapek - CZAPEK L'HEURE BLEUE
Czapek - CZAPEK L'HEURE BLEUE

CZAPEK L'HEURE BLEUE

Czapek | 24'000 € Tax inc.

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MODERNISM AND TRADITIONALISM ALL AT ONCE

"Take the romantic nobility of our first watches and add a chronograph to give it some athletic pizzazz," Czapek & Cie CEO Xavier de Roquemaurel.

 

"That's our latest model, and it's unmistakably Czapek, traditional but with a modern flair." The brand's new Faubourg de Cracovie comes in a slightly modified 41.5-millimeter Quai des Bergues Revolution case in sober steel or titanium. The famous crown protectors are still in place and now serve, ingeniously, as pushers. 

 

 

  • Sources of Inspiration

The Faubourg de Cracovie chronograph is the company's third collection and was named after the location of Czapek third boutique, which he opened in 1850 in Warsaw, Poland. The calibre inside is also Czapek's third, following the seven-day manually-wound movement in the Quai des Bergues and the suspended tourbillon with GMT in the Place Vendôme, both famous locations of the late François Czapek. The Faubourg de Cracovie represents another major milestone in the company's modern history… for the pleasure of watch lovers and collectors world-wide.

 

L’Heure Bleue has a romantic inspiration related to Nature. The “Heure Bleue” or “Blue Hour”, a nautical term, is a period of twilight in the morning and in the evening when the sun is below the horizon and the residual sunlight takes on a predominantly blue shade. On a clear day, blue hour can be a colorful spectacle, treasured by many artists.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • The Dial

Under an edgy sapphire crystal, is also unmistakably Czapek: The two signature subdials have been enlarged and moved up to 3 and 9 o'clock positions, where they now display the chronograph's minutes and hours respectively.  A small seconds subdial shares the date spot at 6 o'clock. The razor fine "trotteuse" chronograph hand stands out thanks to its bright red tip, which homes in on an equally visible red Roman "12" or "60" at the top of the hour, depending on the model.

 

The Faubourg de Cracovie “L’Heure Bleue” reintroduces the fascinating guilloché "Ricochet" of the Quai des Bergues collection. Intersecting circular lines form a pattern of bas-relief squares that make the dial come alive, recalling the wave interference pattern a stone might make when ricocheting on water. This traditional technique was made possible by the rose engine lathe, which was devised in the late Eighteenth century and became a key machine in fine dial-making. The Ricochet design goes back to François Czapek himself.

 

 

  • The Movement

Czapek's first chronograph is driven by a bespoke automatic movement, the SXH3. This integrated column-wheel chronograph movement was built by the outstanding craftspeople at Vaucher Manufacture Fleurier in the Jura mountains, the cradle of Swiss watchmaking. It delivers 65h power reserve from a single barrel that drives the balance wheel at 36,000 vph.  The movement makes use of some of the most advanced and effective mechanical elements, like the linear hammer, which reduces wear and tear on parts and resets all the associated dials in one easy movement. A modern solution, the vertical clutch, ensures a perfect start for the chronograph hand. Finally, the diamond-blasted anthracite bridges give the final aesthetic twist to the movement visible through the transparent case back. 

 

Technical specifications

COLLECTION : FAUBOURG DE CRACOVIE

MODEL : L’HEURE BLEUE

CONSTRUCTION : 100% SWISS MADE

 

 

FUNCTIONS

- Chronograph, Hours, Minutes & Seconds

- Chronograph's Minutes at 3 o'clock

- Chronograph's Hours at 9 o'clock

- Small seconds at 6 o'clock

- Date at 6 o'clock

 

 

MOVEMENT

- Caliber SXH3: Haute Horlogerie integrated automatic Chronograph movement with a bespoke execution

- Power reserve: 65 hours

- Frequency: 5 Hz - 36'000 VpH

- Column Wheel, Vertical Clutch and Linear Hammer

- Golden Rotor with Czapek logo

- Diameter: 30mm - 13 lines 1/4

- Height: 6.95mm

- Finish: finely sandblasted and diamond polished anthracite bridges, snailed trottoirs

 

 

CASE & BRACELET

- 41.5mm Stainless Steel Case

- Sapphire crystal Glass-Box with anti-reflective treatment

- Sapphire case back with Anti-reflective treatment on the inner side.

- Water Resistance: 50m

- Alligator Strap with a steel deploying buckle

 

 

DIAL

- Handcrafted Guilloché bombé dial in in a special gold, silver, palladium and platinum plate

- Baton applied indexes with Super Luminova treatment

- Number "12" in Arabic numerals with Super Luminova treatment

 

 

HANDS

- Czapek Modern Rodhium plated steel hands,

- Arrow with Superluminova treatment,

- Original 'Fleur de Lys'

- Small second hand with red tip

 

Who's who

“You look like a nice guy, so I agree that we meet but my objective will be to convince you not to do it! “

 

These were the first words Xavier de Roquemaurel recalls about Laurent with a smile. “We were in 2013, and this was the beginning of a unique relationship.” Xavier was in his first year of preparing Czapek’s relaunch with Harry Guhl and Sebastien Follonier the watchmaker. He was full of energy but also very conscious of his limitations. “I had had the chance to loose my job (yes it can be a chance but it takes time to see it like this) and was feeling very impressed to be here with Laurent. We met, various times, and he became one of the most critical brand advisors out of the 12 people that we selected for that task.” Hopefully Laurent did not convince Xavier to give up. 

 

Yet the mission of the Czapek team was nearly impossible: the specifications of reviving François Czapek were unmatchable, the business was over crowded and mature, the resources were scarce, the business model seemed unrealistic… these ‘conversations’ turned out to become an incredible melting pot of high end watchmaking experiences… “An extraordinary watch has to do two things at the same time, it has to strike the newbie, who will be impressed by its beauty without understanding its mechanical dimension, and at the same time it has to fascinate the connoisseur who will look at it with a loupe, and smile silently.” Xavier was eager to learn, and these words from Laurent resonated in his mind. He would work and rework with the team every design, every detail, every aspect of their plan until getting to the perfection. “They wanted to achieve something impossible: launch a brand with half a million, raise a million in crowd funding, and sell in the first year 250 watches at the peak of the worse crisis in the industry. This boldness was unique.

 

After two years, they came with the first models, the Quai des Bergues in gold and in titanium. The gold models were beautiful. The level of execution was way above any of the 3D renders we are used to see” recounts Laurent. One element behind these successful first steps is the collaborative approach that the Czapek team follows. They welcome problems and sit together with their suppliers until inventing a solution, which then becomes an innovation. “We try to free the people we work with to help them give the best they can” admits Xavier. “Alone we can’t do much, and our vision is to remain true to the style of the initial founder, François Czapek… so we need the contribution of each stakeholder.”

 

The 21st-century Quai des Bergues does not imitate the past, though. It was carefully designed as though François Czapek had continued working to this day. On November 2, 2015, eight days precisely before launching the brand, the two men were seated in one of their favourite spot in the rue Saint Honoré, sharing a legendary Croque Monsieur at lunch, and Laurent concluded this new chapter in the history of Czapek with a simple “let’s do it!”. In the end it’s all about people and passion… The next chapter is now in 2016 with the subscription in the spring and the first watches available in the fall...

 
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