As I’m sure we’ve all noted, many brands like to dive into their back catalog and even reference the history of their brand in current releases. And it’s not just the watch world. Look at the reissues and remakes happening in, say, the automotive industry or Hollywood. Everything old is new again, and so on. For one of the more unexpected Baselworld releases, Czapek has gone pretty far in the wayback machine and brought us the hourglass known as the Czapek Sands of Time.

When it comes to looking at the history of timekeeping, we generally go back just as far as those first ultra-bespoke pocket watches from minds of geniuses like Breguet. Timing things started well before that, of course. These days, we generally consider sand timers as pretty inexpensive (see their inclusion in any number of board games) and lacking widespread utility, given the limited timing it offers. Czapek, partnering with Moser Glassworks, wants to change that perception.

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For starters, the Czapek Sands of Time is, funnily enough, a quartz timer. By that I mean the sand that they’ve used to form the crystal is quartz. Moser Glassworks is one of the few manufacturers left using this material. There’s a lovely bookending happening here. To utilize using a relatively recent material from the watchmaking world (and one that almost destroyed the mechanical watch, no less) to create one of the oldest forms of timing is a pretty neat angle. Beyond that, the idea of a crystal hourglass pulls us back to that idea of these luxurious, lustrous pieces that normally hide away in a china cabinet, rarely to be used.

The Czapek Sands of Time, on the other hand, is meant to be used. You’ve got the heavier, tinted pieces on either end that both strengthen the piece and protect the blown-glass portions. Inside, you’ve got the juxtaposition of the organic rounded chambers inside the starkly geometric outer shape, just waiting to let the sand slip on down. In this case, Czapek has given us a five-minute timing interval. What are five minutes good for? Well, all manner of things. Say, timing your tea or French Press steeping, a “time out” for a rambunctious child, or even just to take a break and stare out the window, enjoy the sights and sounds of nature. Perhaps five minutes is not what most people would find useful in this day and age, but that’s the point.

The Czapek Sands of Time is an old-school (the oldest of schools, even) way of timing things, done with old world materials and techniques. It’s a way of stopping yourself to slow down (even if for only five minutes) to enjoy and appreciate where you are in this particular rotation of the celestial bodies. If you’re looking for that small moment of zen in your own life, the Czapek Sands of Time is going to be available starting in May 2019 for CHF 5,000. Learn more at

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Tech Specs from Czapek

  • Hand-made by Moser Glassworks master glassmakers
  • Mouth-blown from the pure unleaded ecological crystal glass Hand cut and hand polished to a high gloss
  • Pure un-leaded crystal glass, silica crystals (Si O2)
  • Height: 22.5 cm
  • Time measured: 5 mins

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