August 29, 2020
by Ariel Adams
The latest Czapek watch for 2020 is this highly limited-edition “Place Vendome Tourbillon Dark Matter,” which builds on the Place Vendome Tourbillon collection that aBlogtoWatch originally went hands-on with in 2017. This is Czapek’s main contender in the tourbillon-watch arena, and the brand makes room for itself (in the otherwise crowded space) by offering a visually attractive dial and a certain level of contemporary wearing appeal. While not a sports watch, per se, this is an “elegant” watch that can otherwise fit will with more modern forms of urban and casual attire (for otherwise “tourbillon days”).
Lightweight in addition to being stealthy, the Place Vendome Tourbillon Dark Matter is perhaps a fitting statement to the current sentiment in Europe’s traditional heart of luxury, Paris. While all the original splendor of Old World European luxury is still there (along with the craftspeople who perpetuate it), a dark cloud has been placed over the industry on account of the current (and logical) situation society finds itself in. For this reason, I find the titanium-cased “Dark Matter” Tourbillon watch from Czapek to be visually interesting as well as poetic.
What hasn’t been affected by the pandemic is luxury pricing and, accordingly, this piece of haute horology is priced near the $100,000 mark. The 43.5mm-wide case is precision-machined from grade 5 titanium and is then DLC-coated for color and scratch resistance. Sapphire crystals sandwich the 50-meter water-resistant case that is fitted with a matte black alligator strap.
The exclusive movement inside the Czapek Place Vendome Tourbillon Dark Matter watch is the caliber SXH2, which is manually wound and has 60 hours of power reserve operating at 3Hz. Developed in collaboration with Jean-Francois Mojon’s Chrononde movement development company, the movement features a tourbillon at 8 o’clock, a second time zone in 12-hour format at 4 o’clock, an AM/PM indicator at 6 o’clock, and a power-reserve indicator built into the display for the main time under 12 o’clock. One of the more interesting artisan features on the dial is the black enamel ring in the main time display, as well as the haute horology mirror finishing on the exposed bridges. The hands themselves are in 18k white gold.
Admittedly, the Dark Matter Tourbillon is a bit casual for many people’s budgets at $100,000 — where consumers perhaps more than ever want to show off their success. Indeed, these are times where many people want to be more discreet or humble in public, but most of these people probably wouldn’t wear a tourbillon in public, to begin with, these days. Promoting one’s success in a time with so many social challenges requires a particularly bold personality, as well as “loudness” when it comes to wearing luxury products. Then again, Czapek is only producing 10 of the Dark Matter Tourbillon watches — and I’m pretty sure the “stealth wealth” concept remains appealing to at least 20 people out there right now. Price for the limited edition of 10 pieces Czapek Place Vendome Tourbillon Dark Matter watch is 90,000 Swiss Francs. Learn more at the Czapek website here.