It’s impossible to work in the watch industry for any length of time without becoming irrationally attached to certain brands. Sometimes it’s because of an aesthetic you just can’t get enough of. Sometimes it’s because of a value proposition that blows rivals out of the water. And sometimes it’s simply because of the relationships you form with the people behind the brand that give you an insight into every decision that’s gone into every model. When you’re as close to a brand as I became to Czapek & Cie a couple of years ago, you tend to give them the benefit of the doubt whenever a new release walks the line. However, I’m pleased to say that the Czapek & Cie Quai des Bergues ‘Midnight in Geneva’ watch needs no such concession. It is fantastic from top to bottom, and my favorite model from this revived marque yet.
Brand: Czapek & Cie
Model: Quai de Bergues ‘Midnight in Geneva’
Case Material: Stainless steel
Crystal/Lens: Sapphire crystal
Movement: Proprietary SXH1
Power Reserve: 7 days
Strap/Bracelet: Alligator strap with stainless steel buckle
Price & Availability: Limited to 18 pieces, 18,000 CHF
When Czapek first released the Quai des Bergues series I was still in my Hublot phase. I didn’t get it. It was too restrained, too plain, too mature. It wasn’t until I saw it in person, and had the chance to talk to the people responsible for bringing Czapek back from the dead, that the little details about the design, and the excellent craftsmanship that went into its birth, started to reveal themselves to me.
I have not blindly supported everything the brand has done since. I’m not a huge fan of their ladies’ iterations, nor the red/blue/green variants with guilloched dials; although I do respect the attempt to widen the brand’s appeal. For me, the appeal of Czapek has always been the original Quai des Bergues (especially the no.25 and no.29). Until now, I thought it was the top of the tree for them, but by employing a stunning (and rather enormous) aventurine dial, they’ve reached a new height of luxury.
I do miss the blued hands of the original Quai des Bergues model. Of course, they would look ridiculous here and destroy legibility, but they were so nice it’s a shame to see them go. That said, the overall effect of this piece is stunning. Its size allows the watch to retain a hefty machismo despite the jewelry-esque dial. The Czapek Quai des Bergues ‘Midnight in Geneva’ will be limited to 18 pieces and carry a retail price of 18,000 CHF before tax. czapek.com
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