Some brands just get it. Czapek & Cie is the kind of brand that knows a good thing when it sees it. Having thrown its hat into the ring for the most recent edition of the Only Watch auction in 2017, the brand is back again with a new unique piece for 2019. This year, the special edition Czapek & Cie Faubourg de Cracovie is inspired by Only Watch’s 2019 official color — a rather fetching sky blue. Czapek & Cie has always been unafraid of color (four salmon dials in one release, anyone?), but this year’s specially created Only Watch entry plays with the harmony between material textures as well.
Only Watch is a biennial event organized by the Association Monégasque contre les Myopathies, held under the patronage of Prince Albert II of Monaco. It is the world’s leading charity auction devoted to research into Duchenne muscular dystrophy.
The event was first held in 2005, with luminaries from all over the watch community offering creative (and often wild) watches to be auctioned. Thanks to the generosity of some of the biggest names in our industry, and the tireless efforts of organizers, more than 40 million Swiss Francs have been raised so far.
I’ve always had a soft spot for Czapek & Cie (possibly due to them boasting one of the industry’s nicest, most helpful PR teams, and one of the more compelling CEOs), but the last couple of releases have really, really impressed me with their subtle-yet-surprising use of materials and finishing techniques that offer an incredibly nuanced wearing experience.
The worst thing about that is that it is almost impossible to communicate the warmth, richness, and depth of these materials via digital photography. These are pieces that come alive on the wrist. And prior to this release, the Czapek & Cie Faubourg de Cracovie “Tao” watch stood on an island as the most easily misunderstood model in the range. Well, that black-eyed little guy now has company thanks to the polished onyx dial of the Czapek & Cie Faubourg de Cracovie for Only Watch 2019.
For 2019, the eighth edition of Only Watch chose light blue as its official color. Czapek & Cie saw the perfect opportunity to pair blue chalcedony with a deep black onyx dial, mixing materials between the main dial and sub-dials as the brand did with the “Tao” watch. Confusingly, onyx is actually a type of chalcedony, but the category is quite large, including many stones most would regard as distinct. For example, the chalcedony family contains agate, which is, in fact, the family that includes onyx. Confused? Don’t panic. Just look closely at the dial between 12 and 2 o’clock and take heart from the secret engraving on the dial.
The white grand-feu enamel dial of the unique piece that Czapek & Cie created for Only Watch 2017 featured a secret engraving on the dial that reads “Courage every second”. The 2019 edition follows suit with what is fast becoming Czapek & Cie’s signature to support Only Watch and the battle against Duchenne muscular dystrophy.
While this watch is a fine example of how to use natural stone in a sympathetic, practical, and attractive way, the Czapek & Cie Faubourg de Cracovie for Only Watch 2019 is also a stellar timepiece in its own right. Encased in a 41.5 mm titanium case, coated with a black ADLC (Amorphous Diamond-Like Carbon) coating, and sporting a sapphire box crystal, the SXH3caliber beats away inside. A high-beat caliber, beating at 36,000vph, the SXH3 is an integrated column-wheel chronograph built by Vaucher Manufacture Fleurier especially for Czapek & Cie. This self-winding movement is packing a 65-hour power reserve.
This year’s Only Watch is due to take place in Geneva on November 9th, 2019. The auction will be overseen by Christie’s, but if you’d like to see the watch in the metal (and the stone) before it goes under the hammer, then keep an eye on Christie’s calendar. Between September 25th and the sale date, the Czapek & Cie Faubourg de Cracoive for Only Watch 2019 will be showcased at top events, Christie’s salerooms, as well as leading retailers in Monaco, Dubai, Paris, London, New York, Tokyo, Singapore, Hong Kong, Taipei, and Geneva. Learn more at czapek.com.