In its first nine years, the modern Czapek & Cie introduced four collections, as many as some larger watch houses dare to add at any given time. Now, in 2024, the brand has launched a fifth collection, the Promenade. With two distinct dial styles — guilloché and grand feu enamel — the Promenade gets off to a strong start, encapsulating the Czapek’s SXH5 movement and intentional design in collaboration with specialized suppliers.

For a brand averaging a new collection every two years, what may seem like rapid growth is, in fact, a managed process, something Czapek takes seriously. Leaning into the “établissage” tradition wherein firms specialize in disparate aspects of production (dial making, case making, hand production, etc.), Czapek originates the design and finalizes the production, relying on its partners for help in between. Thus comes to life the brand’s tagline, “We collect rare people.” Visualized as ripples emanating outward then rebounding back to the center, it’s easy to wonder if such a philosophically driven brand didn’t have the établissage process in mind when creating the Promenade collection, particularly the Goutte d’Eau variant.

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Working with dial maker Donzé Cadrans, the Goutte d’Eau (in English, “drops of water”) is the most captivating member of the initial Promenade lineup thanks to its grand feu enamel dial that visualizes ripples proceeding from the small-seconds hand at the 4:30 position. Stare at a photo of it long enough, and you’d swear it was moving. Devoid of any markings, the Goutte d’Eau is one of those watches that eschews practicality in service of its main objective: being wearable art. Introduced alongside the Goutte d’Eau are two guilloché Promenades, the Soleil Bleu and the Soleil Ivoire. Made by long-time Czapek partner, Metalem, the Soleil dials (true to their name) bring to mind sunrays issuing again from the small seconds. This time, the small hand gets its own subdial complete with 60 second markers to match the white rehaut whose own indications make time-telling more precise. Skeletonized hour and minute hands on all variants of the Promenade maximize dial visibility.

Given this is a dress watch, the Promenade’s steel case is appropriately small with a 38mm diameter and thickness of 10.8mm. A glassbox sapphire crystal slopes downward where, viewed from the side, the eye catches Czapek’s recessed and sand-blasted case flank – something somewhat rugged for a watch this fancy. Helpfully, Czapek advertises a lug-to-lug distance of 42mm thanks to stubby yet not unattractive lugs designed to fit specially curved straps. The caseback is affixed with four screws and offers a wide view of the movement inside, Czapek’s SXH5 movement.

Developed in-house for its Antarctique collection, the SXH5 caliber uses a micro-rotor and an unmistakable architecture. It’s a blast to observe, given the way the seven bridges hold their components in place. The recycled platinum used in the SXH5’s rotor adds weight and makes us wonder… where does one source recycled platinum? Who for that matter is recycling their excess platinum? In any case, the premium material lends itself well to the Promenade, ensuring a specially designed piece looks and feels even more special.

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Like other Czapek releases of the past decade, the Promenade is an exercise in art. Far from obfuscating the genius of partners whose names aren’t on the dial, the brand continues its admirable practice of acknowledging the outside talent that brings its watches to life. In the Promenade, Czapek highlights the “joyful aesthetics” of watchmaking and reminds us that sometimes watches should simply be beautiful.

The Czapek Promenade Guilloché Soleil Bleu Nuit and Soleil Ivoire are priced at $19,900 USD while the Goutte d’Eau model is priced at $20,600 USD. The brand produces all its watches on demand, so deliveries are expected in the second quarter of 2025. For more information, please visit the brand’s website.

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